Examining the effects of the Internet on American politics, this book reveals its potential as a tool for empowering people to challenge existing power structures. However, the authors show how the American political system tends to normalize political activity, and thus the Internet's vast subversive potential could be lost, rendering it just another purveyor of ignored information.
Chapter 6: Doing Business on the Web: New Rules and New Taxes?
The “normalization of cyberspace” thesis we outlined in Chapter 1 implies that as virtual reality evolves it loses its strangeness and comes to resemble the real world. We see cyberspace as maturing from a virtual state of nature into an extension of civil society. Our lives have not been radically transformed, and the excessive hopes and fears of early observers of cyberspace have not been fulfilled. Rather than becoming a postindustrial totalitarian menace or the means for a Utopian transformation of society, the Internet has become integrated into our existing reality. Cyberspace has not transformed the multitudes. The millions of new netizens and the political and ...