Not unexpectedly, the protests over the recent Mexican election (which will go nowhere) have led to bloviations about Twitter and Facebook and the blogosphere yadda yadda. My skepticism about the political effect of the Internet is well-known. Here I pointed out that the Egyptian government readily shut it down during the rebellion. Here I mentioned that revolutionary activity spread further and just as fast in the mid-nineteenth century. And here I presented evidence that most revolutionary mobilization in Egypt took place via ... printed leaflets.
“If I had known that you would be a cowardly Mexican, then I would’ve stuck to taking care of my cows. I didn’t have the Internet or Facebook, and I made a revolution. You, you’re too lazy to march for your rights. But hey, ‘Viva México,’ right?”
Right. I actually don’t think the recent Mexican election was fraudulent, and I still say right. The internet has made political mobilization easier — but only for those who were going to mobilize without it.