July 26, 2003
A grandiose vision for blogs
From Slate, Andrew Sullivan makes a good case for the beneficial impact that blogs have on liberalism in Are Weblogs Changing Our Culture? By Kurt Andersen and Andrew Sullivan. Excerpt:
I think over the past couple of decades, liberalism in its classic sense has been under threat. Not just from crazy theocrats abroad but from P.C. paternalism and religious-right activism at home. The formation of solid camps of thought, and the punishment of heretics, and the maintenance of orthodoxy on all sides have inhibited a free discourse in ideas. And part of the reason for that was the limit on the numbers of vehicles for expression. After all, there aren't that many genuinely intellectual mags in this country, and the battle to influence them can be intense. But the fragmentation of media, accelerated by blogs, can break this up some and allow more complicated or unusual voices to emerge, without their having to ask permission or fight for space or suck up to people already in charge. If, say, the writers at Indegayforum had had no option but to try and get into the established gay press—which has been, until recently, extremely P.C.—it would have taken up a huge amount of time and led to enormous angst and wasted energy. Blogging circumvented that. It widens the sphere of possible voices exponentially. That's wonderful news for the culture as a whole. And for liberalism in its deepest sense.