Democracy in its republican form is fundamentally about how diverse citizens within one community relate to each other through the institutions of self-government. And where there are interpersonal relations, there are ethics of communication by which the trustworthiness and truth content of information constitute the narrative ground upon which civic coexistence is possible.
Like political revolutions, technological revolutions tend to unfold in phases. First comes the liberating breakthrough from the old order, burnished with utopian ideals. Next comes the reaction to abuses that inevitably arise from embarking on a new path for which there are no rules, especially for the first movers who become the new masters. Finally, a new governing order is established that sorts out the mistakes and excesses from the benefits of transformational change and eliminates or tempers the former.
This last phase, it seems — let’s hope — is where we are headed next.