21st century ideology and the internet

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MostUncivilised
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#1
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In the second half of the 20th century, the world was divided into two heavily armed, ideological camps, the communist and capitalist worlds. People took ideology very seriously, and people at the highest levels of both camps would betray their own side in service to the ideology of the other (the Cambridge Five are a very good example of this).

Since the end of the Cold War, it seems like we have entered a period seemingly without ideology, what Francis Fukushima called The End of History. In some ways, he was right. Neoliberalism is completely dominant in the world. The purported threats to it, like Al-Qaeda, are nowhere near as dangerous as the Soviet Union was, and it's almost impossible to imagine high-level civil servants and intelligence officers in the West secretly acting on their behalf in the same way that moles did in the Cold War.

But I do think we are seeing a new ideology emerge, and I think it will see a new, defining ideological conflict; that is, internet libertarianism (for want of a better phrase). It's characterised by a distrust and even disdain for existing institutions like central banks, governments, a disinclination to pay tax and a utopian agenda that places excessive trust in online mechanisms (Bitcoin, Silk Road, Tor, now widely discredited but you would get hell for even suggesting they were insecure or undesirable) and that would like see the state "wither away".

While groups like Al-Qaeda will never have assets like the Cambridge Five, I believe Edward Snowden (whatever your views on the justifiability of what he did) will be seen as subscribing to this ideology and in the same class (an intelligence officer with access to high-level material secreting an ideological agenda). I think that as the internet becomes ever more pervasive, as it essentially becomes the medium of most human communication and interaction, this movement will grow and its sympathisers will spread.

In the end, it will come down to whether you believe that there is value in existing institutions, in the sense that we're all in it together for good or ill, or you subscribe to an ideology that exalts the individual above all else and at the expense of social cohesion and mutuality.
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Rakas21
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#2
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(Original post by MostUncivilised)
In the second half of the 20th century, the world was divided into two heavily armed, ideological camps, the communist and capitalist worlds. People took ideology very seriously, and people at the highest levels of both camps would betray their own side in service to the ideology of the other (the Cambridge Five are a very good example of this).

Since the end of the Cold War, it seems like we have entered a period seemingly without ideology, what Francis Fukushima called The End of History. In some ways, he was right. Neoliberalism is completely dominant in the world. The purported threats to it, like Al-Qaeda, are nowhere near as dangerous as the Soviet Union was, and it's almost impossible to imagine high-level civil servants and intelligence officers in the West secretly acting on their behalf in the same way that moles did in the Cold War.

But I do think we are seeing a new ideology emerge, and I think it will see a new, defining ideological conflict; that is, internet libertarianism (for want of a better phrase). It's characterised by a distrust and even disdain for existing institutions like central banks, governments, a disinclination to pay tax and a utopian agenda that places excessive trust in online mechanisms (Bitcoin, Silk Road, Tor, now widely discredited but you would get hell for even suggesting they were insecure or undesirable) and that would like see the state "wither away".

While groups like Al-Qaeda will never have assets like the Cambridge Five, I believe Edward Snowden (whatever your views on the justifiability of what he did) will be seen as subscribing to this ideology and in the same class (an intelligence officer with access to high-level material secreting an ideological agenda). I think that as the internet becomes ever more pervasive, as it essentially becomes the medium of most human communication and interaction, this movement will grow and its sympathisers will spread.

In the end, it will come down to whether you believe that there is value in existing institutions, in the sense that we're all in it together for good or ill, or you subscribe to an ideology that exalts the individual above all else and at the expense of social cohesion and mutuality.
An interesting postulation.

The question of course with reference to this is 'Would the current generation have been as libertarian regardless of the internet's existence', it is fairly well regarded that each generation has been more liberal than the last.
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Blobba
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Boring...
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Abstraction
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#4
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(Original post by MostUncivilised)
In the second half of the 20th century, the world was divided into two heavily armed, ideological camps, the communist and capitalist worlds. People took ideology very seriously, and people at the highest levels of both camps would betray their own side in service to the ideology of the other (the Cambridge Five are a very good example of this).

