Declining Democracies

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Re: Declining Democracies

#26

Post by Addie » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:41 am

CNN OpEd - David A. Andelman
The global move from democracy to autocracy

(CNN) The cover of the last issue of the leading German news magazine, Der Spiegel, was a vivid illustration, indicative of one view of Donald Trump that seems to be growing. It showed a beaming Trump surrounded by Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping and Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the headline "Ich bin das volk," followed by, "Das zeitalter der autokratenz" -- "I am the people: The age of the autocrats."

On Sunday, the Turkish people, in a nationwide snap election that saw an unprecedented 87% turnout, apparently have given their autocratic President another unprecedented mandate, though final returns won't be available for some days. Voters had already granted the President more power in a referendum just over a year ago.

These two trips to the polls by Turkish voters confirmed that security and a thriving economy, despite some recent weakness, trump most traditional democratic values. Many nations are beginning to shrug off their longstanding democratic exteriors.

Globally, however, the drift toward strong leaders able to assure prosperity and security is a most dangerous challenge to American principles that have prevailed since the framing of our constitution more than two centuries ago.

In the United States, Trump's attitude toward displaced refugee children -- arguably the greatest and most toxic challenge yet to its hold on power -- is the most immediate and vivid evidence that our leader does not champion any sort of effort for America to remain a shining beacon for nations aspiring to maintain or establish a democratic system of government.


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Re: Declining Democracies

#27

Post by Addie » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:58 am

The Conversation AU
Why the world should be worried about the rise of strongman politics

Back in 2016, The Financial Times’ Gideon Rachman advanced the view in a commentary for The Economist that the “strongman” style of leadership was gravitating from east to west, and growing stronger. “Across the world – from Russia to China and from India to Egypt – macho leadership is back in fashion,” Rachman wrote.

In light of subsequent developments around the world, he understated the “macho” phenomenon, driven by rising populism and growing mistrust of democratic systems.

That commentary was published before Donald Trump prevailed in the US presidential election and turned upside-down assumptions about how an American president might behave.

Whether we like it or not, the most powerful country in the world – until now, an exemplar of Western liberal democracies and global stabiliser in times of stress - is ruled by an autocrat who pays little attention to democratic norms. ...

Trump, therefore, is not an aberration. He is part of a strengthening authoritarian trend more or less across the globe.


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Re: Declining Democracies

#28

Post by Addie » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:25 pm

Axios
The economics behind the demise of democracy

Unforced by coup or war, one developed country after another has chosen an authoritarian style of democracy over the last two years, an all-but unforeseen shift that has left more mainstream leaders scrambling to understand it and turn back time.

The big picture: Economics ultimately underpins the turmoil, leading scholars tell Axios — a financial slide that has eroded the association of democracy with rising living standards and upward mobility, all while populists and partisan media have stoked resentment and promised better.

Why it matters: "The big danger," says Yale's Timothy Snyder, author of 'The Road to Unfreedom,' is that people decide that full-bore authoritarianism is inevitable. Neither democracy nor authoritarianism are inevitable, he tells Axios. "Authoritarianism is, however, more likely if we don’t attend to the challenges that make democracy harder." ...

"Populist authoritarian politicians are successful because they promote themselves as the voice of the people, and hence 'true' democracy, while undermining these checks and balances," says Roberto Stefan Foa, a professor at the University of Melbourne. "And their success in country after country would suggest the degree of public support for democracy in its liberal sense is weaker than previously understood."

In a much-read April article in Foreign Affairs, Foa and Harvard's Yascha Mounk correlated the success of the new politics with a shift in global wealth away from the democracies that fought the Cold War against Moscow. Within five years, they forecast, non-democratic nations such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia will be richer as a group than the Western liberal democracies.


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Re: Declining Democracies

#29

Post by Addie » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:02 pm

WaPo - EJ Dionne
Russia and the far right’s cozy affair ...

In truth, there is nothing illogical about the ideological collusion that is shaking our political system. If the old Soviet Union was the linchpin of the Communist International, Putin’s Russia is creating a new Reactionary International built around nationalism, a critique of modernity and a disdain for liberal democracy. Its central mission includes wrecking the Western alliance and the European Union by undermining a shared commitment to democratic values.

Putin is, first and foremost, an opportunist, so he is also happy to lend support to forces on the left when doing so advances his purposes in specific circumstances. But the dominant thrust of Putinism is toward the far right, because a nationalism rooted in Russian traditionalism cements his hold on power.

