Democrazia e controllo sociale: ancora insieme? (All’indomani dell’emergere di un ‘controllo automatico’) - the author analyzes the historical evolution of the concepts of democracy and social control. Democracy means taking decisions by consensus and social control adopting the point of view of a group. In this symbolic universe, words form the fundamental core of both concepts. Hence, the hegemony of the media becomes a central element of the tension in democracy to bring together inequalities of power with the requirement of equality in the formation of a political will. However, during the ‘70s, according to the author, democracies and styles of control evolved to now perform situational prevention, supported by technological means of automatic control. At this point, neither words nor persuasion are useful, since the individual under control can only follow a predetermined course. Keywords: democracy, social control, consensus, persuasion, automatic control.