“Science Gathers Knowledge Faster Than Society Gathers Wisdom"
DEMOCRACY & TECHNOLOGY
SAVING DEMOCRACY FROM DISINFORMATION
Who owns democracy? When we vote, is it for candidates of our choice, or for a small group of individuals that are vetted and supported by the rich who ultimately call the shots with regards to economic and social policy.
Presently, it takes in excess of $10 million to run for the U.S. Senate. For President? A minimum of $500 million. Where does a candidate get that type of money? For the most part, from political Action Committees (PACs) in the service of the top 1% of Americans who – since the financial crisis -- have pocketed 85% of total income growth.
If we think of democracy as a political system founded on the empowerment of the individual, what kind of democracy will we have if both the Federal and State governments are subservient to technocrats and a business elite whose only loyalty is to the bottom line?
When presented with machines that are less costly and more efficient than human labor, the inevitable choice will be in favor of efficiency. To do otherwise would result in higher costs and a loss of competitiveness. But what happens after the choice is made? What happens to the displaced workers who will either not be able to find jobs or be forced to take menial work at a far lower pay rate?
When downgraded to a lower economic status, some people will withdraw from the political process, believing that they are helpless in the face of economic forces that are indifferent to their plight. Others will opt for a scapegoating form of populism driven by racism and intolerance.
The unstoppable advance of technology as well as how it will impact the nature of work is therefore a critical issue that will impact not only our economic lives but the future of democracy.