Electronic Democracy

1552 Words7 Pages
Electronic Democracy

Today, people go online and instantly communicate with others all over the world. Given this technology, is it possible to revolutionize our current political process and enable online users to cultivate their own political group to affect change? Jon Katz article, The Netizen: Birth of a Digital Nation suggests that young, educated, affluent people make up the new Digital Nation who can and should build a more civil society utilizing online computer technology. On assignment for HotWireds The Netizen Katz was supposed to write about how the media was affected by the Web during the Presidential election of 1996. However, Katz found early on that the Web was not an influence in 1996 politics. Instead, he found an online culture that used chat rooms and web sites to communicate their political positions. Katz began to post his own positions online, receiving innumerable feedback on them. He found his opinions were just that---ideas that other people challenged, changed or agreed with. He gave ideas, but smarter people improved them or showed him why he was incorrect. There was much to be learned on the Internet believed Katz. He discovered the net could be the tool to bring about change in the political arena and even our culture.

The net offers individuals the ability and freedom to voice their opinions; yet it is a distinct group of young people who are taking the opportunity to interact with one another creating a new political ideology (217). Katz believes these individuals are utilizing the Stomel 2 Internet to produce their own political entity. These are people who work on the Internet, created the Net, and whose business, social, and cultural lives (217) revolve around it. In essence, a new soc...

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... also physically within their communities. It is doubtful this can happen when this group uses words to attempt change rather than action. Stomel 6

Works Cited

DeLuca, Tom Jr. Two Faces Of Political Apathy. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 1995.

Katz, Jon. The Netizen: Birth of a Digital Nation. Composing Cyberspace: Identity, Community, and Knowledge in the Electronic Age. Ed. Richard Holeton. Boston: McGraw-Hill Inc. 1998. 214-225.

Phillips, Kevin. Wealthy and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich. New York: Broadway Books. 2003. Tatchell, Peter. Direct Action For Democracy. Guardian Unlimited. January 30, 2003.

http//politics.guardian.co.uk/apathy/comment/0,12822,885318,00html (3 Oct. 2003).

What Influence Does Wealth Have Over Politics? Geocities.com <http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/1931/secD2.html> (3 Oct. 2003).

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