“All the studies on the internet show that people who are more social on the internet are also more social face-to-face.”
“With this climate what happens is that more and more our societies will become ungovernable and, therefore, we can have all kinds of phenomenon – some of them very dangerous” – Prof Manuel Castells
Manuel Castells studies the links between the internet and protest movements
a combination of two things:
– A number of people have been doing this for quite a while already because they don’t agree with the meaninglessness of their lives. Now there is something else – it’s the legion of consumers who cannot consume
– therefore, since they do not consume – they don’t have the money, they don’t have the credit, they don’t have anything – then they try at least to make sense of their lives doing something different.
So, it’s because of needs and because of values – the two things together – that’s why it’s expanding.”
“It is fundamental because it triggers a crisis of trust in the two big powers of our world: the political system and the financial system.
– People don’t trust where they put their money and they don’t trust those who they delegate in terms of their vote.
– It’s a dramatic crisis of trust and if there is no trust, there is no society.
“It’s a society where the main activities in which people are engaged are organised fundamentally in networks, rather than in vertical organisations. The difference is very simple – network technologies. It’s not the same thing to be constantly interactive at the speed of light than just simply have a network of friends and people. So all networks exist, but the connection between everything and everything – be it financial markets, politics, culture, media, communications, etc – that’s new because of the new digital technologies.”
Prof Castells says it is impossible to reverse the trend of the networked society
“Some people start already living differently as they can – some because they want alternative ways of life, others because they don’t have any other choice. What I refer to is about the observation of one of my latest studies on people who have decided not to wait for the revolution – to start living differently – meaning the expansion of what I call in a technical term ‘non-capitalist practices’. They are economic practices but they don’t have a for-profit motivation – such as barter networks; such as social currencies; co-operatives; self-management; agricultural networks; helping each other simply in terms of wanting to be together; networks of providing services for free to others in the expectation that someone will also provide to you. All this exists and it’s expanding throughout the world.”
“But what happens in any process of disorganised, chaotic social change, there are all these phenomena co-existing and the way they play out, one against the other, will depend ultimately if the political institutions open up enough channels of participation for the energy that exists in society for change that could overcome the resistance of the dark forces that exist in all societies.”