chapter  5
21 Pages

Restoring Democracy

ByJohan Farkas, Jannick Schou

This chapter turns to the solutions currently proposed to solve the post-truth crisis of Western democracies. It looks into the different visions of how democracy can be “saved.” Doing so, it argues that calls have first of all aimed at re-establishing the position of the traditionally privileged truth-speaking fields of politics, science and journalism. The idea has been to once again turn these “pillars of truth” into stable grounds for democracy. Second, some authors have argued for interventions premised on “immunizing” citizens against misinformation. A number of measures have been proposed to induce small doses of misinformation to create fake news “antibodies” in the population. Third, technology has also been called upon as simultaneously a cause of and remedy for overcoming the post-truth conundrum. AI, machine learning and other technological innovations are suggested as answers to the seemingly unstoppable barrage of misinformation, not least by big tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter. The chapter ends by arguing that, while these solutions point in different directions, they all share a certain set of underlying premises: they all take the crisis of truth to be principally about truth. This means that a link between rationality and democracy is presupposed in the current interventions seeking to overcome the contemporary democratic crisis. While there is little consensus on particular interventions, the underlying normative ideas largely remain the same.