“Cherish the truth. Cherish the institutions. Fight the lying princes”

Author Roxane van Iperen delivered this year’s Machiavelli Lecture (Dutch only) PDF via this link

Core concepts:

– Deceit and bending the truth are nothing new in politics, as Macchiavelli had shown.

– The current situation exacerbates the outlook for strong democracy: globalisation undermines accountability of business, both financially and environmentally; the public domain has been devoured by privately owned big tech (facebook, google) that determines what counts as true and what society should look like, for billions of people through intractable and secretive algorithms. ; rising inequality makes for a small group in power that is completely detached from the everyday life and strife of middle- and low income earning people.

Core message:

“Fight the lying princes”, not by crying outrage at every outrageous display of Trumpian truth-bending but by cherishing truht and cherishing the institutions – those that are fundamental to democratic, open societies: the rule of law, the free press, independent scientific research.