Through globalization, people around the world have interacted and come to understand each other. Since human needs are universal, those that have been deprived and oppressed by their governments are now endeavoring to change the status quo through popular coups. This has seen the use of social networks in organizing popular revolts mainly in the Arab world. Destruction of property and deaths has been witnessed as governments use all means possible to suppress the uprising.
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Has Globalization Affected the System of Governance in the Contemporary World?
Globalization has enabled people around the world to break ranks and combine efforts in solving the many challenges they continue to face every day, especially the young people. This can be seen to follow Castell historical theory of space.
Castell’s, theory projects that major cities in the world like London will eventually merge with their neighbors, hence losing their initial conservative, monopoly identity (Castells End of Millennium: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture 85). There will also be merging of cultures and eventually there will be standard interaction and death of specific culture trends.
Social networks such as Twitter and Face Book have been the main interaction sites in the world. Youths around the world have become sensitized on their rights and the need for them to actively participate in government. This saw revolution occur in Tunisia which in turn sparked an even bigger revolution in Egypt.
Egypt has experienced a dictatorial form of government for over thirty years. However, due to high levels of unemployment, poverty and human rights abuse, the people of Egypt decided to overthrow the then incumbent president Hosni Mubarak.
To organize successive revolts, Twitter and Face Book were the main tools for the revolution leaders to link with the masses. Millions of users could be notified on the venues of the next demonstrations easily and efficiently. People from around the world encouraged the demonstrators to soldier on, some even making monetary aid.
Twitter through the tweets and messages, was very effective as everybody could access and read the proceedings. Through the miniblogging, people were able to interact and share their views, emotions, console one another, keep in touch with the rest of the demonstrators even when there were curfews.
When the then President Mubarak’s government realized how the internet especially the Twitter site was effective in inciting people, it blocked the Twitter website even operations from cell phones, a fact it profusely denied. This brought world wide condemnation because of violating people’s right on freedom of expression.
This was witnessed even in the US where Senator Franken has been very vocal on the need for neutrality of the internet. Franken insist there should be no government interference in regulating the net as he views the net as the major force for world unity and sees it as an amendment of the 21st century by the people in the realization of a common unifying denominator.
The Egyptian Revolution could have been caused mainly by historical injustices where people have been oppressed and never allowed to exercise their democratic rights like in most of the western world. The dictatorial system was corrupt making the population poor, unemployed and the few employed having poor working conditions and poor payment. The other reason could have been due to incitement by the Tunisian Revolution which had just occurred at the time.
The major cause could be attributed to what has been referred to as the smart mob. These are people faced with common challenges, are able to unite, cooperate and work together even if they do not know each another (Rheingold 12). These people cooperate and work in unison in ways never seen before; this is made possible as they carry gadgets and devices that enable them to communicate efficiently and also posses computing abilities.
When smart people are faced with historical injustices and incited the government of the day finds itself in big trouble. The government in its effort to contain the restless mob result in crude and oppressive means like those witnessed in Egypt. The government blocks the internet which is the major facilitator of the smart mob revolutions.
This in turn brings uproar from other parts of the world as this is seen as oppressive and demeaning. In Egypt, when the net was blocked, advanced companies like Google assisted them by directly sending them specific id addresses and ports that could not be blocked, for people to continue interacting.
Has social networks impacted on the way of governance?
The Revolution in Egypt through the social networks has in turn sparked other uprising in the world especially in the Arab world where leaders have served for decades or are monarchs. This has been seen in countries such as Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Cuba, Iran and many more.
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Governments of these areas are continuing to block the usage of the net but this has not deterred the people as they are already enlightened. The networks have been in existence for couples of years and through that period, people have been interacting and so already they have the unity needed.
People’s social networks have empowered millions of people globally (Raatma 26). What is happening in specific places can now be known globally. Governments can no longer ignore the wish of the mob especially democratic rights and any that does so, will find itself in a tug of war with its own people.
Globalization has enabled people from other countries to fight for the rights of the oppressed (Castells Communication Power 45). However, the networks should have objective and noble cause as some inciters and terrorist might take advantage to destabilize the world.
Castells, Manuel. End of Millennium: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture. Sussex: John Wiley and Sons, 2010.
Castells, Manuel. Communication Power. London: Oxford University Press.2009.
Raatma, Lucia. Social Networks. New York: Cherry Lake Publishers, 2010.
Rheingold Howard. Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. New York: Basic Books, 2003.