Via Global Thinkers, an interview on social networks:
Q: Being connected: There is a surprising power in social networks. They seem to shape our lives one way or another. How do you view this trend?
A: I’m deeply encouraged by people’s desire to associate with one another more broadly and more deeply. Society is the dynamic process of human cooperation and, today, this process is often catalysed by electronic networks which have no boundaries. In a sense, we have created positive virtual spaces which are free of the disruptive effects of state intervention. My hope is that this phenomenon will promote an understanding that a positive, open and progressive society should be increasingly free of the coercive power of the state.
Q: Social networks: can they impact politics, political or/and social change?
A: The answer is somewhat mixed. On the one hand, I do believe that society can become more free and progressive as a result of the growth of social networks. On the other, many people thought the 2010 general election would be “the first internet election” but, in the event, online campaigning had little effect. Real political and social change will emerge organically over a longer period of time. I suspect formal politics will become increasingly irrelevant as social networks, in the broadest sense, become richer and more diverse. The challenge is connecting that trend with the election of politicians who are willing to take the state out of the way.
Read the rest of the interview here.