Foreign Policy

Our high weekend reads

The United States has always lacked a single universal public. However, when the consumption of popular media was restricted to a smaller number of outlets with uniform editorial standards, it became something of a public sphere. Instead of creating a new public, Big Tech has now colonized the existing one and broken it to pieces.

Meanwhile, the QAnon conspiracy theory is far from dead. While some followers have suffered a crisis of faith after Inauguration Day failed to bring about the arrest of Democrats and allegedly disloyal Republicans, many renew their faith with promises of a hidden world that explains their failures .

While international attention in 2020 focused on Italy’s plight as the epicenter of the first COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, Rome has become the fastest growing economic power in the entire Mediterranean in 2021. In fact, the map of Italy’s economic capabilities now closely resembles the map of the Roman Empire from the first century.

Here are Foreign policy‘s top weekend reads.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies remotely during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing with big tech companies on Capitol Hill in Washington on October 28, 2020. Greg Nash-Pool / Getty Images

1. Social media finally broke the public

The internet should revive the public. But thanks to the failure of politicians to act through meaningful laws, Big Tech has dominated and destroyed it, write Joshua Foust and Simon Frankel Pratt.

A QAnon sticker can be seen on the back of a car in Los Angeles on November 6, 2020.Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

2. QAnon will survive another apocalyptic disappointment

Nothing said to QAnon conspirators would actually happen on inauguration day. But that doesn’t mean that QAnon will go away. Instead, it will likely continue to mutate with its visions of a hidden world, Foreign policyJames Palmer writes.

Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, Director of National Intelligence Candidate Avril Haines, US Climate Officer John Kerry, and US Ambassador to United Nations Candidate Linda Thomas-Greenfield on November 24, 2020 at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware.Mark Makela / Getty Images

3. From Foreign Policy Magazine to Biden’s Foreign Policy

The foreign policy of the Biden government is ultimately determined by the people who are a part of it. Your bylines in our most recent archives offer a unique insight into your ideas, concerns and affinities. Foreign policyCameron Abadi and Allison Meakem write.

A view shows a private beach as cargo and a container ship sail over the horizon at Venice Lido, Italy on September 7, 2020.Alberto Pizzoli / AFP / Getty Images

4. Italy’s Mediterranean belt and road

Rome has become Europe’s fastest growing economic power in the wider Mediterranean. The focus on commercial connectivity has achieved something similar to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, write Michaël Tanchum and Dimitar Bechev.

Security barricades are erected in a street ahead of the inauguration of the then-elected US President Joe Biden on January 20 in Washington.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

5. America now needs a new way to combat disinformation

After September 11th, Washington formed a national commission to make the country safer. In the wake of the Capitol uprising, we should look closely at what this commission successfully did against disinformation, hatred and harassment online, write Vera Zakem and Moira Whelan.

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