Does Technology Let The Loser Write Their History As Well?
In my last political science 101 discussion, we were trying to conclude if the winner was the one who always wrote the history books. If this is true, than certainly all judgements of morality can be thrown aside and we can only think in practicality. Obviously, Machiavelli would endorse this way of thinking. However another member of my class (I must give credit where credit is due) brought up a very interesting exception to the rule of the victors writing history.
This person stated that technology and new social media (cell phones, facebook, twitter, etc.) has created greater accessibility for any party in a conflict to better share their side of the story. Do these new innovations really negate Machiavelli’s arguments? I would argue yes. Just look at the Iranian election riots that started the summer of 2009.
After the reelection of Iranian president Mohamoud Ahmadinejad, protests began to spring up in support of the more moderate, pro-democratic, opposition candidate. Sporting green as the color or resistance, these protesters were able to send their message out using cell phone pictures and videos, twitter, and facebook. While the state of Iran has an incredible power of coercion and punishment, and the government banned the use of such technology and media presence during the protests, the resistance was able to overcome all this. The protests were eventually stopped, the actions of the pro-democratic riots in Iran serve as a perfect example of how a loser, using new technology and social media, can overpower a more dominant state.