It’s interesting how proponents of “liberal democracy” view their preferred system/ideology as the equivalent of revealed religion. None of those guys have carried out massacres and dislocations on the level of US regimes of recent decades, or many US client states, from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia. Erdogan is probably the worst of the five, and even he is a lightweight in comparison.
By Damon Linker, The Week
This week’s best long read is undeniably Anne Applebaum’s cover story from the December issue of The Atlantic, “The Bad Guys Are Winning.” Applebaum is an accomplished historian of Soviet totalitarianism, and she lives in Poland, so her frequent writings on the subject of threats to democracy carry weight. Unlike many U.S.-based journalists on this beat, she knows the languages and political cultures of Central and Eastern Europe, where democratic backsliding has been concentrated in recent years.
Though putting it that way is somewhat misleading. While Applebaum begins her essay by focusing on Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian dictator who defied election results and massive protests to keep himself in power in 2020, she moves far beyond her own neighborhood to examine parallel and mutually reinforcing trends in China, Turkey, Venezuela, and many other countries around the world, including within the countries of the democratic West.