President of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions and Mayor of Coulaines, France
How to bridge the gap between technology and Progressives? In favour of training progressive elected representatives and activists, Christophe Rouillon encourages Social Democrats to join democracy 2.0 – a challenge for the upcoming European elections.
The cyberspace is a new space of public expression that politicians can no longer ignore. This is a step forward in that the public debate is broad and participatory. But it is also a risk because of a perpetual questioning of the democratic value of the delegation of power through elections, of the inequality of access to digital technology, a source of social inequality, of the priority given to polemics and the present moment, rather than to reflection and long-term politics.
Social Democracy in government at both local and national levels integrates the idea of compromise, step-by-step progress, constructive confrontation of ideas within the framework of representative democracy and moderation. Is it a coincidence that the weakening of Social Democracy began with the arrival of the internet and accelerated with the rise of social networks?
The digital society pushes for the radicalisation of opinions, disruptive provocation and the culture of post-truth. The exacerbation of fears, hatred of elites, rejection of constraints and political simplism discredit our model of political legitimacy based on the conquest of knowledge, academic success or popular education.
Social Democrats rely on reflection, analysis,
Cartesian reasoning, the fruit of experience,
the long time of explanation. As Jean Jaurès
said in his speech to young people in Albi in
1903: “Courage is to seek the truth and to
tell it; it is not to be subjected to the law of
triumphant lies that passes, and not to echo
stupid applause and fanatical boos from our
soul, our mouth and our hands.”
Social media gives favors emotions, the irrational, the image rather than the written word, the instrumentalisation of hate. The big winners of this new game are the likes of Beppe Grillo, Matteo Salvini, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte and Jair Bolsonaro. The wave that is submerging Social Democracy comes from all sides. In Italy, it is the Lega and the Cinque Stelle. In Germany, it is the AfD. In France, it is La France Insoumise (‘Untamed France’) or the Front National. Of course, Social Democrats are active on social networks. But have we taken the measure of the revolution on the way? I don’t think so.
Faced with the dictatorship of emotion, derision, slander, hatred, we will never win on the register of truth alone and rationality. We must articulate reason and emotion, the brain and the heart, the heart and the guts. The media success of the Yellow Vests should make us think about the power of the image, of the testimony in the living room or in the lorry, the power of video in less than a minute.
Social Democrats remain attached to the model of big speeches and section meetings, while political expression has shifted to B2B, to the streets, roundabouts, squares in our cities and villages. Political communication is also a geostrategic weapon, the continuation of the war by other means. We were naive in the face of Brexit and the Cambridge Analytica manipulations. Are we more lucid in the face of Steve Bannon, the troll factories in St. Petersburg, RT (Russia Today) or Sputnik? We must take into account the external interference of Demokratur sup- porters who perceive the Social Democrats as an obstacle to the destruction of the liberal and democratic European model.
Faced with the dictatorship of emotion, derision, slander and hatred, we will never win on the register of truth alone and rationality. We must articulate reason and emotion, the brain and the heart, the heart and the guts.
Social Democrats must move up a gear by using democracy 2.0 specialists, by train- ing activists, campaigners and elected representatives in the culture of posting, tweeting and video expressing. In the run-up to the European elections, the training of its mayors, regional presidents and local representatives in the use of social networks will be the priority of the Socialist Group of the European Committee of the Regions.
In politics, nothing is a given, the last presidential election in France made this totally clear. The Tarpeian Rock remains close to the Capitol. Social Democracy is vital for Europe’s future and cohesion. Left-wing populism is only the antechamber of right-wing populism. Social Democracy can still provide a credible and sustainable alternative to ultra-liberalism. Without denying our values, let us change gears and strengthen our digital communication. Let’s articulate rationality with emotions. Let’s still make people dream, even if we must always combine the desire for change with a culture of government. Let us be popular without being populist or “coarse” in Cicero’s words in the face of the conspirator Catiline!
Teresa Ribera, premiada por su labor en política internacional
by El Plural 26/01/2024
Teresa Ribera has been recognized by FEPS with the 'Progressive Person of the Year' award during the launch of the 'Progressive Yearbook.' Article by El Plural
Teresa Ribera, premio ‘Pregressive person of the year’ por su labor en política internacional
by Europa Press 26/01/2024
Teresa Ribera has been recognized by FEPS with the 'Progressive Person of the Year' award during the launch of the 'Progressive Yearbook.' Article by Europa Press
Teresa Ribera, galardonada como “progresista” del año por la Fundación FEPS
by Agencia EFE 26/01/2024
Article by Spanish news agency Agencia EFE, republished by other media via newswire
»Der er tale om en markant udvikling«: Det vrimler med Wolt-bude
by Politiken 19/01/2024
'"This is a significant development": Wolt workers are everywhere' Politiken's article about the Digital Programme's first policy study: 'Employment terms of platform workers'
Other cookies are used for Advertisement and Analytics (Sharing on social networks, video playing, analysis and statistics, personalized advertising ...) You can refuse them if you want to. REJECTACCEPTCookie settings