# 27 | THE FIFTH HORSEMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE
In times of crisis, nations may gravitate towards submission and autocratic leaders to preserve their core beliefs, even if it means sacrificing democratic principles.
The proliferation of misinformation, facilitated by modern technology and artificial intelligence, plays a pivotal role in eroding democracy and reshaping public opinion.
While Klaus doesn't advocate banning artificial intelligence, he emphasizes the need to regulate its dissemination to safeguard individuals and national interests from deceptive information, drawing a parallel to restrictions on harmful speech.
When a nation is on the downward path and feels its belief and hope of freedom slipping, it begins to see submission as a measure of self-preservation. It is a fetal pose for protecting its vital core belief, that of self-determination, and is felt to be disintegrating with the need for a new power center. In its distress and developing paranoia, it reaches out to any source of succor that can promise a return to safety. There is a need for a new leader.
Instead of exercising the imperative of self-determination, citizens of democracy begin to relinquish their rights to become slavish followers of the leader, espousing their autocratic tendencies to prevent any challenge to power. As a result, the power is centered on loyal, unwavering supporters of autocracy against the submissive population. And uses violence to protect the power center. A coup is the result.
One of the more critical mechanisms in the fall and development of autocracy is its ability to propagandize the falsehood that democracy is not working and that an autocracy can save ordinary people from losing their liberties. The truth is that the liberties are stolen under the umbrella of the need to re-organize the nation for the lost privileges of freedom. The central mechanism is misinformation; in the modern age of the 21st Century, that is the fifth horseman of the apocalypse. Russia has always, and will always, work under a dictator. Nicaragua, Venezuela, Turkey, Hungary, Philippines, Poland, Italy, Spain, and France tending, the USA experiencing the beginnings, and England had Brexit. There are others where the major contributor to the change in belief was and is artificial Intelligence purveying false or deceptive information. A low-cost effort, distributed immediately, powerful in its effect, effectively hidden as to sourcing and ownership, and sophisticated in its delivery of substance and intent.
A law in the USA makes it illegal to yell FIRE in a theatre, causing panic, injury, or death, despite First Amendment rights to the contrary. It seems to me that this logic in self-preservation could be applied in a broadening of the statute to include the confinement of people in front of their preferred media outlet, in their shield of personal privacy, to be exposed to verifiable untruths that are threatening to themselves and confederates. Does Artificial Intelligence need to be outlawed? No. But it is regulated for the safety and conduct of personal and national activity that relies on the terrible truth of reality and not the intentional deception of a lie.