1990s: Internet Revolutionizing Global Interaction & Democratization - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1727 Words
Date:  2023-01-16


Commercialization of the internet in the 1990s has contributed to its penetration significantly. One of the characteristics of the internet is that it enables people to interact and communicate internationally since it creates a platform for sharing information. From the historical point of view, historians argue that the internet has been one of the forces of democratization, and indeed it influences authoritarian regimes that seem to oppress democratic rights of its people. The internet is a force of democratization since it creates an array of tools for communication, people use the internet to expose oppressive behaviors or policies of various regimes, and encourages globalization connecting people of the world from democratic and autocratic regimes; thus changing critical thinking of dictators.

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The internet by-and-large has been a force of democratization since it widens an array of tools people can use to communicate, aiming to subvert policies of oppressive regimes. Oppressive regimes use all resources and tools available to ensure that human rights activities do not educate people about their rights since it will interfere with their selfish agendas. For example, the opposition in Burma has used the internet to communicate with non-nationals about how the government is using the military to exploit its people as well as denying people their rights. One of the tools people use to communicate about human rights is publishing pamphlets, which may be the government opposes and will do everything possible to ensure people do not access such brochures. However, the internet has arrayed different tools of communication. Human rights use online platforms to reach out to a wider audience, educating them about their rights. However, anti-democratic governments can use the internet to locate dissidents and arrest them ensuring they do not continue with their activities of sensitizing people about their rights.

Moreover, the internet has been a force of democratization since dissident groups use the internet to destabilize regimes exploiting their people. Besides publishing atrocities of such oppressive governments, they use the internet to destabilize such regimes by organizing protests online and communicate with other interested people. For example, Falungong in China uses the internet to send emails regarding planned protests making it difficult or the government to cancel such protests and arrest the planners. It is through demonstrating that oppressive governments adjust their policies to promote human rights since widespread protests would attract the attention of the international community. Therefore, the internet has been a force of democratization internationally.

Besides, human rights activities and organizations use the internet to coordinate dissident groups to help in gathering information about abuses of human rights. Dictatorship governments make it difficult for human rights organizations to collect information regarding the abuse of humanity. They will not allow such organizations to publish the information for the public and worldwide community to read. However, internet penetration in many countries has created platforms where they use the internet to publish such illegal activities. For example, Google maps provide accurate information about the violation of human rights in specific locations in Darfur. It is difficult for the media to cover events taking place since the oppressors do not allow them to access crime scenes. However, through the internet, human rights organizations and activists use Google and email to locate where the government is oppressing its people and cover the cases online attracting the attention of the international community to fight against oppressive regimes. As a result, by-and-large, the internet has been one of the forces leading to destabilization of oppressive regimes by exposing locations where the government is violating human rights.

Having originated from America and Europe, the internet has brought about globalization that has helped to bring multinational corporations into developing and oppressive regimes. In the business world today, companies interact directly or indirectly. Since multinational corporations have invested in homegrown firms through joint ventures or partnership, they bring with them democratic rights, which may not be present in the domestic firms due to oppressive leadership. However, collaboration with local firms changes their management techniques and the government follows democratic policies from such organizations. Moreover, international corporations have contributed to democratization since they pressure the government to eliminate economic protectionism, instead of encouraging free trade. In the process, dictatorial governments have slowly changed their policies to accommodate international pressure of promoting democracy.

Countries cannot exist in isolation; hence, they must adjust their policies to attract foreign investors to partner with domestic companies. The internet makes this possible since networking, and the internet eliminate barriers to entry. In this regard, the internet has helped to promote democratization by transferring knowledge from developed and democratic regimes to oppressive countries that in turn, change their democratic strategies. However, there are some cases western firms and governments may contribute to the suppression of democracy. For example, they can provide misleading information about the legitimacy of the regime, and people can rely on the data since it is from reputable organizations.

