This chapter discusses the totalitarian tendencies at play in the advent of digital society and introduces the individually authored papers constitutive of our collective book. Taken together, our book’s chapters illuminate how post-human technological developments, and especially AI, have started to transform our human agency but also the basic institutions and organisations that hold contemporary societies together: the family and the household, but also commercial corporations, health institutions and organisations, and the military writ large.

The overall picture emerging from these individual contributions is that of a digital society that is eminently organisational in the dark sense of Charles Perrow: Western States are overshadowed by powerful commercial organisations who have the power to organise and monitor digital exchanges, and thus generate totalitarian phenomena such as self-censorship; fear of collective punishment; erosion of the rule of law; personalisation of charismatic leadership; impediment of normative discussion; erosion of oppositional solidarity; manipulation of institutional entrepreneurship; and possibilities of command and control of large collectives by a tiny elite.