It is often repeated that we live today in a ‹post-truth› world. But this problem has a long history. Greek philosophers investigated the origins of truth (and the will to truth) in hope to separate truth from illusion. But already Machiavelli equated the concept of truth with the notion of what seems to be true. And today? Perhaps, we are paying the price of naivety. In this book, the author approaches the idea of deliberative democracy with reservation, attempting to expose the vain hopes rooted in the Enlightenment tradition, which placed the desire for truth at the fore, and relegated the desire for illusion to the shadows. The book encourages reflection on the appeal of deception in a world which has become the media’s ‹grazing ground›; a world which rejects metaphysics in favour of pragmatic theories, thereby transforming politics into a sphere where truth is replaced with ‹narrative›.
Democracy – hope or illusion? Blooming, failing or declining? Our doubts and hesitation make part of unbending efforts to endorse and explain democracy. Who is right – the custodians of promise or the prophets of decline? The book concentrates on doubts. The author tries to explore «the other side of the moon», emphasizing the role of critical thinking, opposing a main-current optimism. Defending democracy we want to generate hope, but hoping may be a dangerous craft. Protecting our hope we are prone to believe that democracy – even if it is not a full success story – is justified in its nature and out of question. How much do we have to forget to sanction this view? This is, in fact, the main question the book raises. It gives voice to those who never, in their writing on democracy, used a flattering tone. Starting with Greek giants – Plato and Aristotle – up to modern and most recent times, going through a broad field of revealing criticism, leaving us with an unsettling feeling that democracy is rather something to be explained than something to be celebrated. Living in democracy, lamenting its underperformances, we must not overlook a fundamental question – in what part do our disappointments reflect the «art of forgetting», allowing us to cast into oblivion all serious doubts originating in a critical discourse on modernity and democracy?