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The limitations of digital technology for repoliticising the depoliticised

From Riots and Political Protest by Simon Winlow, Steve Hall, Daniel Briggs and James Treadwell pg 157:

Many on the left believe the Internet can fill the gaps left by the disintegration of modern political organisations, but online discussion forums and the like simply do not work in the same way. This is not to say that new forms of medium cannot assist political resistance, especially in communicating very quickly repressive political practices that appear to demand an immediate response, but it is hard to imagine how they might compensate for the immediate social engagement that accompanied, for example, the establishment of labour unions and workers’ associations. Internet forums cannot reach out to the disinterested or the antagonistic and, over a prolonged period of time, seek to educate, persuade and establish trust and a shared vision. They cannot encourage the disengaged to become attuned to the attractions of progressive politics by interacting daily in bodily proximity with others keen to connect their shared situation to forces beyond their immediate comprehension. In the absence of everyday mass encounters in exploitative work situations, the task of building the kinds of organisation that might politicise the depoliticised is huge.

Categories: Digital Technology, Social Movements and Fragility Fragile Movements and Their Politics Cultures

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