And the right in both Europe and the United States has responded. Long before Russia’s efforts to elect Trump in the 2016 election became a major public issue, Putin was currying favor with the American gun lobby, Christian conservatives and Republican politicians. ...

The Russian president did not have to invent Europe’s new right. It was rising without him, although he has been happy to help it along. Writing in New Statesman, a British center-left magazine, veteran journalist John Lloyd described the formation of what he called an “Illiberal International” that seeks to limit immigration and weaken or destroy the European Union. ...

It’s important to recognize that something more is going on here than merely a generalized effort to disrupt American and European politics. Putin is pushing in a very particular direction, a lesson that should be absorbed across our philosophical divides.

The deepening ties between the Russian government and elements of the right should give pause to all conservatives whose first commitment is to democratic life. The willingness of traditionalists and gun fanatics to cultivate ties with a Russian dictator speaks of a profound alienation among many on the right from core Western values — the very values that most conservatives extol.


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Re: Declining Democracies

#30

Post by Danraft » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:18 pm

Yes. And, there is something rattleing around in my crevices. Does anyone remember one of the data guys that worked with Jonathon Albrite who had made a modeling/predicting program on unstable democracies? He meant it to be used to find ways to heal and strengthen but he even said at the time that if you used it the other way you would get an detailed method to tumble a democracy. It's on a public access server IIRC. The small actions were as you would think from what I saw. And, the small actions we are seeing here with Trump are actually right on it...
I've can almost come up with the little connections to remember it... I was going to write an article on it and my have save the URL some where. If I get back to the house in time, Ill look for that stack of punch cards. Or, maybe it was on a floppy disk, or a mini disk? (It just feels like a like time a go since we've watched this nut ball...)


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Re: Declining Democracies

#31

Post by Danraft » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:38 pm

Yes. And, there is something rattleing around in my crevices. Does anyone remember one of the data guys that worked with Jonathon Albrite who had made a modeling/predicting program on unstable democracies? He meant it to be used to find ways to heal and strengthen but he even said at the time that if you used it the other way you would get an detailed method to tumble a democracy. It's on a public access server IIRC. The small actions were as you would think from what I saw. And, the small actions we are seeing here with Trump are actually right on it...
I've can almost come up with the little connections to remember it... I was going to write an article on it and my have save the URL some where. If I get back to the house in time, Ill look for that stack of punch cards. Or, maybe it was on a floppy disk, or a mini disk? (It just feels like a like time a go since we've watched this nut ball...)
I remembered enough, we messaged on unrelated topic couple weeks ago... didn't realize it was the same guy.
@zeynep on Twitter, Zeynep Tufekci, If. You read the Six Models for the Internet + Politics I think he was mentioned in Model 4, which is why I was talking to him.
He's a bloody genius, and I'm going to be talking about him a LOT.
I think everyone here is should hear about him, and it's a beauty!
"IT'S THE (DEMOCRACY-POISONING) GOLDEN AGE OF FREE SPEECH" is his article in Wired.

It's this guy for the modeling program, it was an academic paper from Columbia... I remember thinking...great... give Cambridge Analytica and Bannon just what they need.


We've got work to doing!
So, pull on your Sock Puppets --and start Mis-spelling!!!

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Re: Declining Democracies

#32

Post by Addie » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:53 am

Salon
Are white people ready to bail on democracy? These researchers say the danger is real

Donald Trump's combination of racism and authoritarianism, made repeatedly clear through his words and deeds, has not been disqualifying for his voters and most Republicans. Indeed it is central to his appeal, and has lured tens of millions of Americans into his movement.

In an increasingly diverse and cosmopolitan America, this combination is like a dagger pointed at the heart of the country’s democracy. Whether our republic can survive changing racial demographics and white racial paranoia, and how much Donald Trump’s racist and authoritarian movement is really a deviation from America’s historic norms, is very much in question. It seems clear that white identity politics has helped the Republican Party maintain control over its voters, and that a large number of white Americans value the privilege conferred on them by skin color more than they value democracy.

In an effort to address these questions and many others, I recently spoke with Steven Miller, a professor of political science at Clemson University, and Nicholas Davis, a research scientist at the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University. They are the authors of the new research paper “White Outgroup Intolerance and Declining Support for American Democracy.”

As the title suggests, Miller and Davis' work reveals a strong and disturbing connection between racial intolerance and potential support for military rule, or a strongman leader who could dispense with inconveniences like elections, courts or legislative oversight. Our conversation has been edited for clarity and length.


