The Network, Democracy and Mubarak


The Internet plays a key role in the world’s democratic development. The Internet generation is no longer satisfied with using the web as a playhouse, recreation center, or marketplace. Now they want to change the world and the web is all they need to become a self-organizing system. Mass demonstrations can be organized quickly, without any dangerous physical meetings, and organizers may have secret identities.

When Wikileaks released the “Thanksgiving dump” in November 2010 Tunisia’s dissidents got the documents that showed that the government was corrupt. The regime’s main weapon was to keep people ignorant, but Wikileaks and Internet communication made it impossible. Tunisia’s Jasmine revolution started a wave of democratic activism that we’ve only seen the beginning of.

Next country to peacefully democratize is Egypt – but on the evening of January 26 Egyptian President Mubarak started a massive counterstrike. The government closed down four major ISP:s so that 70 million Egyptians lost touch with each other and with the outside world. The real-time monitoring company Renesys confirms this world-historical event. Never before has so much Internet traffic been cut off so abruptly. Thus, Mubarak reveals himself as an undemocratic and irresponsible president, defending the state against its own people.

Blocking the major social networks – Facebook, Twitter, and SMS – can be devastating to Egypt. Peaceful demonstrations require a network of interconnections that can work as a ‘brain’ in the human macro-organism. Without this network, there is only a crowd of nervous people that easily can lose their common sense and end up in chaos.

One Response to “The Network, Democracy and Mubarak”

  1. gabrielpezzini Says:

    Well, as time passes it seems more and more that the protesters are heading to victory.

    If so, and if democratisation works well after Mubarak is no more there, then we’ll have watched the first bottom-to-top, internet organized movement capable to change profoundly the world political dynamics – not forgetting that Cairo is the Arab cultural capital.

    There’s no “mediatic” or “heroic” trigger “blamable” for the revolts. ElBaradei is viewed by many as an opportunist. And what kind of media, the one from the regime?

    If well explored, this has the power to boost up the morals and influence of the entire global group which believes in web-based political participation.

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