The massive communication and the citizen’s participation in politics
Currently, the social networks have turn into the tools of the construction of a world with an interconnection that can not be compared. This technological development of the massive communication, has produced lots of variations in the daily live of many people, in relation with their way of interacting with the rest of the society; and furthermore, the citizen’s massive participation in politics has become more common with the finality of expressing the sensation of diverse groups about certain socially relevant topics. In this sense, we do not need more than a couple of hours to gather a big group of people unknown between each other, but united by a common idea, with the finality of initiating an explicit opposition against a government.
Latin America has been a witness of lots of protests in the last months; for instance, this year in Argentina, a citizens’ furious protest was caused by a train accident that happened in Buenos Aires; the last year in Chile were produced many students’ mobilizations to demand a free public education with good quality; in Brasil, on 2011, the labor unions went out to the streets to ask a rise in their salaries; while Perú today is undergoing a hard social environment due to the social protests against the mining activities, because of the affectations of the ecology in certain rural zones of that country.
** The Relative Privation as the basis of the social protests**
All the protests have a common origin in dissatisfaction of people whose liberties have been suppressed in some way; nevertheless, just as it is proposed in the book of Ted Robert Gurr, which is called “Why men rebel”, there can also exist some social protests based on a mere perception or sensation of privation of certain assets; which create a circumstance called “Relative Privation”.
Due to those perceptions, lots of social groups that believe that it is impossible to obtain certain assets or values, end up choosing protesting in the streets, blaming to the political authorities without having made a earlier analysis to decide the authentic responsibility of every single actor in each certain social context. Moreover, we can find also a “Relative Privation” when a social group claims being suffering a privation of assets or life’s states which do not really exist; and that is exactly what end up turning the massive media and the social protests into mechanisms used to unload citizen’s frustration. We should not forget that the governments, sometimes, can say that “they can be more than what they are” and that “they can do more than what they can really do”; just because sometimes it can be politically profitable. That political behavior is what generates, along the years in the society, a false expectation of purchasing certain assets, values or life’s states, which are practically unreachable in the reality.
The political interests of the groups of power that canalized the social protests
We know that the dissatisfaction produced by the privation of assets or values; is the encouragement to get involved in politics and to participate in social protests, which most of the time are under the influence of the institutional support of certain groups of power within the society. Therefore, it is necessary to ask ourselves whether in a certain political participation deployed by the citizens; are we fighting to get the vindication of rightful rights of certain groups; or if are we just collaborating to strengthen the political power of a certain institutionalized group that has been in charge of developing and catalyzing a social protest based on a real privation or even a relative one.
Finally, we can conclude that it is possible to link the technological development of the media in huge scale, with the rising of the citizen’s participation in politics; which most of the times is materialized in social protests. Nevertheless, we consider necessary to ask us the following questions:
“Are we aware of our role within the society and of the power that we have to generate spaces of political participation, through the public protests?”,
“Until what point can we claim that the social protests have a objective basis and that they are not just based on “relative privations” of a certain social group?; therefore, do we protest for what we feel we should receive or for what we know we must receive?” and
“Is it possible that the social protests are canalized by groups of power that are interested just in obtaining political leadership?”