Tonight, while watching Bill Clinton speak at the Democratic National Convention on television, I couldn't help but think about how the themes of his speech relate to the themes discussed in 'Lessons from the History of the Internet'. Castells repeatedly stresses the importance of working collaboratively in the development and growth of the Internet. Similarly, Clinton expresses his deep belief in cooperation [as it relates to political parties interacting with one another, and the people as a whole] for the success of the nation. The Internet's great advancement is a perfect working example of why and how taking a communitarian approach is advantageous.
The Internet was built with a great deal of cooperation among groups and individuals with common goals and values. Significantly, those who were primarily responsible for setting the foundation for what the Internet has become were primarily concerned with acting in the public's interest. Instead of seeking profit, they sought to improve university research and national defense. Another key factor was the preservation of free access to the information within the networks. Instead of being governed by greed, the history of the Internet is largely characterized by openness and receptivity to others- and its great success was generated through mutual support of all contributors. This closely parallels the ideas Clinton expressed about what this nation needs to 'achieve peace, justice and prosperity in a highly competitive world'. What he says is hard to summarize in just a few words, but the idea is that we must acknowledge that we are all in this together. Through this acknowledgement, we realize that we have shared responsibilities and opportunities, and in embracing this fact we can essentially overcome anything.
Here is a link to Clinton's speech: