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Megachange: The World in 2050 by John Andrews, Daniel Franklin

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9 Freedom’s ragged march

Edward Lucas

What the world’s politics will need is an abundance of public-spiritedness – “democracy” alone is not enough

FORGET DEMOCRACY. Worry about freedom and justice instead. If you’re lucky, by 2050 you will be in an e-government paradise where the state looks after your wishes as neatly as Amazon cares about your literary preferences. If you’re unlucky, you will end up with something between Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy and Vladimir Putin’s Russia, ruled by cynical insiders skilled at manipulating public opinion and buying off their critics.

Technology and public-spiritedness will decide which outcome wins but in any case, start by ditching the term “democracy”. It was the flavour of the month each year and decade ...

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