4 November 2016   Leave a comment

An editorial in The Economist has assessed the state of democracy in the world today and the assessment is disturbing.  The analysis is consistent with the view that liberal values continue to erode in the face of economic stress.  In many respects the editorial ponders the inability of formerly strong liberal states to hold the line.  One paragraph is of particular note:

“Third, democracy is not just about voting; it is about a system that guarantees individual rights, the independence of the courts, the freedom of the press and so on. Britain was a reasonably liberal place in the 19th century even before democracy was enacted; Karl Marx could sit, unmolested, in the reading room of the British Museum and plot the overthrow of the system. There is a tension within democracy between the “majoritarian” and the “individual rights” impulse; the danger that 51% of the electorate votes to lock up the other 49%.”

We will see how close the editorial is to the mark after the US election on Tuesday.

Asli Aydintasbas has written an op-ed piece for the Washington Post about the decline of democracy in Turkey.  The attempted coup in Turkey earlier this year has accelerated President Erdogan’s moves to silence news media, arrest dissidents, and purge the military of possible competitors.  In some sense, Erdogan’s descent into authoritarianism mimics the larger anti-democratic move in the world, but Turkey is especially tragic since it was regarded as a progressive force in the world a few years ago.

The Harvard Business Review has published an essay that offers a full-throated defense of globalization.  The evidence offered is interesting because it is not the standard evidence found in many essays in support of globalization.  Rather, the evidence is unusual and reveals some interesting aspects of globalization that we don’t usually think about.  There are many conclusions in the essay with which I have disagreements, but I found myself learning a great deal.  The essay is definitely worth a close read.


Posted November 4, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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