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The internet is making life difficult for ‘progressive interventionists’
By Mustela nivalis
Ever since the launch of the World Wide Web, people have been predicting that the internet will change politics for ever. See e.g. ‘The Sovereign Individual’ by James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg (1997). It wasn’t until the start of ‘Web 2.0’ (personal blogs, YouTube, social media etc.) that this prediction began to come about. See e.g. the ‘Ron Paul Revolution’ and the success of ‘Tea Party’ candidates against the US-Republican establishment. And now the vote in Parliament which frustrated the plans of the British subsidiary of the US-UK military-industrial-media-complex, which has had and is still having repercussions all the way to their HQ in Washington, DC (among LRC circles aka as ‘Mordor’).
It’s the internet wot won it. I’ve been wanting to write up something along these lines for some days but have been busy. Thankfully Sue Cameron of the Telegraph has done the job for me. I slightly disagree only with one quoted statement: ‘And the vast amounts of online information mean that people are sceptical of what governments tell them and check up on it instantly.’ No: People have been sceptical of politicians for a very long time. The internet allows them though to find out much more easily than ever before that their scepticism is well founded. And it allows them to communicate this to each other and to the politicians themselves.
This means that in particular ‘progressive’ politics are in trouble. As the highly intelligent arch-interventionist Dan Hodges conceded straight after the vote: This is a catastrophe for progressive interventionism. (I’m inclined to think he has a decent streak: he didn’t use that deceitful oxymoron ‘liberal interventionism’.) Quite. And the internet is going to continue to be a catastrophe for people of Hodges’ ilk. Because with scepticism abounding and having an already and increasingly powerful communicative tool at its fingertips, progressives will have to make an increasingly better case than hitherto as to why what ain’t broke needs to be fixed. Or why we need to fix other people’s problems. Or they will need to explain much more clearly where we have the knowledge and skill from with regard to solving other people’s problems.
The internet is making life increasingly difficult for progressive interventionists. That’s the good news. The bad news is: It’s not enough to stop them. A necessary condition maybe, not a sufficient one.