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Re: Declining Democracies

#33

Post by TollandRCR » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:22 am

We saw this coming years ago in many of the posts from conservatives (not just the far right). Their claim was that the US was not intended to be a democracy: it was designed as a republc. They asserted that the Framers feared democracy.

Their evidence was (a) the Electoral College and (b) the election of Senators by legislatures. Both put barriers between the people and their leading politicians. In some ways they took their cue from ancient Rome, which gave the power of government to male citizens (which were a minority of residents of Rome).

Not surprisingly, these discussions often veered off to proposals for restricting voting to males, to property owners, and to whites.


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Re: Declining Democracies

#34

Post by Addie » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:38 pm

WaPo
Hungary’s Orban launches his offensive on Europe

Earlier this week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivered an annual speech to ethnic Hungarians at a summer camp in Romania. He largely echoed the remarks he made last year, when he bemoaned European liberalism and championed the continent's Christian identity. But what seemed like boilerplate nationalist rhetoric then has more force now.

Backed by a hefty new electoral mandate, Orban has a broader mission in mind. He urged his right-wing comrades across Europe to "concentrate all our strength" on "important and decisive" 2019 elections for the European Parliament. He framed the challenge in grand historic terms, summoning his allies to cast out those in power still motivated by the values of "1968" — shorthand in Europe for liberal politics based on human rights, the rule of law and open, inclusive societies. "Next May we can wave goodbye not only to liberal democracy ... but also to the entire elite of ’68," Orban said.

The Hungarian leader emphatically drew the battle lines. "Let us confidently declare that Christian democracy is not liberal," he said. "Liberal democracy is liberal, while Christian democracy is, by definition, not liberal: it is, if you like, illiberal."

In this goal, he joins former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon, who recently launched a Brussels-based initiative to boost the role of nationalists across the continent within the European Union. Bannon has hailed Orban in the past as a European counterpart to President Trump, seeing the Hungarian leader's strident anti-immigrant and ultranationalist politics as "Trump before Trump."


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Re: Declining Democracies

#35

Post by Addie » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:50 am

New York Mag
The Far Right Aims to Take Control of the European Union Next Year

The past year has been a historically bad one for liberal democracy in Europe. Right-wing nationalist and anti-immigrant political leaders and parties took power, consolidated power, or made major gains in elections across the continent, particularly in central Europe: Austria, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party pushed through electoral reforms last December that will make it harder for its opposition to put up a fight in upcoming local and parliamentary elections.

The governing bodies of the European Union have been a perennial punching bag for the European right, which has accused them of undemocratically foisting liberal values and open borders on member states without their people’s consent. Some nationalists, like the U.K.’s Brexiteers (and Donald Trump), see the solution in shrinking or dismantling the union. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, an anti-Muslim Eurosceptic nationalist and currently the closest thing to a dictator in the E.U., has a better idea: Take it over, and destroy the liberal order from within.

In his annual speech to a community of ethnic Hungarians in neighboring Romania last week, Orban, who has presided over the almost complete erosion of democratic institutions in Hungary, declared that next year’s elections to the European Parliament would be the moment the right-wing nationalist wave achieved its real victory over the liberal elites who are out to “transform Europe, to ship it into a post-Christian era, and into an era when nations disappear.”

Orban called the vote an opportunity for Europe to opt for an alternative to liberal democracy: so-called Christian democracy, which he approvingly described as “not liberal … [or] illiberal, if you like.” He continued: “We are facing a big moment: we are saying goodbye not simply to liberal democracy … but to the 1968 elite,” in an allusion to the year a wave of left-liberal protest movements overturned conservative governments in a number of European countries and ushered in the cultural transformation in which contemporary European liberalism is rooted.

Orban is sometimes described as a European Trump, though it’s really more accurate to call Trump an American Orban, as the Hungarian strongman has been around much longer than Trump the notional politician. Orban sailed into a third term after his right-wing Fidesz party won a commanding victory in April’s parliamentary elections — a win on which Trump congratulated Orban in June to the dismay of anyone who still vainly hopes for the U.S. to stand up for freedom and democracy around the world.


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Re: Declining Democracies

#36

Post by Addie » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:39 pm

NBC News: Far-right Sweden Democrats hope to topple century of socialism

A party with its roots in neo-Nazism and white nationalism may be on the verge of an election victory.


