“All your democratic language are belong to us”

The invocation of the language of liberalism to damage our democracies is not new. In a system in which ideas compete for legitimacy, simply artificially pumping up one idea to an unnatural level skews the debate, and leads to damaging outcomes. The success of authoritarians and anti-democratic nations in doing this in recent years is a key feature of our time. Consequently, the voices that crow the loudest about “freedom” and “liberty” — our values — are often doing so to hijack the conversation, to polarize it, and to render it a weapon against sensible debate.

My latest: What happens when the language of democracy is hijacked?

(Photo: anastasiasoboleva/tumblr)

‘Free speech’ a tool to undermine ‘information sovereignty’…

Free speech activist

…at least for some in Russia it is.

“The struggle against the attempts of states to build information sovereignty will be conducted mainly by the US/West,” Igor Ashmanov claimed in a 2013 presentation.

The main tool and argument, he claimed, was “freedom of speech” which undermines local sovereignty.

The full story, about a company associated with Igor Ashmanov moving into Indonesia, is here.