In this presentation I discuss how the agenda of political discussions has changed in the light of the success of internet-based communicative media. I argue that the internet should not primarily be analysed as to its interactivating potentials, because this is a rather dubious notion since the interactive aspects of internet-based media may be counterbalanced by pacifying aspects. I take a Derridean turn instead, and argue that the main impact of the internet is that it reshapes actuvirtuality, which Derrida defined as that aspect of virtuality that is no longer opposed to reality, but strategically interpenetrates it. The internet opens a room for virtual experiments, through the web’s relative emancipation from national and physical constraints. This opens a space for virtual problematizations of the political reality. I demonstrate how this virtual dimension is of value for those who want to change the political reality (revolutionaries), but also how vulnerable it is to neutralization by more conservative groups (the status quo). The tools for neutralization arise from the same condition that makes the experiments possible: the relative emancipation from national and physical constraints. If radical change is to use the internet as a privileged mode to achieve its ends, it is thus necessary that it be supplemented with more reflectively oriented approaches.
Culture, Politics, Ethics. Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 2009, p. 183-190