Democracy could be on the home straight, replaced by a global network of authoritarian states.
Shawn Rosenberg, a respected psychologist at the University of California disoriented the audience at the latest meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology held in Lisbon.
The 68-year-old professor is no stranger to gender analysis: in the 80s one of his study showed how many voters choose candidates on the basis of their appearance alone. Ted to say it, it raised a lot of controversy but she was right.
This time Rosenberg presented an even more complex study that ranges between neurology and geopolitics, passing through futurology. If I had only 6 words I could sum it up with a very simple concept: democracy is devouring itself, and will soon finish its meal.
Ultimately, Rosenberg predicted the imminent demise of democracy in his study.
The ship sinks
In his presentation Rosenberg recognized in the political trend taking place in Brazil, UK, USA and EU (in variable form) a precise signal. An authoritarian state model is becoming more desirable for citizens than active civil engagement.
"Even in regimes that are considered to be permanently democratic, this type of governance will continue an inexorable decline until it collapses," he said during his speech.
Everything stems from a fundamental problem: democracy is tiring. It is hard work and requires enormous commitment from those who intend to take part in it. It requires participants to respect those who have different looks or points of view. It requires balance, discipline, the ability to separate propaganda from facts. And our brain, in essence, is not built to self-regulate. We are predisposed to have only the defects of the sheep, and rarely the merits of the shepherds.
The progressive shift from an 'open' internet to social media has influenced people's behavior, leading them to absorb only content that confirms their inclinations, and preferring this content to objective sources of information or critical analysis of reality.
In conclusion, most people are unable to democratically understand or evaluate culture, institutions, practices or citizenship.Shawn Rosenberg
The conclusion that Rosenberg inspires me is that democracy dies around us because it no longer exists within us.
Accepting our incomplete nature means cultivating the ability to self-govern on a collective basis, given the obvious individual limitations.
The direct and widespread commitment in democracy is the exercise of our desire to proceed united.