In The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion, authors Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing argue that democracies contain the capacity for their own destruction because they promote open communication but such communication can be manipulated by authoritarian forces. They argue further that with contemporary communications technologies the descent into fascism is even more likely. The authors argue that in order to confront these threats, democratic nations must increase media literacy within the citizenry and strengthen local journalism. Given the grave nature of the threats the authors have exposed, these solutions do not appear up to the task of defending democracy. Indeed, a deeper analysis of The Paradox of Democracy suggests that it is not just the solutions, but the analysis itself, that leaves some stones unturned, glossed over, or completely ignored. Although the work is a useful complement to other works addressing the present threats to democracy, like some of those other works, it, too, fails to provide a complete picture of these threats or offer viable options for resisting them. When read together, however, a more complete picture of not just the threats, but also the tactics and strategies necessary to oppose them, comes into view.



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