Virtual platforms have been condemn for a variety of reasons. Among them, a certain sense recurs concerning the lack of ‘authenticity’ of the modes of online interaction. Yet, the internet is in all sorts of way neither better nor worse than many of the other modes of interaction that characterize the public sphere.
As in the public market, a person can lie, can present itself in disguise, can pretend, can misrepresent himself, can violate privacy. But as in the public space—in the public square—the internet can be thought as the space in which the public sphere finds its home. The Habermassian café has now included innumerable living rooms and offices around the world.
Under this light, and considering the constitutive importance that the public sphere in the development and promotion of the values and practices of enlightenment, the challenge ahead concerns the articulation, regulation and protection of the internet as the space for the exercise of the political.
Here I sketch the grounds of the following guiding idea: The internet is the best and most powerful tool for the promotion and proliferation of the ideals and practices of enlightenment. That is, the internet is—especially in the guise of so-called “social media”—the very space for the development of a global democracy.
These are the reasons:
The 5 Theses:
- The internet is currently the ideal space fort he development of a trans-national and meta-juridical public sphere.
- The internet is currently the ideal space for the trans-national and meta-geographic construction of communities of care.
- The internet is currently the ideal space for the development and exercise of a trans-national and meta-demographic community of reason.
- Reason and care can be thought as central tropes in a productive dynamic of democratic deliberation.
- The internet is currently the most powerful tool for the development, fostering and practice of a trans-national, meta-juridical, global and inter-demographic democracy.
The project could be defined in three parts. 1. The articulation of the internet as a political space in the guise of the theses just enumerated. 2. The articulation of governance and policy for the promotion and strengthening of these positions and 3. The design and deployment of tools for the promotion of political enlightment: cosmopolitanism, tolerance and reason.