Post-Truth:
Transformation of Political Reality or Self-Destruction of Liberal Democracy?


Chugrov S.V.,

Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, MFA of Russia, Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Editor-in-Chief, Polis. Political Studies; , new-polis@politstudies.ru

elibrary_id: 252110 | ORCID: 0000-0002-8307-7606 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.02.04

For citation:

Chugrov S.V. Post-Truth: Transformation of Political Reality or Self-Destruction of Liberal Democracy? – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No 2. P. 42-59 (In Russ.) . DOI: https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2017.02.04



Abstract

The term post-truth that the Oxford Dictionaries named their 2016 Word of the Year, is a sort of a postmodernist modality, a distorted state of consciousness, in which stereotypes have completely lost connection with real images. As a result, the post-truth policy substitutes facts by emotions, news by blatant lies, that set the tone to political discourse and the construction of an alternative reality. The methodology of the article draws heavily on classics of political sociology and communications studies (Le Bon, Merton, Habermas, McLuhan) and innovative research papers (Kõhler, Hodkinson, Sharkov, Solovey) that reveal on the “territory of post-truth” the erosion of the role of facts, proofs, arguments that are pushed aside to the margins of discourse, or just ignored. The author answers the question of who wins and who loses from falsification of truth, tracing the ideological, political, social, and institutional and legal basis for transformation. The author describes the impact of post-truth policies on technology of political process and raises questions: how and on what lines occurs this deformation of consciousness? what is actually broken? how transforms it the political values? There, this post-truth policy transforms the freedom of speech, an immanent value of a liberal society, which is running a risk of degrading and turning into fiction. The erosion of freedom of speech by the inexorable logic of the self-suicidal post-truth policies can lead to a degradation of other key democratic values, in the first place, as shown by the election campaign of Donald Trump, free and democratic elections. The crisis may badly hurt existential values, democratic procedures and institutes as well as global project, international security system and other corner stones of our world order.

Keywords
post-truth; Donald Trump; Russia; political discourse; liberal democracy; Oxford Dictionary; media manipulation; mass media; net-mentality..


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