Opening paragraphs of Rebecca MacKinnon’s “Cybertarianism: China and the Global Internet”,
A new form of highly networked authoritarianism is emerging in China. Call it “Cybertarianism.” It’s not uniquely Chinese, but understanding how the Internet is mediating the relationship between state and society in China can help us understand what’s happening around the world.
Signs of cybertarianism can be found in many countries. A number of democracies have creeping “cybertarian” tendencies, too. This is not a doomsday book, however. There are plenty of things that people around the world can do in the Internet age to expand genuine free expression and accountable government. But first we need to wake up and recognize what’s happening. 21st Century authoritarianism is not your father’s or grandfather’s authoritarianism. It can’t be addressed or understood in the same way.
Compared to classic authoritarianism, cybertarianism permits – or shall we say bows to the Internet’s inevitable consequences and accepts – a great deal of give-and-take between government and citizens. Cybertarianism is much more deliberative and participatory than [… More plus a video in Rebecca’s site]