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Politics and Participation Essay

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Updated: Aug 26th, 2019

There is no doubt in the fact that politics evolves in response to the changes occurring in the society it governs; therefore, the modern political trends and features are also heavily predetermined by the ideological and socio-cultural mores prevalent in a particular nation, country, or community.

Members of any society have been historically struggling for active participation and involvement in the political process. The modern technological progress has shaped the conditions in which people have become not only passive consumers of information but also active producers of politically and socially meaningful content.

It is evident that the modern politics is a synergic blend of technology, traditional media and innovative means of communication such as the Internet and networked communication, which ultimately forms politics of the contemporary mode. According to Jody Dean, communicative capitalism poses certain strains on both community and political authorities and creates distinct conditions for people’s unification and active formation of the public opinion as well as governmental policies.

Dean emphasized the fundamental changes in self-expression and participation in the political life of one’s country in the form of emergence of a new political regime, namely, communicative capitalism, that represents the convergence of networked communications and globalized neoliberalism (Dean 23).

The underlying philosophy of the present phenomenon is that individuals are both producers and consumers of messages and content in the media of mass communication such as blogs, chats, and open-source sites ((Dean 24-25). As a result, there have appeared illusions of wholeness, belonging, and abundance; individuals feel empowered to create any content they want in the standard digital space, and as a result, feel more confident about their active role in the formation of the state politics, opinion, and action.

The main issue in the modern politics, especially in the USA, is its capitalist inclination; there are many features of the neoliberal market that assume the overarching role of market consumption as the primary value in all aspects of human life. As Dean noted, there is a strong emphasis on the monetization of all non-monetary values, experiences, and beliefs – people use all chances and opportunities to gain wealth and profit, and often neglect the spiritual values that still have to be retained (Dean 24).

Even the digital environment that has been established as the herald of free will and expression without any limitations have first turned into the field for enrichment and prosperity (e.g., the dot com boom that enriched many people, but also frustrated and bankrupted the equal, and an even more significant number of individuals).

However, even with the evolution of the role of the Internet that remains a powerful field for marketing, business, and sales promotion, but has also acquired a robust communicative capacity, people sometimes utilize the power of participation given to them inappropriately.

Dean’s message in his article is that in the world of every individual being both a producer and a consumer, messages that individuals share with the broad Internet community often get lost. Dean sees the reason for this inefficiency and incongruence of goals and outcomes of the Internet communication in the fact that messaging is often action-oriented, and not seeking understanding (Dean 27).

Indeed, the Internet has a strong potential for uniting people and helping them achieve the goals they had established. Moreover, the innovative opportunities that the Internet currently offers, being able to join people across countries, borders, and times, enable individuals to find alternative ways of seeking consensus, enriching their social and interest groups.

For example, such movements as the feminist movement, nationalist movements, or other movements focused on a specific goal can enter a new stage of their development and mutual understanding with the help of Internet facilities. Referring to the article of Susan Faludi about the current challenges that the feminism movement experiences, one can assume that the Internet space, blogging, creation of sites focusing on specific target users can help unite feminists across space and time.

The current problem of feminists in the USA is that they despise the values of feminists of older generations, and consider them outdated, which results in the overall gap of values, experiences, and objectives. The present trend is indicative of the dead-end in which the feminist movement finds itself in the current period, which is noted by many feminist movement representatives feeling rolling back with every generation (Faludi 29).

As a conclusion, one has to note that the Internet space and networked communications possess a powerful potential for the political alignment and coordination of political action in a cohesive, logical, and comprehensive manner.

The seemingly unstructured Internet communication is, in fact, a highly structured, explainable process that has opinion leaders and can be directed fundamentally. Hence, any political movement, for example, feminism, can seek new opportunities in the communicative capitalism conditions for the sake of reviving unity and harmony in their course of action, involving regular citizens and empowering them for political participation.

Works Cited

Dean, Jodi. ‘Technology: the promises of communicative capitalism’. In Dean, Jodi. Democracy and other neoliberal fantasies: communicative capitalism and left politics, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009, pp. 19-48.

Faludi, Susan. American Electra: Feminism’s Ritual Matricide. Harper’s Magazine (October 2010), pp.

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