Chapter 1 Introduction to demopathy and the democratic malaise
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What is troubling contemporary democracy? Why politics seem to focus on instincts, instants and imagery more than on platforms, rationality and values? What has happened to the rational consumer and voter, democracy as the realm of communicative action and informed public opinion, the Web as a harbinger of collective intelligence? How come post-truth, fake news, populism, narcissism, political marketing, echo chamber and polarization dominate public debate in an eternally inconsistent, explosive and “fragmented” present? And why does democracy struggle in terms of performance and legitimacy just when it seemed triumphant and devoid of viable alternatives in most of the world? It’s what I try to answer in this work. And the thesis is as follows. Democracy is afflicted by demopathy. It is sick because the demos has become sick.

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