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Internet enthusiasts come in two flavors: utopians and populists. The rhetoric of both camps is revolutionary, but the revolutions are different.
Utopians believe that the Internet provides promising new solutions to our most intractable problems. With enough tweets, all global bugs—war, poverty, illiteracy, fascism—can be quashed.
Populists promise no such lofty goals. They see the profound social confusion sown by the Internet as a historic opportunity to snatch power from elites and their institutions and redistribute it more evenly among netizens, the ordinary citizens who have been empowered by the Internet. Like the participatory democrats of earlier eras, the populists want a more direct democracy, and they think that most social institutions, from the traditional media to political organizations, are unnecessary ballast. Boston Review — Evgeny Morozov: Sharing Liberally