Saturday, January 8, 2022

Democracy and Discontent

Democracy is a process that enable leaders to provide balanced responses to citizens' discontent and interests.

Interestingly, a multi-party political system, while preferable is not a prerequisite for  an extant democracy. For example the current Republican Party while professing to be "for the people"excludes many of our citizens from political participation, usually under the rubric of "States Rights" using a variety of gimmicks, ruses and artifices. If you can exclude citizens then any responsiveness to their discontent and interests becomes irrelevant. Assuming the Democrats' leaders  continue providing a balanced response to the discontent and interests of all citizens you've created a de facto single party democracy.

The Republican Party and its followers' use of dogma to obviate their responsiveness to our citizenry's discontent and interests strengthens the case for a de facto single party democracy. According to their dogma "God, Markets, and Prayers" are the responsive constructs  to our citizenry.

The Democratic Party must stop pretending that the Republican Party is part of our multi-party system of democracy and call it what it is - a dogma spewing deceptive dictatorship requiring immediate removal and replacement.


ForeignAffairs, The Faltering Fight for Democracy - Biden’s Mixed Record on Democratic Renewal (Freedom House latest report pdf)

Bloomberg, China Serves Up a Few Unexpected Tips on Democracy  and Decoding China Dictionary (解码中国词典).pdf  (see note two)

DemocracyJournal, Authoritarian Repression Anywhere Is a Threat to Democracy Everywhere

Atlantic, The Bad Guys are Winning

Atlantic, Trump Is Gone, but Democracy Is in Trouble

WH, Remarks by President Biden at the 2021 Virtual Munich Security Conference (Feb 2021)

1. The Republican Party is highly likely to be "for the people" - just not for the people participating in their own governance. 

It is likely that some leaders of the Republican Party are using populism for undemocratic ends, but it would be significant error to generalize those ends to all Americans  identifying with the Republican Party. [Those interested in sorting the (un)democratic ends may find this short article (pdf): Populism, Authoritarianism and Constitutionalism helpful?]

How long before these leaders begin spewing the shibboleth "democracy with Republican Party characteristics".

You don't need to be a scholar of China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) to understand the catastrophe cult-like national populist movements inflict on nations. (those interested in the GPCR or China's leadership will find David Shambaugh's latest book, "China's Leaders: from Mao to Now" interesting)

2. Sifting through all the economic hype on China is more difficult than sorting through Russian (dis/mis)information...yes China is developing runways and planes hoping to takeoff, but that takeoff is far from certain...especially into Tiananmen Square-like global headwinds.

Asserting a "right to develop" in the context of a contest between autocracy vs democracy is highly unlikely to significantly change those headwinds.

Last Updated: January 08, 2022

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