Yuvah Noah Harari — a historian and an author, known for his book 'Homo Deus,' delivers a talk on fascism that first explains how the technology age can call for its return and then identifies ways for individuals to productively deal with it.
The speaker appears as a hologram, live from Tel Aviv, and dives right into explaining the dichotomy between nationalism and fascism, which is contained in the inter-dynamics of a country and the individual's relationship to it. Yuvah Noah Harari warns that fascism suggests to people that their nation is supreme and they have no higher obligation but towards it. However, conversations about this form of political regimes often miss identifying the appeal. Fascism is a form of fetishizing oneself and the nation — it leads people to think that they belong to the most beautiful and most important place in the world. Therein lies the regime's seduction technique, in flattery.
Yuvah Noah Harari's talk on fascism explains why one needs to understand and be conscious of this in the digital age — an era with technologies that can cause dictatorship to overcome democracy, be more efficient and capable of control. Firstly, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning can allow an enormous amount of data to be centralized and processed in one place. Thereby, causing fascism to be more efficient. Secondly, the merging of information technology and biotechnology can give way to the development of algorithms that understand individuals better than they understand themselves. This allows the prediction of actions and the manipulation of the population.
The talk on fascism further explains how individuals can counter the potential tech-informed rise of dictatorship by being aware of themselves, their weaknesses and mindful of who controls the data. The talk on fascism is concluded with a quick conversation between Yuvah Noah Harari and TED curator Chris Anderson.