This video I believe speaks volumes about some of the fears we (younger people especially) feel about the future of democracy. 100 years ago and earlier, the people ultimately had the power. While a large military force could force them to an extent, the masses could not be COMPLETELY controlled by the government with out mass destruction to the entirety of society. Today, technological advances that are rapidly evolving can create an environment in the near future where COMPLETE control could be possible. From drones to biological abilities, scientific advances today are becoming frightening to those who fear the possible evil uses of such technology.
Throughout our readings we have encounter the notion that the people must be educated in a democracy a number of times. Rousseau explains that the populace must be properly formulated in order to realize their true general will. Schmitt reminded us that Dictatorship complies with democracy as a temporary means to accomplish that task. How can the people know what’s best for them or what they desire without understanding the stakes?
In that video, Sagan emphasizes that the need for the public to be informed is becoming increasingly important. However, I believe it is also becoming increasingly challenging. While inventions such as the Internet seem to bring knowledge right to us (this video for instance), knowing the difference between truth and fiction can be a challenge. We all hope that the large world powers worldwide stay primarily truthful, not too closed-doored, and that the media is fed honest information. However, today hiding information and covering up new technologies is surely possible for large world powers.
Sagan is not saying that we all need to become scientists in order to protect ourselves. Instead, he tells us that the general public needs to be skeptical and very aware of what is or may be occurring in laboratories or large technological corporations. We need to understand the deep implications certain recent liberties given to the NSA have on our freedoms. Honig’s belief that agnostic democracy (one where the people actively fear and fight the rulers) is the best democracy rings very true in the face of this issue. As they are gaining more powers than ever, large powers must be monitored to insure some level sanctity in nations around the globe.
I’d like not to sound negative, pessimistic, or a conspiracy theory advocate. Nonetheless, I’m a firm believer in the need for information ESPECIALLY about science and technology to be free and open to the public. It is all to easy today for information to be twisted and covered up. However, what are we to do?
A final side note, the theoretic invention of AI (Artificial Intelligence) could easy be (as we’ve seen in plenty of movies) detrimental to society. I suppose we could lie the term foreign founder on some super smart robot designed to restructure society in a way best for all people. The scary yet loved hero figure we encounter in foreign founder narratives might one day be a result of science and technology… now that’s a thought. Long Live Democracy, honest information, and Democracy Theory!