Chapter 27. Political Sustainability

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A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.

John Lennon

Anyone who lived through the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign knows that the network can help mobilize citizens and bring them together in meaningful ways to effect political change. The impact can be as simple as facilitating information sharing and as complex as impacting election outcomes. From Obama’s massive Internet campaign contribution machine to the organizing tactics used by both the Republican and Democratic political parties, the 2008 U.S. elections were a vision into the future of how the network will affect the politics of tomorrow. It’s a way for politicians to touch all their constituents, it helps create an informed population and is an enabling platform for their voices to be heard, and it also helps make politicians more accountable. To put it simply, the network is becoming the conduit for political sustainability.

We cannot underestimate the value and transformative change that can come from simply creating a repository of information that can be accessed on a global scale. Millions of people are turning to the Internet to become informed and to exercise their rights, using their connections to rally support, call attention to pressing needs, or uncover corruption and injustices, all of which can potentially create political systems that ...

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