Which tech makes liberals believe in conspiracies?
Deepfakes videos? Virtual Reality? Nah.
How could the most rational ruling elite in history have fallen for the most dangerous toxin in politics, asks John Gray? His answer is not new, and goes like this:
1: Until quite recently, liberals strongly believed that there are no conspiracies of any historical importance, and even if dark forces were scheming to block the advance of progress, they would surely fail, eventually.
2: [Then] after Trump, Brexit and populism in general, “the most dangerous toxin in politics” spread even among progressives: the belief that progress is being wilfully undermined and reversed by clandestine means.
3: Yes, Russia DOES try to meddle in Western politics. But the the mistrust and loss of credibility in liberals are so big that it can only be their of their own making. It is what they collect from sowing disinformation about Iraq War, plus the 2008 meltdown, global financial crisis, austerity politics, support for large-scale immigration and denouncing as racist whoever suggested the latter “might have costs”, especially for the working poor
4: [Still] Nothing will induce liberals to accept that they have authored their own undoing. They are so rational! If they were ever at fault, it was in not being liberal enough. Conspiracy theory exonerate from responsibility.
5: The paranoid mindset is not confined to politics. Anti-vaxxers and climate-change deniers regard well-founded science as fraud perpetrated by sinister interests.
And here comes the interesting part
6: The danger is that new technologies can make this chronic suspicion about everything seem a rational way of living. “Deepfake” videos, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality technologies may blur the distinction between actual and imaginary worlds so much that it becomes almost invisible.
Never mind about liberal policies. Or errors
As far as this post is concerned, it does not matter at all whether liberal policies are right or wrong. It does not matter at all. The only point of this post is to suggest that:
- Difficulties DO exist, among progressives worldwide, to process more efficiently instances from other parts of society about (at least) the issues in point 4
- Yes, digital technologies and platforms are one of the reasons for this crisis
- But NOT the ones listed in point 6 above
If liberals have indeed fallen prey of “the most dangerous toxin in politics”, by far the first and most likely culprits are platforms that can’t help but maximize outrage.
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