Within political theory, there are a number of concepts that are key to the enterprise of thinking politically in the modern world. One of these is ‘sovereignty’. For centuries now, what it is to be ‘sovereign’ has been at the forefront of our political concerns, and this continues today.
In 1974, Sir Isaiah Berlin (IB) was interviewed by John Merson (JM) – broadcast on ABC Radio National’s The Philosopher’s Zone with Alan Saunders in 2009 – in which his thoughts on precisely this relationship were laid out in his typically fluid and perspicuous style.
How contradictory it is that citizens of Liberal Democracies hold a number of freedoms, rights and liberties, and yet live simultaneously within a legalised nexus of mass surveillance the likes of which the Stasi could only have imagined in their wildest of phantasmic dreams. This is also before discussing even the prowess of social media providers, whose influence and data-harvesting slides through legal loopholes and committee-led critique like a draft through Swiss cheese.