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The Next Great Experiment

The Atlantic - Technology

And can technology help save democracy? We received an overwhelming response. Our contributors widely view 2017 as a moment of reckoning. They are concerned with many aspects of democratic life and put a spotlight in particular on correcting institutional failures that have contributed most to inequality of access--to education, information, and voting--as well as to ideological divisiveness and the spread of misinformation. They also offer concrete solutions for how citizens, corporations, and governmental bodies can improve the free flow of reliable information, pull one another out of ever-deepening partisan echo chambers, rebuild spaces for robust and civil discourse, and shore up the integrity of the voting process itself.



The Athenian Plague, a Cautionary Tale of Democracy's Fragility

The New Yorker

We continue to admire Athens's architectural splendor, stage its tragedies and comedies, and marvel, especially, at much that its democracy (the world's first) wrought: participatory government, equal treatment before the law in private disputes, a distaste for class consciousness, juries made up of citizens, and tolerance about others' personal lives. But soon after Pericles gave that prideful speech, the original democracy got sick. In 430–429 B.C.E., Athens was devastated by a mysterious epidemic, which reared its head again a few years later. Tens of thousands of people died, perhaps as many as one-third of Athenians. Society was ravaged, and the military, which was in the early stages of a brutal twenty-seven-year war against Sparta, was debilitated for many years.


Republican Leaders Issue Meek Statements In Response to Capitol Siege

Slate

Donald Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday in a violent attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election. They beat back the small number of law enforcement officers guarding the Capitol, broke windows, invaded legislators' offices, and stormed the Senate chamber. Minutes before the siege, several Republican lawmakers were in the process of objecting to electors from states Trump lost but insists he won--a gesture of loyalty to the president and a show of willingness to subvert democracy to maintain the favor of Trump's followers. Then, in the middle of the proceedings, the Senate was forced to evacuate. Some of the Republicans who challenged Biden's victory in the joint session of Congress, or have done so in the press, issued statements of displeasure at the scenes of violence, seemingly agreeing with the ends but not the means.


Liberal college professor suggests Biden 'declare war' on Republicans, compares them to Civil War slaveholders

FOX News

In media news today, a CBS News reporter asks Biden when he will answer reporters' questions, 'Experts' get slammed for cautioning against using the term'looting' to describe California thefts, and false media reporting on Rittenhouse leads to corrections and mockery. Liberal college professor Heather Cox Richardson suggested in an article published Tuesday that President Biden "declare war" on Republicans in an effort to combat what she claimed was the party's move towards authoritarianism. "The Atlantic" article, authored by contributor Molly Jong-Fast, argued that Biden was facing problems controlling the "narrative" around his presidency and needed "an enemy" to absorb American's anger, which has been translating to his increasingly low approval rating. President Joe Biden, with Vice President Kamala Harris, arrives to speak before signing the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. Jong-Fast cited Richardson's claim that a focus on going after Republican "authoritarians threatening our democracy" would be like former President Abraham Lincoln going after southern slaveholders in the Civil War.