Ways Out? Truth, Technology and Democracy
This chapter takes the conversation concerning post-truth discourses a step further by presenting an in-depth discussion of the proposed solutions to contemporary post-truth conditions. As shown in Chapter 5, a number of new interventions have begun to emerge, some of which have been purely speculative, while others are quite real, potentially affecting millions of people across the world. This chapter argues that these solutions can be categorized under four overall themes: (1) condemnation of post-truth culprits, (2) policing truth through legislation, (3) policing truth through technological fixes and (4) re-establishing traditional fields of truth making. Throughout the world, we see these four types of solutions flourish, as new legislation, technology and governmental units are created to monitor and combat the rise of online deception and fake news. Far from an anomaly in the development of liberal democracy, these interventions can be seen as the latest development of neoliberal restructuring and authoritarian statism, part of the post-political paradigm described in the previous chapter. The chapter argues that contemporary solutions serve to push depoliticized measures further by shifting decision-making from democratic forums to elitist mechanisms. In the last half of the chapter, we sketch out another approach to solving the current democratic crisis. Based on Mouffe’s work on radical democracy, we argue that what might be needed is not more truth, but deeper democratic institutions.