The collapse of the world order or at least the digitization that becomes surveillance? The propositions of the intellectual Harari are ostentatious – but not out of the blue. Two politicians answer.

These are alarming scenarios that Israeli historian and intellectual Yuval Noah Harari describes. “The political and economic consequences of the corona pandemic could be enormous,” says Harari in an interview with Chillreport. “In the worst case, our world order will collapse. Or at least further destabilized.”

In particular, Harari warns of the dangers of increasing digitalization and the deep control of people by the corona epidemic. “In the face of the corona epidemic, even liberal democracies could put aside their aversion to surveillance of their citizens,” the historian fears, warning, “24-hour surveillance is no longer an issue in our increasingly digital world . “

An unrealistic dystopia? Or rather alarming – also in Germany? Politicians Konstantin Kuhle (FDP) and Konstantin von Notz (Greens) have also been dealing with these issues for some time. And consider the dangers real – if nothing happens now.

Green politician Konstantin von Notz (source: epd-bild / Christian Ditsch / imago images)

Konstantin von Notz, deputy leader of the Greens:

Yuval Noah Harari’s theses should be taken very seriously, especially as a citizen of supposedly stable democracies. We have been warning of such developments for years.

Harari is absolutely right: Digitization puts us to the test: Will we succeed in saving social rights and constitutional standards that have been difficult to win in the digital age in recent decades? Or do digitization and its motives sort us as individuals into a kind of new digital caste system, endanger fundamental rights and put social systems of solidarity under enormous pressure?

One thing is clear: if we don’t shape the digital transformation ourselves, others will: powerful advertising and technology giants or authoritarian and totalitarian rulers who have long known how to use the surveillance options for themselves. Digitization with its security policy threatens to overwhelm us. Market power and courage continue to grow. The democratic design of digital change is the order of the day. Time is running out. The responding window keeps getting smaller. But it is not too late yet. “

FDP politician Konstantin Kuhle (Source: imago images / Florian Gaertner / politician Konstantin Kuhle (Source: Florian Gaertner / / imago images)

Konstantin Kuhle, spokesman for domestic policy for the FDP faction:

Mr. Harari’s warning shows us the dangers of digital surveillance for civil rights and civil liberties. No one can predict at present whether Corona will change the world order.

But we are already seeing that the digitization of everyday life is progressing rapidly. Ten years ago, the Federal Constitutional Court determined in its case law on data retention that, given the extensive possibilities of digital supervision, a red line of state supervision must not be crossed.

We must therefore be very sensitive when state powers in this area are expanded, such as the introduction of source control over telecommunications for constitutional protection. However, the discussion about the Corona app shows that the topic of data protection and the confidentiality of highly personal data affects many people. Our society has matured when it comes to data protection issues. “

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