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Re: Declining Democracies

#37

Post by Volkonski » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:19 am


Chris Murphy

Verified account

@ChrisMurphyCT
Follow Follow @ChrisMurphyCT
More Chris Murphy Retweeted Aaron Blake
I think this is a big deal.

Earlier this month, John McCain and I sent a letter to Romania’s government pushing them to stand up to corruption. Then, Giuliani - Trump’s spokesman - sent a letter contradicting both our letter and the State Dept position. And he got paid for it.Chris Murphy added,
Aaron Blake
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Giuliani letter criticizing Romania’s anti-corruption drive draws State Department attention via @jdawsey1 @thamburger https://wapo.st/2LIT2eQ?tid=ss_tw&utm_t ... 0380522a87
6:25 AM - 30 Aug 2018


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Re: Declining Democracies

#38

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:13 am

Volkonski wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:19 am
https:// twitter.com/ChrisMurphyCT/status/1035126477958901760
Chris Murphy @ChrisMurphyCT

I think this is a big deal.

Earlier this month, John McCain and I sent a letter to Romania’s government pushing them to stand up to corruption. Then, Giuliani - Trump’s spokesman - sent a letter contradicting both our letter and the State Dept position. And he got paid for it.Chris Murphy added,
Aaron Blake @AaronBlake
Giuliani letter criticizing Romania’s anti-corruption drive draws State Department attention via @jdawsey1 @thamburger https://wapo.st/2LIT2eQ?tid=ss_tw&utm_t ... 0380522a87
6:25 AM - 30 Aug 2018
Only the best chosen by dotus, and Rudy lacking any political sensitivity he may have once had. Congrats to the company who found an imploding star circling the WH resident.



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Re: Declining Democracies

#39

Post by Addie » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:36 am

The Atlantic - Anne Applebaum
A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well. ...


In a famous journal he kept from 1935 to 1944, the Romanian writer Mihail Sebastian chronicled an even more extreme shift in his own country. Like me, Sebastian was Jewish; like me, most of his friends were on the political right. In his journal, he described how, one by one, they were drawn to fascist ideology, like a flock of moths to an inescapable flame. He recounted the arrogance and confidence they acquired as they moved away from identifying themselves as Europeans—admirers of Proust, travelers to Paris—and instead began to call themselves blood-and-soil Romanians. He listened as they veered into conspiratorial thinking or became casually cruel. People he had known for years insulted him to his face and then acted as if nothing had happened. “Is friendship possible,” he wondered in 1937, “with people who have in common a whole series of alien ideas and feelings—so alien that I have only to walk in the door and they suddenly fall silent in shame and embarrassment?”

This is not 1937. Nevertheless, a parallel transformation is taking place in my own time, in the Europe that I inhabit and in Poland, a country whose citizenship I have acquired. And it is taking place without the excuse of an economic crisis of the kind Europe suffered in the 1930s. Poland’s economy has been the most consistently successful in Europe over the past quarter century. Even after the global financial collapse in 2008, the country saw no recession. What’s more, the refugee wave that has hit other European countries has not been felt here at all. There are no migrant camps, and there is no Islamist terrorism, or terrorism of any kind.

More important, though the people I am writing about here, the nativist ideologues, are perhaps not all as successful as they would like to be (about which more in a minute), they are not poor and rural, they are not in any sense victims of the political transition, and they are not an impoverished underclass. On the contrary, they are educated, they speak foreign languages, and they travel abroad—just like Sebastian’s friends in the 1930s.

What has caused this transformation? Were some of our friends always closet authoritarians? Or have the people with whom we clinked glasses in the first minutes of the new millennium somehow changed over the subsequent two decades? My answer is a complicated one, because I think the explanation is universal. Given the right conditions, any society can turn against democracy. Indeed, if history is anything to go by, all societies eventually will.


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Re: Declining Democracies

#40

Post by Flatpointhigh » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:44 am




"It is wrong to say God made rich and poor; He only made male and female, and He gave them the Earth as their inheritance."- Thomas Paine, Forward to Agrarian Justice
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Re: Declining Democracies

#41

Post by TollandRCR » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:33 pm

Powerful article by HRC American Democracy Is in Crisis

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... is/570394/


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Re: Declining Democracies

#42

Post by stoppingby » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:42 pm

I just came here to post the article from The Atlantic on Poland, but I see Addie has beaten me to it. It is long, but definitely worth the read.



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