The direction of evolution of “the political culture” in times of violent expansion of informative techniques

Piotr Pawlak


The most generally speaking, the question which I would desire to state within the course of my report is to look at widely understood, indirect and direct influence of Internet on ,,the political culture” – regarding its individual components as well as its consequences for legislative institutions but also for democratic informative societies’ governments. It will be then the attempt to answer the matter of direction of changes which will become its part as the effect of alterations within societies which are concurrent to their transformations towards the electronic technology of informative communities with the Internet spreading with unusual dynamics as the main strength of those changes.

The term “political culture” relates to all values, the system of attitudes as well as norms and rules of behaviors, assimilated by different participants of political life (and the public meeting both ruling, as well as ruled). Science in course of investigation has distinguished main types as well as functions of “the political culture”. That is why we can distinguish the following types;

“parish” – marked by small interest of society in matters of political nature, and so the citizens’ faint participation in political life.

“submissive” -characterized in a way that the participants of this type of culture possess about complexity of political system knowledge, as well as of the mechanisms of holding political power, yet their attitude is submissive and they tend to stick to political decisions made for them (regardless of whether they are estimated by citizens as fair or unfair).

“participating” – characteristic for societies with democratic political systems. Citizens aim to obtain full range of facts of political life in order to participate actively (at least by voting in elections).

The types introduced by me have model character. In modern societies the “political culture” of “mixed” type is common. It performs three basic functions;

“regulating” – depending on arrangement and standardizing the political works with the help of the definite norms as well as institutionalization of political life.

“the socialization” – marking the process of ingress of members to the given society in political culture (shaping the opinions, attitudes and hierarchy of values, assimilating knowledge about the system).

“integrative” – lying at basics of common efforts of individuals and groups in endeavor to achieving the definite values and goods. It depends on checking of identity of existing norms and political institutions as well as the whole system.

That is the shortest way the notion can be introduced.

Many men wonder what will come out of imposition of computer revolution on inherited from the past “political culture” as well as what will be the influence on shape of future democracy. The skeptics are afraid of “the degeneration” of democratic traditions, as well as the growth of anarchistic tendencies. Enthusiasts see in expansion of the Internet and informative society far advantages for democracy and perceive it as very important for its further development. Though many skeptics believe that past did not deliver unambiguous proofs, I would like to prove, with the help of concrete examples (such as among many other things, loud during later presidential elections in Poland – virtual candidate’s project) that progressive initiation in new informative techniques leads to “refreshment” of democracy and wider commitment to political participation, and what follows – it foretells types changes of “the political cultures” of individual states or regions in the direction of larger pressure on their “participating” type as well as the “the socialization” function. Changes in political culture will widely influence many sociopolitical phenomena, such as i.e. polling processes or means and forms of social control of representatives chosen during them. These changes should necessarily be accompanied by appropriate moves and changes in legal system. This way, in my opinion, by determining changes in political culture, the expansion of informative techniques influences the directions as well as pace of legislative institutions’ work in informative societies, what I’d like to emphasize in course of my report. That’s what in general my thesis is. Changes described by me shall influence the future shape of both democratic, as well as and non-democratic societies. What I would like to mark clearly in my report is that they also bring considerable challenges for governments, based on necessity of leading such politics, which enable informative societies with unconstrained access to all technical achievements as well as information, providing them with appropriate dynamics of development.

In spite of the facts of investigations showing that the Internet favors individualism the man will always remain social creature as well as formation and development of new centers of communication always had some positive repercussions on the interest of members of societies and political processes. Therefore I do not see obstacles which would disable the process this time. Actually the Internet lets the real John Doe to gain a high level of knowledge of political life. It makes it difficult for dictatorships to exist (by means of hiding some facts off the face of world public) making one-sided propaganda and indoctrinations impossible and eventually it becomes more and more ,,friendly” in administering even for users with lower technical knowledge level becoming more and more common. The examples to prove my thesis can be further multiplied but I shall not do this because only general performance of my idea is the aim of that document.

I realize the extent of problem which could be the subject to yet quite considerable book. Yet the fact that the taken up by me matter is as science relatively young and being opened all the time stays yet deprived of comprehensive literature, which in my opinion lets me treat it somehow generally, yet sensibly enough to match the requirements of report in respect to volume bringing by the way something in fact essential and interesting to the course of conference discussion.