This is a blog about technology, politics and law. It’s about how we organise and manage ourselves the way we do, how consensus is formed and how it evolves, and how individual, minority and group rights and freedoms are rationalised in diverse settings. It is a blog particularly concerned with technology, globalisation, and advertising, three elements that both define and reveal things about our nature. All of these things are, to a greater or lesser degree, measurable in the concept of State Legitimacy, this amorphous and fragile social contract that varies in form from country to country. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is a blog about philosophy: political philosophy, the philosophy of mind, and ethics all enter the equation at various stages.
Some of the questions I’m interested in are:
- As globalisation and liberal democratic structures spread around the world, interconnecting economies and sucking up state sovereignty into a virtual superstructure, how is the legitimacy of the state changing? If it is being eroded, are people becoming more or less free?
- As family, community and religious structures break down, and social interconnectedness changes dramatically, how does that change the way people organise themselves?
- As technology (particularly Big Data) makes us better able to measure, monitor and analyse social and political trends, what are the models that we should use to describe our society, and our political structures? Can we achieve Popper’s hypothesis: can we predict revolutions?
- Can the concepts of alienation, disenchantment, discontent and anomie (Feuerbach / Marx, Weber, Freud, Durkheim) help us to understand the relationship between technology and society? Why is our current condition so bewildering?
Anthony Behan, October 2017