The idea that the internet was fomenting revolution and promoting democracy in Iran was just the latest example of the widely held belief that communications technology, and the internet in particular, is inherently pro-democratic. In this gleefully iconoclastic book, Evgeny Morozov takes a stand against this “cyber-utopian” view, arguing that the internet can be just as effective at sustaining authoritarian regimes. By assuming that the internet is always pro-democratic, he says, Western policymakers are operating with a “voluntary intellectual handicap” that makes it harder rather than easier to promote democracy.
L'altro lato della Rete come strumento di rivoluzione politica: come può essere usata per anestetizzare il contrasto, quanto il suo impatto sia stato analizzato superficialmente, le modalità in cui i governi ne hanno gestito l'impatto in modo addirittura controproducente:
The root of the problem, Mr Morozov argues, is that Western policymakers see an all-too-neat parallel with the role that radio propaganda and photocopiers may have played in undermining the Soviet Union. A native of Belarus, Mr Morozov (who has occasionally written for The Economist) says this oversimplification of history has led to the erroneous conclusion that promoting internet access and “internet freedom” will have a similar effect on authoritarian regimes today.
E allora? Morozov si presenta deluso da quanto fatto fino ad ora, più che pessimista. Propone un approccio "cyber-realista" che sostituisca quello cyber-utopico. A quanto pare, però, non approfondisce questo aspetto:
But he presents little in the way of specific prescriptions, other than to stress the importance of considering the social and political context in which technology is deployed, rather than focusing on the characteristics of the technology itself, as internet gurus tend to. Every authoritarian regime is different, he argues, so it is implausible that the same approach will work in each case; detailed local knowledge is vital. Yet having done such a good job of knocking down his opponents’ arguments, it is a pity he does not have more concrete proposals to offer in their place.
[penso non mi convincerà del tutto, ma mi pare interessante]