Since the end of the Cold War, it seems like we have entered a period seemingly without ideology, what Francis Fukushima called The End of History. In some ways, he was right. Neoliberalism is completely dominant in the world. The purported threats to it, like Al-Qaeda, are nowhere near as dangerous as the Soviet Union was, and it's almost impossible to imagine high-level civil servants and intelligence officers in the West secretly acting on their behalf in the same way that moles did in the Cold War.
...

In the end, it will come down to whether you believe that there is value in existing institutions, in the sense that we're all in it together for good or ill, or you subscribe to an ideology that exalts the individual above all else and at the expense of social cohesion and mutuality.
That's pretty interesting, do you want to be a social commentator or something? You're a clever guy with quite unique views.

But I see some major flaws in this idea. You're right, Neoliberalism has gotten its filthy claws deep into our society but the internet won't change that anytime soon. Corporations have more power than ever, and in fact the Internet is allowing them easier access to our lives day by day. More than promoting individuality, networks like Facebook homogenise a lot of behaviour tbh.

As for govermments, again, more influential than ever. The Internet definitely provides an anarchic environment but it won't protect us from criminals, provide business regulation, healthcare and our benefits. Government does. Furthermore, governments are looking into.taxing internet purchases, regulating services like BitCoin, and making laws about the storage of Big Data by tech companies. I don't see the internet causing the government to wither away anytime soon.

I love this idea of a revolution in human communication, individuality and self-sufficiency, but the Internet isn't doing this to such a great extent. Overall people don't seem to want a change in the status quo; it may be too late for us.

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mojojojo101
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(Original post by Abstraction)
That's pretty interesting, do you want to be a social commentator or something? You're a clever guy with quite unique views.

But I see some major flaws in this idea. You're right, Neoliberalism has gotten its filthy claws deep into our society but the internet won't change that anytime soon. Corporations have more power than ever, and in fact the Internet is allowing them easier access to our lives day by day. More than promoting individuality, networks like Facebook homogenise a lot of behaviour tbh.

As for govermments, again, more influential than ever. The Internet definitely provides an anarchic environment but it won't protect us from criminals, provide business regulation, healthcare and our benefits. Government does. Furthermore, governments are looking into.taxing internet purchases, regulating services like BitCoin, and making laws about the storage of Big Data by tech companies. I don't see the internet causing the government to wither away anytime soon.

I love this idea of a revolution in human communication, individuality and self-sufficiency, but the Internet isn't doing this to such a great extent. Overall people don't seem to want a change in the status quo; it may be too late for us.

I think I am slightly more optimistic than your last sentence, I think that at the moment people are way to blasé about these things, the Snowden revelations have almost completely fallen out of major news coverage and many people didn't seem that interested to begin with. However I see there is a general trend of more and more distrust towards governments and I think it will not be that long before we reach a sort of critical mass of discontent, where these things are no longer possible to ignore.

For me the role of Twitter in the 'Arab Spring' and more recently in Turkey shows that while the internet can be good at collecting discontent and providing an environment in which that can breed, it's not quite so good at being a forum for people to discuss what comes after that discontent. It's still something new however and I don't think we can dismiss it quite yet.

As such I believe the internet will be the first 'battleground' of any backlash against governments. As discontent rises, governments will seek to block these lines of communication (and probably try to divert attention by blaming each other). Whoever wins that battle over the stream of information will hold the initiative when ideas burst out into the 'real' world.
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Alistair Mac Tir
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The cold war never ended, neither did the pseudo-democratic ideology used in geopolitical interests.
The world was temporarily in american unipolarity because Russia became an american colony heading towards total disintegration until Putin came and reversed this tendency. It seemed as if there were no enemies left but wars never ended, NATO was not disbanded, and america continued milking the world but now unchecked. That is coming to an end because Russia is back, China is a new player, and new alliances are forging. The new ideology has no name but one clear goal: getting rid of the dollar, the claspes of the US federal reserve, and stopping US hegemony which ignites crises, chaos and revolution to keep the dollar afloat. The ideology of resistance and survival.
Western political ideology didn't change, but they found new enemies to fight and returned old ones in the process of looking for things they need in other countries by telling them that they don't have enough democracy and human rights.

