Yuval Harari: “Dreams of Dictators Are Now Possible”

Yuval Harari: “Dreams of Dictators Are Now Possible”

“Dictators always dreamt about eliminating privacy, monitoring everyone, knowing everything you do, think, and feel…It is now possible.”

The privacy versus security debate is as old as civilization, historian and writer Yuval Noah Harari said recently at the Athens Democracy Forum, an annual international conference in Greece. “But there is now something new: for the first time in history, it is possible to eliminate privacy completely,” said Harari, chief advisor to the World Economic Forum’s leader, Klaus Schwab. 

“It was not possible before,” said Harari, “It is now possible. A fundamental change has taken place. “Dictators always dreamt about completely eliminating privacy, monitoring everyone all the time, and knowing everything you do, and not just everything you do but everything you think, and everything you feel.”

Whether it was a tyrant in ancient Greece or Stalin, they always dreamed of it, but they could never do it because it was technically impossible. Now it’s possible, Harari told New York Times moderator Liz Alderman.

Watch the full video of Yuval Noah Harari’s panel with internet and privacy expert Marietje Schaake at the Athens Democracy Forum,

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