Nietzsche and internet democracy

On: October 8, 2007
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About Fleur Dujardin
Fleur Dujardin is a master student of New Media at the University of Amsterdam. She has a bachelor degree in Marketing Management and a bachelor degree in Media & Culture with an expertise in televisionstudies.

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No one talks more passionately about his rights than he who in the depths of his soul doubts whether he has any. By enlisting passion on his side he wants to stifle his reason and its doubts: thus he will acquire a good conscience and with it success among his fellow men. (Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 1878)

Internet activism is having a profound impact on how we perceive and conceive of social and political relations on local and global scales. Growing communities bring their views online with them. The internet can sustain counterhegemonic discourses; people who are swimming against the tide of public opinion. Because of the all the online community networks who are out there, it is easy to find other people who are like-minded. This is especially usefull for people who are surpressed for who they are or what they think. But then it is a necessity that they have the right tools to organize, and that they know how to use these.
Non-profit organization like The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) are dedidicated to promote an electronic media system that fosters democratic expression and human rights. According to this organisation, The U.S. media system is undergoing a profound transformation as the Internet and other digital media reshape communications, commerce, community, and political power. Although it is still in early development, with the use of web 2.0 people have easy access to organise and make a change. People have been given a voice through the internet.

But can we state that a digital democracy would be fair? Digital technology and the internet are not universal. Although the phenomenon is widespread in developed countries, elsewhere traditional media still dominates. We can speak of a ‘digital divide’ between people who have easy access and people who have none at all. But there is still hope for those. There are organisations like The Digital Divide Network and The Community Technology Centers’ Network who are trying to bridge this divide. They offer free blogging, news and articles on the subject, discussion boards and other tools. And the amount of this kind of organisations is tremendous; they are really actively trying to make a change.

People who are connected within these online communities are passionate about what they do and what they’re trying to accomplish. According to Nietzsche they will not only acquire a good conscience about it, but hopefully he was right with the statement that they will also have success among their fellow men.

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