Episode

6/8 Fixing the Cratering US Democracy w/ Henry Farrell

June 8, 2021

Sam and Emma host Henry Farrell, SNF Agora Professor of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins, to discuss his new paper “Rechanneling Beliefs: How Information Flows Hinder or Help American Democracy,” taking on the state of American democracy in historical context, and looking into how our current crisis has developed and what we can do to reverse it. They cover the basics, such as what democracy actually is, and look into how the self-reinforcing elements of democracy have begun to break down as our shared belief systems and faith in democracy have become more stratified than ever. Farrell walks us through a variety of ways that these issues can be countered on the particular level, reinforcing a less partisan environment and making it more difficult for any party to assert long term control, and how this focuses on the importance of bipartisan consequences rather than allowing emphasis on bipartisan support to consistently undermine any actual change. Lastly, they discuss the role of Fox News in the social media ecosystem, and why the EU could serve as a model for unifying anti-trust laws with broader principles on privacy and information flow to help stymy the malignancy of fake news. Sam and Emma touch on how Obama’s insistence that Republicans will see the light is representative of a refusal to acknowledge this democratic crisis, and celebrate the senate passing a New York State anti-trust bill.

And in the Fun Half: Nomiki Konst joins Sam and Emma in debating how far Biden is really willing to go in getting nothing done, and what Kamala Harris could possibly have benefitted from telling Americans to tell migrants to go home, before Ronald Raygun calls in to give us his thoughts on the latter. They discuss developing protests as Jacob from Alabama covers the success of the Miner’s strike despite brutal arrests and the continuing trend of automobile attacks, and look into the Border Patrol’s use of a helicopter to deter Line 3 pipeline protesters in Minnesota. Lance from the Serfs helps us dig into the horrors of the residential school system in Canada and the importance of the Land Back movement in finding at least a base level of reparations. Then, Sam, Emma, and Nomiki push back on the absurdity of Republicans crusading against Critical Race Theory while being unable to point towards anti-white (lol) consequences from any law, plus, your calls and IMs!

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