GUNTER: How democracy is also on the decline in the free world
The current issue of The Atlantic has a terrific (and scary) piece by Anne Applebaum entitled The Bad Guys are Winning.
Applebaum explains how democracy is on the decline around the world, mostly losing out to autocracies and dictatorships.
“But in the 21st century,” Applebaum explains, “autocracies are run not by one bad guy,” but rather by “networks composed of kleptocratic financial structures, security services, and professional propagandists.” They do business with one another and share information on dissidents.
And, Applebaum writes alarmingly, they are all way ahead of the democratic world’s responses to their international aggression and abuses of their own citizens.
But I maintain there is also a problem within the free world.
Increasingly our elites seem quite prepared to curtail rights in the name of preserving them, somehow.
Look at our own Liberal government’s attempts to regulate internet content – and not just from giant media organizations (a curtailment that would be bad enough democracy-wise) but also posts and comments and videos from ordinary citizens.
If you are not free to speak your mind, no matter how wrong or ill-informed you may be, then none of us has free speech.
Seriously, preserving free expression is very hard – very, very hard. It requires all of us to hold our noses, a lot. And roll our eyes and spend countless hours at family gatherings listening to and perhaps even debunking Uncles Frank’s whacked out conspiracy theories about mind control drugs in fluoridated water or COVID vaccines.