Is Internet based communication another (additional) way to form the political will because it presents a digital sphere in which political power can be criticised and controlled by agenda setting by almost anybody who has internet access. If true, would this be regarded as the idealised public sphere the philosopher Jürgen Habermas has described decades ago? Naturally, similar to the mass media there are also opinion leaders in Internet communication (nowadays marked by their klout score). There is no situation of equal users.
But can we think of the Internet not being just another medium but being a political system itself? A system which is controlled automatically just as the media theorist Vilém Flusser has described in 1990 as cybernetic society? By this he meant a society which controls itself by its communication infrastructure. He compared it with the human brain:
„If we think of society as a network, then the net can be connected in two different ways. Either there are transmitters, they are the centres where the messages are developed, and receivers receiving those messages. Such a society would have an anti-cerebral character.“
For Flusser, this was the situation of mass media.
„Or you think of a society in which there are no transmitters and receivers at all but only dialogical connections with the consequence that a message would develop from the entire society. That’s almost the way the human brain works. The brain controls itself.“
Thus, for Flusser there is no longer a category of political power since no one decides anymore but the decisions emerge from the mere process of the system.
„The society will work without looking after anybody’s interests, it’ll only work to preserve and to increase.“
Thus, the Internet would become the operating system of society.
How could this affect the traditional western constitutional separation of state and society? The German constitutional law expert Dieter Grimm questioned recently the identity of public law considering the growing significance of supranational structures. But Grimm ignored the communication sphere of the Internet and therefore a new sphere of law. Nevertheless, he was aware of a communicative change. Isn’t this change and the growing significance of supranational structures a consequence of the global network Internet? Or to put it this way, does the Internet design lead to a global uniform of law due to its technology standards, i.e. a technology determinism? If we think of this for a moment, we could ask if the technology and communication effects of the Internet lead to such a thing as a cybernetic constitution which means that law emerges from the communication process by itself. According to the constitutional law expert Carl Schmitt who pointed out that law materialises in judgement, we see that in the Internet based communication system it is the judgement that creates law. To put it in a nutshell, the judgement of the like button would become law. Law emerges from the logic of the system. If we think of this for a while, we see that not the constitution is important anymore but the circuit. The power is within the circuit. So, we’ve come full circle since we have to ask all over again (as we did within the old model of the public sphere) who (or what) is in control of the circuit? Or, to put it another way round, can a global cybernetic system of law work without forcing us to give up our traditions of law and ethics?