Essay In Politics

Essay In Politics-52
This is what happened in much of the Arab spring, and also in Ukraine’s Orange revolution a decade ago.In 2004 Mr Yanukovych was ousted from office by vast street protests, only to be re-elected to the presidency (with the help of huge amounts of Russian money) in 2010, after the opposition politicians who replaced him turned out to be just as hopeless. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes.

This is what happened in much of the Arab spring, and also in Ukraine’s Orange revolution a decade ago.In 2004 Mr Yanukovych was ousted from office by vast street protests, only to be re-elected to the presidency (with the help of huge amounts of Russian money) in 2010, after the opposition politicians who replaced him turned out to be just as hopeless. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes.

In the first half of the 20th century nascent democracies collapsed in Germany, Spain and Italy.

By 1941 there were only 11 democracies left, and Franklin Roosevelt worried that it might not be possible to shield “the great flame of democracy from the blackout of barbarism”.

Yet these days the exhilaration generated by events like those in Kiev is mixed with anxiety, for a troubling pattern has repeated itself in capital after capital. Regime-sanctioned thugs try to fight back but lose their nerve in the face of popular intransigence and global news coverage.

The world applauds the collapse of the regime and offers to help build a democracy.

Faith in democracy flares up in moments of triumph, such as the overthrow of unpopular regimes in Cairo or Kiev, only to sputter out once again.

Outside the West, democracy often advances only to collapse.The collapse of the Soviet Union created many fledgling democracies in central Europe.By 2000 Freedom House, an American think-tank, classified 120 countries, or 63% of the world total, as democracies.THE protesters who have overturned the politics of Ukraine have many aspirations for their country.Their placards called for closer relations with the European Union (EU), an end to Russian intervention in Ukraine’s politics and the establishment of a clean government to replace the kleptocracy of President Viktor Yanukovych. Democracies are on average richer than non-democracies, are less likely to go to war and have a better record of fighting corruption.Governments had steadily extended entitlements over decades, allowing dangerous levels of debt to develop, and politicians came to believe that they had abolished boom-bust cycles and tamed risk.Many people became disillusioned with the workings of their political systems—particularly when governments bailed out bankers with taxpayers’ money and then stood by impotently as financiers continued to pay themselves huge bonuses.Freedom House reckons that 2013 was the eighth consecutive year in which global freedom declined, and that its forward march peaked around the beginning of the century.Between 19 the cause of democracy experienced only a few setbacks, but since 2000 there have been many.The damage the crisis did was psychological as well as financial.It revealed fundamental weaknesses in the West’s political systems, undermining the self-confidence that had been one of their great assets.

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