Morning Coffee with Craig: What is Activism 2.0?

Net Activism 1.0 = Libertarianism
Net Activism 2.0 = Governance

Political Communication and Information Scarcity

The Internet arrived on the global stage during a tumultuous juncture in world history. The Soviet Empire collapsed; ending a 50 year ideological battle between the centralised command economies of the Communist East, and the free-market economies of the Capitalist West. A world that was sharply divided between the Socialist ideologies of centralised planning-coupled with tight information controls-and the Capitalist ideologies of individual agency and individual expression was replaced by the later world of increasingly unfettered ‘flows’. Primarily driven by the United States, its allies, and the post World War II Bretton Woods Institutions such as GATT (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade); freedom of expression, freedom of trade, and freedom of the market prevailed in all major international interactions. The Internet entered the global arena during this period of great change and is defined by this change and defines this change (and it may have developed very differently if it was conceived during another period of history). It is perhaps not unusual then, that tentatively entering the post Cold War period, many early researchers first understood the Internet’s political potential firmly grounded in the Communist ‘information scarcity’ and censorial anxieties that derive from the ideological divisions of the ‘short Twentieth Century’ (Hobsbawn; 1994).

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