Political debate is poisoned in the West. Suddenly, radicals of all persuasions are roaming the streets and even get elected. How did this happen? If someone asked me to give a snapshot of the current politics of the West in January 2019, this is what I would reply:
“The people have voted against their own best interest”
The hurdles to be considered democratic as a country are laughably low, both in academica and more public debates. Understanding democracy as something that warrants a minimal defintion is dangerous and harmful to democracy as a concept.
It seems that British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica illegally gained access to over 50m Facebook user profiles to mine these for personal information that enabled them to create very personalized political messages. This form of data-driven and target-specific political communication has been critiqued widely.
“You’ll see who’s laughing at the end” and “People who still believe X will soon see themselves on the wrong side of history”.
On jobs, career, and money in a time of digitalization, unemployment, and inequality
Keep these basics in mind to have more fruitful poliitcal discussions.
On the 16/2 the US Department of Justice announced that it was indicating 13 Russian individuals for actively interfering in the 2016 US Presidential election. What had been suspected for quite some time, now seems sufficiently evidenced.
Is it democracy if there is nobody to vote for who represents your views?
The recent polarization of public opinion on major societal issues has seen a rise in dogmatic thinking and failure of discourse. The psychology of cult behaviour can give valuable insight into why people are drawn to ideologies and what can be done to open the public debate.