Most of us thought digital technology would connect the whole world in new ways. The Internet was supposed to break down those last boundaries between what are essentially synthetic nation states and herald a new, global community of peers.
National governments were considered extinct. Internet evangelist (and Grateful Dead lyricist) John Barlow dismissed them in his Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace 20 years ago: “I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us.”
But the Internet age has actually heralded the opposite result. We are not advancing toward some new global society, but instead retreating back to nationalism. Instead of moving toward a colors of Benetton racial intermingling, we find many yearning for a fictional past when people like to think our races were distinct, and all was well.
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