When talking about the internet, we like to assume it is a powerful utility that enhances democracy. But instead of improving our understanding and informing our political choices, social networks and social media actually narrows the debate and closes down free speech. Electorates across the world are being manipulated by tech monopolies that are collating our data and using it to appeal to our prejudices. In short, digital is killing democracy. We went to the Netherlands to meet André Krouwel, a political scientist who thinks differently about the power and influence of social media.
One can’t fault a casual reader for getting the idea that Spain takes its law and order seriously. The season finale of the Catalonia Spain drama seems to be drawing to an end. But for those more familiar with the country, this is an example of the Spanish government’s cynical hypocrisy. By amplifying a political problem into a full blown constitutional crisis, PM Mariano Rajoy and the Partido Popular (PP) are deflecting attention from the core issues facing Spain, namely their corruption.
NATO wants Europe to upgrade its roads, bridges and rail networks. Not because of dilapidated infrastructure, or to make it easier for people to travel across the continent – let alone their own countries – but so they can handle the weight of its heavy tanks and military equipment for what it deems an inevitable invasion of Russia. Though it has yet to commit a single crime, up to 10,000 NATO troops have amassed on Russia’s border states, in lieu of a war that hasn’t happened yet.
We can only wonder if Madrid is under the delusion that simply taking over Catalonia’s government and having elections is their silver bullet solution. It is too dogmatic to understand that it is creating political martyrs for the independence movement to be inspired by.