Not only does the internet provide free access to information, but also access to specific information. People search for particular information online about human rights that help to promote democracy. Among specific information, individuals' access online that support democratization includes reports about abused human rights. The Human Rights Watch has the mandate to publish information about the abuse of human rights, but such governments would do all they can to suppress such essential reports. However, the internet is the right platform where human rights organizations publish such reports for citizens and non-citizens to read and understand how their leaders are violating their rights calling for action. The objective of anti-democratic governments is to ensure that its people do not get enlightened to an extent they can start fighting for their rights.

Free access to free information helps people to take action against the government like protesting. For example, the Orange Movement in Ukraine led to the development of other movements like Kyrgystan and Georgia that contributed to the liberalization of the people. Therefore, the internet creates a platform where people access free information freely and take actions by learning from other movements that stimulating their desire to work towards liberalization.

On the other hand, the internet provides specific information about politics and democratization that promote consciousness in politics. People cannot access such information from libraries since oppressive governments have systematically erased them so that people do not know how it has been violating human rights. They delete articles about political parties, and mistreatment of political detainees has been removed from many government information sources so that the people are not enlightened. For example, the government erased critical information about Abu Ghraib Guantanamo Bay violation of human rights, but people access the information online. It is through the information people access online that make them take action lime protests, seeking to promote human rights. Even to date people access information on the internet about violation of human rights and mobilize supporters to fight for their freedom. However, people must be aware of reliable sources of information like Human Rights Watch that publish valid information with accurate data. It is because the governments can develop websites where they give misleading information so that people do not understand what is going on about human rights. Consequently, the internet makes democratization inevitable since it makes free access to free information stimulating people to take actions.

According to reinforcement theory, internet is a free space for people to communicate, air their views and engage in political and democratic discussions. In any government, there are minority groups whose opinions do not matter significantly in political reforms or changes since the government does not consider their input significant. Traditionally, people depended on the media for all information, but oppressive governments limited the type of information people would access. In most cases, they allow publication of information that favors the government while erasing information that would sensitize the public about their rights. However, with commercialization of the internet has contributed to democratization process since minority groups can engage in political discussion online. It increases political engagement nationally and internationally, and their views contribute to democratic process.

However, proponents of reinforcement theory argue that there is no relationship between internet discussion and political participation. They argue that the fact that citizens engage in internet discussions does not mean that they participate in the democratic process. Government officials access information about people by reviewing social sites or starting discussions to see how people react. It is the best opportunity for people to inform the government that they need to uphold human rights. Therefore, the internet contributes to democratization by ensuring people participate in political dialogues enabling people to give their views freely.

In most cases, citizens participate in the democratic process through voting. People elect leaders based on their personal opinions and values of the leader. However, they may not have full details of the people seeking their votes; hence, they need to use the internet to understand their manifestos. The most important part of the role of the internet in democratization is developing an effective and elaborate voting system that is transparent. Introduction of electronic voting system makes the entire process seamless, and the citizens elect the leadership they want. Authoritarian leaders want to stay in power forever; thus, they use all tricks to be elected including compromising the voting system and election officials. However, the introduction of the internet has contributed to making the process transparent so that their opinions matter. Some authoritarian leaders have recognized that the internet is ruining theory powers, and they are putting regulations in place to limit internet usage. Making the process transparent makes the entire process fair, and minority groups exercise their constitutional powers. Therefore, the internet has promoted democratization through the ballot by ensuring no stealing of votes.

It is through the internet that interest groups deploy resources to advance their objectives of enhancing democracy in society. Interest groups are dominant in the democratic process since they represent the opinions of the people they represent. They have the power to mobilize resources to advance their interests. However, it is difficult working under oppressive regimes since they do not allow them to perform their activities easily in the market. Among the resources they deploy include financial and skills. As a result, they use websites to connect with other interest groups and mobilize their resources, and this improves their powerful so that they tak...

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1990s: Internet Revolutionizing Global Interaction & Democratization - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 16). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/1990s-internet-revolutionizing-global-interaction-democratization-essay-sample

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