the abnormals


What is truly worrying is not simply the number of failed democracies. It is rather the extensive misuse of democratic institutions, symbols, and practices. Thus, presidential elections become an opportunity to propel to power an unstable demagogue (Venezuela) and parliamentary elections an opportunity for the business oligarchy to buy political influence (Ukraine). From Thailand to Bolivia, from Russia to the Gaza Strip, democracy everywhere has been perverted beyond recognition; often, demagogues do not even that pretend theirs is the “Western” variant of democracy. Francis Fukuyama’s contention that we are witnessing the final triumph of “liberal democracy” sounds increasingly shallow. The perception of the classical authors is probably truer. Free states are precious few, beacons of light in the dark and boundless ocean of despotism.

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