The financial crisis has hit hard on the European morale and caused the democratic states problems that have not been seen in years. Yet, more challenges await us… and there are few real statesmen to face them. New technologies and social media were supposed to empower citizens in new ways. But the citizens are too confused to extort anything from the technocrats. And the development of surveillance technology makes politics even less inviting. From the citizens’ perspective, the best solution is not to trust their own representatives.
Could the Internet advantage a communal democracy? Or does it advantage only individualistic attitudes and Orwellian-style mass surveillance? This was the topic of our 22nd Tischner Debate, which took place on the 12 March at the University of Warsaw.
Our illustrious guests were: Evgeny Morozov, Internet and democracy expert, author of “The Net Delusion”; Ivan Krastev, political scientists, author of “In Mistrust We Trust”; Katarzyna Szymielewicz, head of the Panoptykon Foundation and Aleksander Tarkowski, head of the “Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska” (“Digital Centre Project: Poland”).
The debate was opened by Anna Giza, Vice-Rector of the University of Warsaw and Karolina Wigura, head of the political section at “Kultura Liberalna”. It was moderated by Marcin Król, historian of ideas and author of dozens of papers on political thought history, and by Shalini Randeria, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.
The 22nd Tischner Debate was organised by the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna and the University of Warsaw with the assistance of “Kultura Liberalna”. The event was held under the auspices of mayor of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz. “Gazeta Wyborcza” newspaper and “TVN 24 Biznes i Świat” television channel were media partners of the debate.
Jarosław Kuisz and Karolina Wigura