An author and humanitarian worker, Malka Older’s novel Infomocracy comes at a pertinent time– when illegitimate information is being weaponized, and accuracy and transparency of data feels increasingly fragile. In Older’s utopian world of Infomocracy, Information with a capital “I” is glorified in a new world order. Here, groups of 100,000 people elect their own government, and things like the nation-state, guns, and war are obsolete.
As the election approaches, there are underground whisperings of a new threat to global peace, and it’s up to a few idealist individuals – an anti-election rebel, a policy-focused campaign specialist, and a badass employee of the Information bureaucracy—to unravel it before the well-ordered micro-democracy regresses into territorial warfare.
Taking place 20 years in the not so far future, the genre is mystery, action, sci-fi, and political commentary all rolled into one. As ideological dilemmas and power grabs unfold, Older reveals a nuanced ambivalence towards two things we hold dear in Western society—democracy and constant access to information. Infomocracy is an intriguing glimpse into the limitations of both of those things and why even the most carefully designed systems of governance are susceptible to the “quirks of neurobiology”.
“I suppose we should feel flattered they’re using Information rather than bombs for the moment.”