A republic is its rational institutions. A democracy is its informed citizens. Institutions are platforms enabling citizens to decide by following a non-violent process of deliberation and voting. Citizens who know and accept their institutions in their rationality have something fundamental in common: they then can divide on opinions, but they live in the same reality.
If citizens think at reality as it is defined by their passions and not by information about their republican, common, rational institutions, than they are not living a fulfilling democracy.
Post-truth democracy and all the rest of the things that are debated at the moment are an urgent matter of media ecology:
«The internet age made big promises to us: a new period of hope and opportunity, connection and empathy, expression and democracy. Yet the digital medium has aged badly because we allowed it to grow chaotically and carelessly, lowering our guard against the deterioration and pollution of our infosphere.» (Luciano Floridi)
Rational thinking gives us the wisdom to recognize our common reality. Media ecology understanding helps us take care of our infosphere. Passions in echo-chambers make us forget about all this and open the door to mental and cultural pollution.
Pierre Hassner has written a book about the geo-policy of passions: La revance des passions. It helps us think the next cultural jump that is needed in an age of globalization of passions. We’ll come back to it. Because technocracy and populism are opposite conditions that need to be overcome in a new and better political equilibrium. Which needs new platforms and better curated media.