Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Authoritarian ApprehensionsIdeology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lisa Wedeen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226650579

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226650746.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

On Uncertainty

On Uncertainty

Fake News, Post-truth, and the Question of Judgment

(p.77) 3 On Uncertainty
Authoritarian Apprehensions

Lisa Wedeen

University of Chicago Press

Chapter three exposes the mechanisms that make it possible for an excess of information and the velocity of its circulation and consumption to be exploited for political gain. The chapter raises questions about the changing meaning of the distinction between democracy and dictatorship in the context of what appears to be the eroding factual basis of political discussion worldwide. Organized around the thinking of Hannah Arendt and Ludwig Wittgenstein, this chapter explores the fragility and stubbornness of factual truth, as well as the political-affective conditions of uncertainty and forms of discursive addressability these circumstances promote. Despite the democratizing aspects of recent technological innovations as greater Internet access, the regime in Syria has proved able to exploit the conditions of what I call “high-speed eventfulness” to the advantage of its counterinsurgency project. Yet, at the same time, with factual truth and the conceptual systems they presuppose under attack, new forms of expression are brought into being. The chapter concludes with the efforts of an artist collective to stretch, even circumvent, the conventions of documentary film representation, hinting at how judgments might be animated by a mode of reflection able to appreciate contingency without abdicating responsibility.

Keywords:   information, circulation, consumption, democracy, dictatorship, Arendt, Wittgenstein, uncertainty, addressability, counterinsurgency

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.