Cyberanarchy

First introduced to this concept earlier in the year, the internet world appears to have adopted political anarchy in its governance of its online community. That being said, it would be another interesting case study to examine if political anarchy can actually work. After all, in the classical world of the Greeks, democracy was once considered to only work in small communities or poli and even then, it was subject to the tyranny of the majority (which still persists today in the larger democracies that have evolved with more or less political stability). Likewise, we only have a few examples in history where political anarchy has been implemented (no real failures to report), but to have political anarchy on a global scale is certainly something worth examining!

With such weakened international organizations like the United Nations which try to keep some sort of world order, we have seen spontaneous communal organization at the grassroots level on the internet that is essential to developing a politically anarchic society. People with common goals join together to petition for certain causes, rally for political aims, and even organize revolutions or opposition to real-world governments. Through its blogosphere, social networking, online journaling, the ease of setting up websites, and other media outlets, the internet has also risen as a voice for human expression and creativity that is recognized and heard by the rest of the world. The satisfaction of thymos (as discussed in an earlier post) and the drive for human development through instant access in information also adds to the score for political anarchy’s rating on the governance scale or rather lack of it in any concrete and federal sense.

This is not to say that a cyberworld without a central authority is not without its own problems. Cyberterrorism, child pornography, luring victims in online chatrooms or online dating websites, the organization of anti-human rights groups promoting racism, sexism, etc. and other less than pleasant features have also become widespread with the advent of the world wide web. Also, many people are restricted by their own real governments from accessing the political anarchic cybercommunity, as in the case of the Great Firewall of China. The quantity of information on the internet also makes it hard to distinguish from the quality of information needed to develop the human race epistemologically.

However, the seeming chaos that the cybercommunity seems to represent is not altogether a bad thing, all things considered. In the 25 or so years since the Internet was born, the rapid growth of more or less organized online communities in the absence of any regulating authority may give some credit or discredit to the modern philosophers’ theories of the state of nature and human organization as social animals or political animals. In another post, I would like to explore the ethical conduct of the online communities in its response to its darker sides.

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