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Big Babies: the dumbing down of politics

Psychoanalysts believe that people can be ‘infantilized’ – stopped from growing up. Powerful politicians now seem to think that’s a neat idea. Dog-whistles and diversions of all kinds are designed to turn us away from active political engagement towards passive consumption. In the process, democracy gets hollowed out. Politics becomes another branch of management, left to a political class and an entire industry of spin-doctors, pollsters, ad agencies, lobbyists and dirty-tricksters.

But infantilizing all the people all the time is not so easily done. In this issue of the NI we wonder why, and take a sideways look into the empty space where grown-up political debate should be.

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