Protecting the Vulnerable

Postmodern Relativism and Digital Natives in Central and Eastern Europe

9 January 2020

Edit Zgut-Przybylska

Visegrad Insight Fellow

Postmodern relativism is a dangerous tool in the hands of authoritarian regimes. They are willing to undermine public trust within democratic institutions by spreading disinformation and conspiracy theories. One of the most vulnerable target group is the tech-savvy generation Z that is known to be “digitally native”. However, this generation’s lack of critical media consumption and the homogeneous climate of opinion generated by social media makes them prone to political manipulation.

We are way beyond the era of techno-optimism when the biggest fans of social media argued that new technologies would help to overcome political polarisation and hate speech. Yet, techno-pessimism has not prevailed since Donald Trump started to “weaponise” Twitter.

Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard was an early pioneer of thinking about technology’s role in society. In the 1980s, he claimed that we were entering a new era of history in which society was moving to a neo-capitalist cybernetic order that aims at total control. Baudrillard considered that when structures are lacking, nothing remains solid in a society.

As a result, most important things do not happen in reality but in a digital reality, therefore, as Baudrillard argued, hyperreality has replaced the social reality. This hyperreality is a mere simulation of life (“simulacra”).

Subscribe

Democratic security comes at a price. What is yours? By subscribing or donating now gain access to analysis, forecasts and scenarios by leading analysts and reporters who monitor democratic risks and develop policy debate from Central Europe on Central Europe.

MonthlyVAT included

€4/month

See all details

  • Full access to articles and reports
  • Monthly foresights and risk analysis delivered by e-mail
  • Weekly newsletter with most important highlights
  • Visegrad Insight social media community groups invitation

AnnualVAT included

€40/year

See all details

  • All monthly features PLUS…
  • Free invitation to one editorial board discussion to participate in deciding on the future direction of the Visegrad Insight
  • Free delivery of two select hardcopies of Visegrad Insight reports

Student OR Donation

Choose your contribution

See all details

  • Full access to articles and reports
  • Monthly foresights, weekly newsletters, and risk analysis delivered by e-mail
  • Free invitation to one editorial board discussion to participate in deciding on the future direction of the Visegrad Insight (annual subscription only)

Can I receive an invoice?

Yes. You will receive a receipt immediately after purchase and a VAT invoice upon request. The subscription amount includes tax. In case of a donation, there is no tax.

Are my credit card details safe?

Yes. The payment is processed by STRIPE www.stripe.com entrusted also by Amazon, Zoom, Booking.com and used by other global NGOs and businesses in the world. We do not store your credit card details.

How modify or cancel my subscription?

At any moment you can manage your subscription and account details. Sign in to modify or cancel.

Edit Zgut-Przybylska

Visegrad Insight Fellow

Visegrad Insight Fellow and re:constitution fellow. Political scientist and sociologist, a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Vice-president of Amnesty International Hungary and a guest lecturer at the Foreign Service Institute of the State Department of the United States. Focusing on informal power and populism in the context of Hungarian and Polish democratic backsliding.

Newsletter

Weekly updates with our latest articles and the editorial commentary.