Technology and authoritarianism

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Technology and authoritarianism Empty Technology and authoritarianism

Post by Sir Pun on Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:48 am

Even wonder if theres a natural correlation between technological societies and authoritarianism? As in the more technological the society, the more authoritarian it becomes.

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Post by Bryant on Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:22 am

Yes and no. North Korea is technologically 50-80 years behind South Korea, yet South Korea is much less authoritarian (worth noting, S. Korea became more advanced as it became less authoritarian). Several African and Middle East countries are brutally authoritarian, yet have very limited access to electricity. On the other hand, technology makes it easier to for a government to monitor people's activities.
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Post by Marconius on Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:49 am

Nope, correlation is the lazier a society gets.....the more tyrannical a government can become......at least in our form of government. Some societies are set up for tyrannical rule. The authoritarian nature of Islam leaves the door open for continued tyranny. Same with the tribalism of Africa or the subservient nature of many on the Asian continent.

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Technology and authoritarianism Empty Re: Technology and authoritarianism

Post by Sir Pun on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:39 pm

But technology means much more than electronics. Could it be said that a permament settlement would be more authoritarian than a hunter-gatherer group? Basically bringing more people together in order to be controlled?

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Technology and authoritarianism Empty Re: Technology and authoritarianism

Post by Miles1 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:38 am

Sir Pun wrote:But technology means much more than electronics. Could it be said that a permament settlement would be more authoritarian than a hunter-gatherer group? Basically bringing more people together in order to be controlled?

Well, you can't have authoritarian governments without a basic minimum level of technology, is sort of hard to have tyrannical control over a bunch of hunter-gatherers who can just piss off somewhere else to hunt & gather whenever you get too hard on them.... :-P

You don't need high technology to be authoritarian, there were plenty of nations/city-states that you could consider authoritarian going back to the middle ages/dark ages (or even further back). If we're talking about modern technology though, it can be a double-edged sword. On one side, it makes it easier for the authorities to track/snoop on people, on the other, it makes the opposition to the regime more decentralized and harder to stamp on - most of the more recent protests against authorities (the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul) were started/organized/managed not by a central group having planning meetings that the government could infiltrate/raid, but by random people/groups of people on cell phones or social media. Is sort of hard to crush the opposition when they never actually meet but communicate over anonymous twitter accounts....

Also, the internet/cell phones make it harder for the oppressive governments to keep things secret, back in the old days the government owned the TV, newspapers and radio stations (or could control them at least) and so it could squash/suppress any stories it didn't want getting out. Now, there are too many ways the news can get out, the authorities can try to shut down/filter the internet backbones and turn off the cell towers (which the Libyans, Syrians, Egyptians and Turks all tried), but all you need is someone with a SIM card from the country next door to get near enough the border to get in signal range, and the news is out. Plus, by trying to lock things down like that, they are straight away raising a red flag that there's something going on - if an entire city/country drops off the internet suddenly, people outside are going to notice and start asking why.

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