Linking both terms could be a contradiction, but also a prophecy. Social networks in a more or less distant future could exercise power and become States. It is true that this could be futuristic, but it is not a question that can be easily dismissed. Today, social networks have achieved unprecedented political power and are one of the vital instruments in election campaigns.
In a context in which most of the countries of the Western World have issued various laws using the Internet to bring the administration closer to citizens, -when not to proclaim the right of these to use-, the path to a political action that can be exercised in the same way, has been already virtually pointed out.
Social networks on the other hand, are good tools for their members to participate in anything, and therefore also for political participation. The step from expressing mere opinions, to require by its members to the political leaders to act on the basis of the views expressed, is probably smaller than you might think.
If we add to the above disenchantment – let’s say something soft – of the citizens with political leaders, especially with the political parties, we have all the ingredients to make social networks an ideal tool to exercise power from within themtselves.
It is difficult to predict, and much more build, a future in which some social networks have become sovereign States, but if we want to be consistent with the existence of the very possibility, we can start an exercise of imagination to consider a future in which every day lived within this reality.
That is why we wanted to make a contribution to this issue under the title of “Liberty Global” which begins a series of stories which raises some situations that could live in a society governed by social networks.
So that everyone can follow this initiative, we have been opened in Facebook groups called “Liberty Global” (Spanish) and “Global Freedom” (English) in which any person may follow the stories and raise issues of general interest in line with the abobementioned.
Our society is moving inexorably in the development of technology, whatever good or bad use made of the same, and more young people plan their lives through the contacts that keep in networks which they are connected.
You should not forget that if we have to imagine the life in the near future, for example the next century, we must bear in mind that this will take place in a framework of development of communications at the global level, and that this will necessarily lead social development based on social networks grouped to millions of people who remain connected among themselves, and that may carry out many of the things more simple, everyday in their lives. This is, in addition, the important thing.
Achieved social power will lead to a new way of understanding of the society in which it will be difficult to admit that States, based only on a territorial power that has been exercised vertically, permit to its citizens to participate in decisions, only from time to time. Technological development will thus enable a democracy based on knowledge and not just an outdated system of consultations in which people -already today – has ceased to believe.
The fact that citizens are grouped based on their ideals and aspirations economic, social, etc. rather than the mere accidental attachment to a certain territory, can present significant advantages from the point of view of social cohesion, and the replacement of this form of organization, to the detriment of territorial States, can only be a matter of time.