Social media: The new “mass dictatorship” of the 21st century

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It is possible to equate such a hateful political formation as Nazism with modern digital technology (and any of… bougainvillea)? Well-known American writer, journalist and respected political scientist Robert Kaplan, in an extensive article in the American media, says “yes”, accusing social media such as Twitter and Facebook as tools that contribute to a peculiar digital “dictatorship”, a “tyranny of the masses” which destroys every expression of individualism and personal expression in the afflicted 21The century, to the point of undermining the very institution of the Western-style Republic.

“The mass ideologies of the 20th century, such as Nazism and Communism, have humiliated and destroyed right reason. However, these ideologies reveal more than we would like to admit about our personal political extremes, “Kaplan said. Austrian-American diplomat Robert Strauss-Hope, who spoke of the “black sheep of the Industrial Revolution”, meaning the tens of millions of people who ended up in the early 20sου century to fight in various class and tribal wars, instigated exclusively by the media of the time.

And in the context of industrialization, wonderful things may have happened in the world at the time, from railroads to radio stations and the birth of cinema, but Kaplan explains that “technology has continued to evolve, so much so that it is solely responsible for what went wrong in the 20th and then in the 21stThe century “.

The political scientist and political analyst supports, in short, what his colleague notes, Elias Canetti and in his study “Mass and Power” since 1960, [«το πιο διορατικό βιβλίο για την κρίση της Δύσης κατά τα τελευταία εκατό χρόνια», σύμφωνα με τον Κάπλαν]: that is, the two sovereign dictatorial regimes of the last century, o Nazism and communism, had in common two extremely crucial points, namely “the security of the masses and the longing for absolute purity.”

According to Canetti, the origin of “mass” as a socio-political concept, arises from the need of the lonely individual to reconcile with those around him. But as his voice can not be heard [ακριβώς επειδή είναι μόνος σε ένα σχεδόν εχθρικό περιβάλλον], he finally succeeds and dominates through this mass that is jointly expressed with one voice. «The masses consider themselves to be absolutely immaculate, having reached the highest, the highest level of virtue. “Therefore, one of the goals of the masses is to pursue, ‘sensitize’ and bring back to the right path all those who are not sufficiently virtuous,” Kaplan said.

The masses of today

This is where modern digital technology enters the dialectical equation, first the radio and the newspapers, now Twitter and Facebook which are the most hated tools in terms of “mass tyranny”, a tyranny that is reflected in the almost daily cannibalism of users “To destroy the person in front of them, as they do not consider it virtuous enough in their eyes.”

“Now, in the 21st century, people are coming together to become mass, through digital networks. And it is there that an unprecedented intimidation of dissidents takes place through a declared monopoly of virtue. If you do not agree with us, not only are you wrong, but your moral compass is damaged, and therefore you must not only be denounced but also humiliated and destroyed on an individual level.“, Kaplan states emphatically, then making the necessary” connections “with our recent past:

“Both Nazism, as well as communism were “utopian ideologies”, ie “virtuous systems” in the consciousness of their supporters“, He points out, adding that today’s social media” are sinking and at the same time drawing power from the masses, where they demand virtue in its purest form. “

“The unquenchable desire for this kind of purity combined with the tyranny of social media found in hands of young people [οι οποίοι, με την σειρά τους, δυστυχώς έχουν περιορισμένη αντίληψη του παρελθόντος] threatens to create the most terrifying mobs in history “, Kaplan emphasizes with obvious meaning.

Eventually, as he argues, we will end up soon, with a digital coercion regime to be imposed by the masses and then, on an individual level, to a pervasive self-censorship, which is the cornerstone of all forms of totalitarianism.

«This ultimately leads to a society motivated by the indifferent, the insignificant and the commonplace. “Absolute evil can certainly be tackled, but it is more difficult to oppose a Pharisaic obedience.”

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