Volume 30, Issue 1, 2020
Philosophy in an Age of Crisis, Part IV
Jonathan O. Chimakonam
Are Digital Technologies Transforming Humanity and Making Politics Impossible?
My question in this paper is whether digital technologies transform humanity and make politics impossible. Digital technologies, no doubt, are revolutionary. But I argue that what they have done in the Post-Cold War era are: (1) to further contract the spaces between politicians and the people; (2) transform actors from subjects to objects, such that we may in addition to social identities, talk about digital identities; (3) relocate the public sphere from squares to ilosphere where individuals are granted enormous expressive powers but at the same time become vulnerable to large scale manipulations; (4) and escalate the tools of politics. My argument will be that digital technologies in a subtle way are transforming humanity in the digital space and that this might have costly moral consequences not only in politics generally but specifically in liberal democracy. However, I will contend that this transformation of humanity does not make politics impossible; it only escalates it with troubling consequences like those we saw in the 2016 American presidential election.