Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Internet Versus Democracy — Stephen S. Roach

More paradoxes of liberalism. What happens when freedom is not balanced by responsibility and rights with duties? It's increasingly on display in the US.

Project Syndicate
The Internet Versus Democracy
Stephen S. Roach, a faculty member at Yale University and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia

See also at PS

Without realizing it, Jeffrey Sachs pits a particular view of liberalism against various traditionalisms, assuming that liberalism is a quasi-religious dogma*, whereas many traditionalisms are based on actual religious dogma. For example, he speaks critically of Vladimir Putin's support of the Russian Orthodox Church. Moreover, a significant portion of Donald Trump's most focal supporters were Christian Evangelicals that also support Israel's hard-right government.

It doesn't take a genius to see where this is heading. These are red lines.

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

* Liberalism was fashioned in Europe as a secular replacement for Christendom, when the latter fell from political power subsequent to the Protestant Reformation and the religious wars that shook Europe thereafter. At the time, thought, liberalism was not yet secular humanism in that many if not most liberals were at least Deists if not members of a normative institutional religion. They just wanted religion out of governance.

Marxism was similarly fashioned as a secular replacement of the religious-based political system in Europe, which was then transferred to Russia, where the Russian Orthodox Church held sway, and also to China, where Confucianism was predominant. Since then Putin has made peace with the Russian Orthodox Church and Xi with Confucianism.
See also
The events at the US Capitol earlier this month echo important moments in history where rioters protesting the state include former veterans and political heroes. This column uses novel evidence on extreme right-wing supporters and Nazi collaborators in France to show how democratic values can be undermined by exogenous networks of influential individuals, including military heroes. Heroes are specially positioned to widen the ‘Overton window’ and legitimise views previously considered deeply repugnant. Social networks of individuals sharing such an identity can transmit and reinforce this influence, leading to escalating commitments that entrench political positions and make debiasing more difficult.
The good old Overton window.

Heroes and villains: How networks of influential individuals helped destroy one of the world’s most durable democracies and legitimise a racist, authoritarian stateJulia Cagé, Anna Dagorret, Pauline Grosjean, Saumitra Jha

Same-o, same-o. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

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Peter Pan said...

Censorship leads to violence.
Technocratic control is no substitute for corrupt governance.

I guess some people never learn.

Ahmed Fares said...

re: Right of reply

The right of reply or right of correction generally means the right to defend oneself against public criticism in the same venue where it was published. In some countries, such as Brazil, it is a legal or even constitutional right. In other countries, it is not a legal right as such, but a right which certain media outlets and publications choose to grant to people who have been severely criticised by them, as a matter of editorial policy.

Right of reply

Andrew Anderson said...

More paradoxes of liberalism. What happens when freedom is not balanced by responsibility and rights with duties? Tom Hickey

What freedom are you talking about? I see a land of rent, debt and wage slaves with true economic freedom reserved for fewer and fewer.

And btw, how does the MMT School plan to free the slaves?

Peter Pan said...

Freedom to do or say whatever we want - which we don't have, since there exists the rule of law.