The Western and to a certain extent International society is another point and OP got it: it's a new form of (internet) libertarianism distrustful of some existing institutions that resists tendencies towards a new world order.
The Post-USSR space is moving towards Eurasian integration as the only way for salvation and the new ideology is a distrust of pseudo-liberalism, and a 'national liberation movement' towards the complete removal of economic and political colonialism and artificial division that followed the collapse of the USSR. Also sometimes referred to as the 'ideology of common sense' in some contexts and 'ideology of survival' in another.

On a side note, take the internet and people making revolutions through it with a pinch of salt, because the arab spring homework was done by NGOs, and the internet was merely a communication tool to put everyone on the regime change wagon, as is mentioned by someone above that people don't know what next, because that kind of homework was not in the organizers' agenda or interests.
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Raiden10
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The biggest threat in the 21st century is evil multinational corporations who want to **** everyone in the eyes until they have eye babies that have cancer. The internet is good because it's difficult to regulate. Regulation is the busybody of these companies. Anything that's hard to regulate is an orgasmic shot in the arm for the free.

Pros and cons of the Above essay:

Pros:
-It's short

Cons:
- It's true
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Rakas21
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#8
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(Original post by Alistair Mac Tir)
The cold war never ended, neither did the pseudo-democratic ideology used in geopolitical interests.
The world was temporarily in american unipolarity because Russia became an american colony heading towards total disintegration until Putin came and reversed this tendency. It seemed as if there were no enemies left but wars never ended, NATO was not disbanded, and america continued milking the world but now unchecked. That is coming to an end because Russia is back, China is a new player, and new alliances are forging. The new ideology has no name but one clear goal: getting rid of the dollar, the claspes of the US federal reserve, and stopping US hegemony which ignites crises, chaos and revolution to keep the dollar afloat. The ideology of resistance and survival.
Western political ideology didn't change, but they found new enemies to fight and returned old ones in the process of looking for things they need in other countries by telling them that they don't have enough democracy and human rights.

The Western and to a certain extent International society is another point and OP got it: it's a new form of (internet) libertarianism distrustful of some existing institutions that resists tendencies towards a new world order.
The Post-USSR space is moving towards Eurasian integration as the only way for salvation and the new ideology is a distrust of pseudo-liberalism, and a 'national liberation movement' towards the complete removal of economic and political colonialism and artificial division that followed the collapse of the USSR. Also sometimes referred to as the 'ideology of common sense' in some contexts and 'ideology of survival' in another.

On a side note, take the internet and people making revolutions through it with a pinch of salt, because the arab spring homework was done by NGOs, and the internet was merely a communication tool to put everyone on the regime change wagon, as is mentioned by someone above that people don't know what next, because that kind of homework was not in the organizers' agenda or interests.
That's a pretty dim view and somewhat extreme i think. While your right to say that the cold war never really ended and certainly Russia hates the USA (though it's not the military power it once was, a joint UK-France can beat it) i'm not convinced that China wants the collapse of the dollar or plenty of other parts of the world. While it's plausible that they will try create a reserve currency it's unlikely that it will be a success in a unipolar way, rather it will along with the likes of the Euro pre-crisis simply eat into the dollar's hegemony when it comes to commodity denomination. There are also plenty of countries like the EU, India and others which will back the dollar if it comes down to it.

China is the real player here, not Russia. Putin is simply a passenger who is wrongly under the illusion that he's currently in control.
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