Do new “smart” technologies such as AI, robotics, social media, and automation threaten to disrupt our society? Or does technological innovation hold the potential to transform our democracies and civic societies, creating ones that are more egalitarian and accountable? Disruptive Democracy explores these questions and examines how technology has the power to reshape our civic participation, our economic and political governance, and our entire existence. In this innovative study, the authors use international examples such as Trump’s America, and Bolsonaro’s recent election as President of Brazil, to lead the discussion on perhaps the most profound political struggle of the 21st century, the coming clash between a progressive “Techno-democracy” and a regressive “Techno-populism”.

Outdated Democracy: The Fall of Capitalist Technopoly
Outdated Democracy: The Fall of Capitalist Technopoly

It is perhaps hard to remember in retrospect, as inequality grows, the threat of climate change looms and democracy is increasingly globally under attack, that the free market was originally greeted by many with a sense of profound hope and optimism. In the US, where it in many ways first achieved victory, it came on the back of President Jimmy Carter’s declaration in the late 1970s that the US was suffering a ‘crisis of confidence that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will’. By contrast, Reagan and his free market acolytes were promising a new dawn that celebrated individual freedom and the entrepreneurial spirit. Across the ...

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