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Home Main Forums General Discussion Maybe This Is How Democracy Ends – Moyers & Co.

  • WillyT (10710 posts)
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    Maybe This Is How Democracy Ends – Moyers & Co.

    Maybe This Is How Democracy Ends – Moyers & Co./RawStory



    The election of Donald Trump has triggered as much wonderment abroad as it has in the United States. David Runciman, a professor of politics at the University of Cambridge, has written in the London Review of Books a provocative reflection on the nature of democracy in the age of Trump: “Is this how democracy ends?” There is much to praise in his essay, including his heavy qualification that we really don’t know for sure if what we are seeing is the end phase of mature Western democracies since we do not have the appropriate historical precedents to be certain.

    Runciman is correct; as an admirer of Karl Popper, I believe that there is no such thing as historical determinism, either in the form of the Marxist dialectical process, or in the guise of its mirror image, the invisible hand of laissez-faire. Accordingly there is no surefire way to tell in advance whether Trump, Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders would spell the end of democracy as we have known it. History, as Popper would tell us, is an open system, full of contingency. Waterloo, the Battle of Britain and Stalingrad were all close-run things.

    That said, Runciman may in fact be too optimistic. He makes much of the evidence that post-election violence in America was scattered and relatively minor. There were no pitched battles in the streets on the scale of Berlin in 1932, no tanks on the Washington Mall and no generals appearing on television to announce a curfew or to say that order has been restored. But that establishes an awfully easy test for Trump to prove he is harmless, especially as he had not even assumed office at the time of the author’s writing. We do not know what the next four years have to offer, particularly when Trump begins to dismantle government programs on which people rely for subsistence, or when he ignites a trade war with China and downscale consumers, the archetypal Walmart customers, suddenly discover either that the shelves are empty or that their cost of living has increased by 45 percent.

    If we look at Russia in the age of Vladimir Putin, we also see no tanks in the streets, bloody battles between opposing factions or generalissimos restoring order. Elections there proceed in an orderly manner, as they did last September. This is what managed democracy looks like. Runciman may argue Russia was never a mature Western democracy, and he would be right. But it also shows that an absence of chronic civil unrest or domestic military intervention is not a benchmark for deciding whether a country remains in the camp of liberal democracies. Even countries visibly undemocratic by Western standards can maintain a façade of civil order and normality. Hungary, an EU member since 2004 after 84 percent of the electorate approved accession, is undeniably regressing toward a one-party, authoritarian state under Brussels’ very nose.

    Just as Putin’s United Russia Party has moved to disqualify troublesome opposition parties from the ballot and centralize power around the president, and as Viktor Orbán’s Fedesz Party has weakened those Hungarian institutions that challenged his power, Trump’s Republican Party has been laying the institutional groundwork for illiberal democracy for several years….



    More: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/maybe-this-is-how-democracy-ends/




    OzoneTom, 7wo7rees, ThouArtThat like this

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8 replies
  • ThouArtThat (6133 posts)
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    1. This Citizen Argues That American Democracy Is Already Dead

    "In America Today, Power Corrupts and Money Corrupts Absolutely" - Anonymous  
    • WillyT (10710 posts)
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      4. Thank You For Sharing That…



    • Ohio Barbarian (6443 posts)
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      6. Great post. Last year, my wife called up some telemarketing private college

      offering training for “all kinds of careers.” She told them she wanted to be a world controller, like the government character in Brave New World. They asked her control over what; she said “Just North America. I’m willing to share the planet. Jeez, I’m not greedy or anything. So, tell me about your World Controller course?”

      They spluttered and hung up. Silly trade school people.

      Ignorance is the foundation of tyranny.   
  • MistaP (6953 posts)
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    2. it's called a "party of power"


    the Pubs have all three branches of government, 69 state chambers, and 33 governors

    BUT Trump won in the face of massive opposition by the party machine and obliterated its paragon and his $120M warchest so hard Jeb didn’t win a single county; the only party that’s used felonies, embezzlement, mindless controlled media, synchronized armies of hate-filled online propagandists, a totalitarian attitude towards historical truths, Orwellian mislogic, hired toughs to attack opposition rallies, and secret police agencies against a dissident politician was the Dems

    http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/ (Third Way = Bell Curve)
    • Octafish (3771 posts)
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      3. ''Please clap.''

      Regarding how we arrived at our Low Energy Police State:

      “Get the truth and print it.” -- John S. Knight
      • ThouArtThat (6133 posts)
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        5. Yep -Since Then The Power Of The MIC Has Only Grown And Metastasized


        "In America Today, Power Corrupts and Money Corrupts Absolutely" - Anonymous  
  • Lurky Loo (22 posts)
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    7. Some would argue that the US has never been a democracy, Republicans kiled

    anyone that might have  created one from Lincoln to Kennedy and several would-be candidates in between.  For sure there has been the appearance of democracy but the US government has never allowed it.  And some would argue that the US has never even been a developed country.  They just can’t evolve with all of that old dead wood in DC.

    A democracy, which all developed nations are, with the exception of the US, look after their people and they spend taxpayer money on taxpayers, the health of their people and the health of their nations.  They don’t give Israel $38 Billion in AID while starving the children of their own nations.

    The Obama administration has been destroying social programs in democracies around the world with their phony trade deals so they never have to look after their own people.  Gawd, look what they do to veterans?

    They want the American kids they murder for profit to die on battlefields in foreign countries so they don’t have to look after them when they come home.  They’re killing our children for money!

    I’m sure people heard about the bombings of Doctors W/O Borders hospitals and now most hospitals are targets, weddings, funerals, markets et al, murdering innocent people.  Against the Geneva Convention, it’s illegal and it’s criminal but Obama made a deal with the ICC not to prosecute Americans for any war crimes.  He’s killing with impunity!

    The reason Obama started to bomb Drs w/o Borders is because they outed him in the media when he was in India trying to stop them from manufacturing generic drugs so US pharmaceutical giants can gouge the rest of the world like they do Americans and deny the people access to doctors and medicine.

    That’s why India got millions of American call center jobs.

    Obama uses his power like a WMD against the people that gave it to him, just as Republicans have always done.

    If it doesn’t talk like a democracy or walk like a democracy, it isn’t a democracy no matter how many times Obama call it our democracy.

  • Major Hogwash (3067 posts)
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    8. We had a nice run.

    I expect Trump to clamp down on any activism that may make him look like an idiot.

    Trump moya marionetka ~ Putin