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Fri Mar 6, 2020, 02:33 PM

The World Is Experiencing a New Form of Autocracy

If you are a democrat, liberal or progressive, this does not bode well for a future that is conducive to those views. However, it behooves us to keep up with the changes and adaptations that are being made by authoritarians since that can provide both a shield and even an impetus to avert tyranny in its many guises.

We are seeing this today in our own, subverted government and it deserves our attention and due vigilance since the struggle is endless. We are reminded here to carefully consider how important our values are and ask ourselves to what degree we would promote, defend and enact them in a consensus reality.

Today’s authoritarians use legal measures to subvert constitutional constraints on their power.

In March 2018, Donald Trump, addressing a crowd of donors at his Florida estate, told what sounded like a joke. He was talking about the recent amendment of China’s constitution to remove presidential term limits, allowing Xi Jinping to serve in that office indefinitely. About Xi, Trump said: “He’s now president for life, president for life. And he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give it a shot someday.” The crowd cheered and applauded in response. In fact, Trump has told one version or another of this joke many times since becoming president.

And though Trump’s remarks are generally perceived as facetious, many of his counterparts on the world stage are quite serious. In January, Vladimir Putin addressed the Russian nation in an annual State of the Union–esque speech. Alongside pledges to improve living standards by, among other things, offering free hot meals to schoolchildren, he proposed major constitutional reforms that could see the presidential office weakened and the prime ministry and State Council strengthened—measures very likely aimed at ensuring that Putin can remain in power after 2024, when constitutional term limits will force him out of the presidency.

This is how authoritarianism looks today. Our original study documents all term-limit-evasion strategies worldwide since the year 2000. We found that presidential-term-limit evasion is exceedingly common: About one-third of all presidents who reached the end of their term made a serious attempt to overstay. Two-thirds of those who made the attempt succeeded.

What’s particularly interesting is not only that so many presidents try to evade term limits, but that they are more and more sophisticated and legalistic in how they do so. Whereas leaders once used unmistakably authoritarian actions to stay in power, such as banning opposition parties or dismissing the legislature, today’s heads of state instead use democratic institutions and legal measures to subvert constitutional constraints on their power. More specifically, we found that there are four basic strategies for evading term limits, none of which violates a constitution outright: adding constitutional amendments, rewriting the constitution, using the courts to reinterpret the constitution, and appointing a placeholder president.


https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/new-authoritarianism/607045/

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Reply The World Is Experiencing a New Form of Autocracy (Original post)
Newest Reality Mar 6 OP
coti Mar 6 #1
Newest Reality Mar 6 #4
spanone Mar 6 #2
Baked Potato Mar 6 #3
Karadeniz Mar 6 #5

Response to Newest Reality (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2020, 02:36 PM

1. Trump wasn't being facetious. Like so many abusers, his "jokes" are attempts to groom the country

for more audacious, future moves. He's trying to normalize his criminality.

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Response to coti (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 6, 2020, 02:55 PM

4. Thank you!

I have been saying that, as well.

This is all about conditioning the population and test marketing and it is going rather well, so far. You throw something absurd out and see how left/right/media react. The goals are to deflect from the main motives to some degree, create confusion and incredulity among the population, support the fealty of the base and gather the results of the test. Rinse, repeat.

We have to wake up to generally or we get a scripted reality TV show from from the Twilight Zone suburbs of Oceania.

To support that, consider how media and this culture have become The Spectacle and how facts, knowledge, evidence and corroboration are often dismissed for the sake of a Simulation. We used to think that propaganda and censorship were prime tools that pave the way to a totalitarian government. That is hardly the case now. The people tend to censor themselves by resorting to mere beliefs and even unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, (as in, sounds good to me) that distract from the facts and fragment, even shatter, the consensus that we rely on, no matter how complex it may seem to be.

Fact checking is essential in that case.

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Response to Newest Reality (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2020, 02:36 PM

2. K&R...

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Response to Newest Reality (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2020, 02:41 PM

3. Well, we already are witnessing a battle between the Billionaire Class.

Last edited Fri Mar 6, 2020, 04:10 PM - Edit history (1)

They will just use Common Folk as proxies in their “struggle”. Soon, we will have Hawkfish VS Project Alamo, Cambridge Analytica, or whatever else shakes out of Parscale and the “other” side.

It could work out for us this cycle, but beware the future.

EDIT: I bring up the Billionaire class because I believe the rise of the billionaires is part of the move toward Authoritarianism rule. We are being conditioned to just go on with our lives while the 1 percenters and corporations duke it out and fight for power. We are being conditioned to despise elections and the whole process. The billionaires are positioning themselves as the answer to this problem.

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Response to Newest Reality (Original post)

Fri Mar 6, 2020, 04:08 PM

5. Most people think they're living in a democracy if elections are held. Russia has them.

China. Hungary. Philippines.

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