The David of the Microchip
A reader sent in this comment earlier last week to a post I had up on an injured Belarus demonstrator:
And here, in Cuernavaca, México I get to know about it…along with a big bunch of people in a lot of other places. God bless modern technology! It’s the doomer of dictatorships. Great 🙂
…the role of information and communication technology in these recent revolutions is one prominent factor that is utterly new, as the amount of attention this phenomenon has received suggests. Indeed, the Internet, blogs, cell phones, and satellite television have been prominent players in democratic movements from Egypt to Ukraine, and these technologies have served as both international and intra-national catalysts for political change.
Since the beginning of the “information revolution,” it has been frequently predicted that technology would free mankind from the shackles of authoritarian government. “Technology will make it increasingly difficult for the state to control the information its people receive,” Ronald Reagan said way back in 1989. “The Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip.” While political scientists who have studied the issue in recent years are cautious about the liberating effects of the Internet and other so-called information and communication technologies (ICT in poli-sci jargon), the evidence of their role builds.
A great article! And, of course the fact that President Bush made an Inaugural Speech on commitment to democracy doesn’t do much for the world’s dictators, either!
(My God, was Ronald Reagan on it, or what?)