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Democracy Under Siege From Autocrats, Social Media and Its Own Failures


But China has made it clear that it sees the United States and its democracy in its final decline, while it has been careful at home to control or censor what some see as its key motives. that decline, especially social media and the internet.

Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, said that the digitization of the political space and the confusion between truth and lie have undermined democracy.

“The digital revolution has not only changed the organization of nations and societies, it has also changed our brains,” he said in an interview. “There can be no democracy without a common ground for debate. And what is the outcome of a political debate? Most people centered around shared truths, shared observations, and shared diagnoses. But in the age of the digital revolution, there is no such thing.”

Social media is “a different mental universe” and “there is no single truth,” but “at the core of democracy is the distinction between truth and lies,” he said. “That is the important political question today, because our liberal democracies are being deeply undermined by this digital revolution and by the process of social depersonalization.”

Bernard Spitz, lawyer and advisor to Medef, the largest employer organization in France, agrees that globalization and digitization have transformed democratic societies, “and like all revolutions networks, they can bring out the best and the worst”, including doubts about democracy and stability, more obvious extremism, and “democratic breakdown”.

But tied to the new digital world of social media, there is another challenge to emerging democracy, and that is generational. Young people are most concerned with climate change, which they see as existential, and less concerned with liberal democracy, Mr. Le Maire said. “For the younger generation, climate is the main issue – the center of their political perception of climate change.”



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