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FSN Seminar – June 29th at 1 pm EST via Zoom

Update 2: Attached updated slides

Update: here are the slides

We are pleased to introduce our next talk of the 2022 season, led by Guy Stanley and Stephen Fanjoy, on the authoritarian challenge to US liberalism.

Register in advance for this meeting:
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After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The “Deep Right” Authoritarian Challenge to Contemporary Liberalism: How Secure is US Liberalism?

Since the last FSN meeting about the US post-Trump (2020), here’s where we are: 

War in the Ukraine, an imminent global food crisis, energy crisis exacerbating an already threatening climate crisis, economic uncertainty, and a political crisis challenging the liberal institutions of the West. Is this what a general breakdown of management capacity and world leadership looks like? Is populist authoritarianism the next “normal”?

Consider that the world’s most powerful democracy, the United States, consciously founded its institutions on the explicit if imperfect application of Enlightenment principles to its governance. Yet today powerful political forces have abandoned those principles – especially those of anchoring political speech and policy in  verifiable facts. Instead, power is regularly pursued through the industrial production of lies and distortions, under cover of which powerful domestic and foreign economic and anti-democratic interests pursue their aggrandizement.  

A political force once thought to be marginal  and “extreme” – right wing populism- is manifesting in the US and around the world as a significant electoral force. In the US it is the new heart of the GOP and  its MAGA (Trumpist) segments. Accompanying  this upsurge are important ideological aspects which make it a particularly dangerous threat to institutions of liberal governance. For example, the most recent DHS threat warnings places domestic white supremacy terrorism at the head of its list. 

A fundamental question poses itself: can a system of institutions based on the Enlightenment’s privileging of objective facts and democratic individualism adequately defend itself against technology-driven systems of deception, social division and political corruption?

This session will examine this question, mainly as it pertains to the US,  in light of current trends, events and ideas.


Guy Stanley has been active with the Foresight Synergy Network for many years. Born in Toronto, he holds an MA and Ph.D. in international history (LSE 1974) and a BA (History & Pol. Sci.) from the University of Victoria (1967).  His career combined consulting with Fortune 500 multinational firms and international organizations with university teaching and research in Geneva, New York, Montréal and Ottawa. Guy was Director of the IMBA program at the University of Ottawa (2000-3) and Director of Technology & Innovation at the Conference Board of Canada. (2004-7) He taught international commerce at McGill and HEC, Montréal 1991-2007 and worked with l’Ecole polytechnique de Montréal (2007-8). His latest book, Rebuilding Liberalism, Dundurn Press, was published in July 2019. He lives in Beaconsfield, QC.

Stephen Fanjoy is a member of the Foresight Synergy Network organizing committee and a management consultant specializing in strategy, primarily in the domain of business software, including cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence and medical devices. He is an avid analyst of technology, political history and ethics. Stephen has previously presented to the FSN community, ”Technology and Democracy, Self-correcting or Collision Course?” and co-led a series of workshops on technology, democracy and autocracy. He is a graduate of the Dalhousie University School of Business and a Certified Management Consultant (CMC).

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