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Fri Feb 9, 2018, 03:25 PM

How democracies die, explained

How democracies die, explained

The problems in American democracy run far deeper than Trump.

By Ezra Klein@ezraklein Feb 2, 2018, 8:10am EST

There are images that come to mind when we imagine a democracy’s end. Democracies fall in coups and revolutions, burn in fires and riots, collapse amid war and plague. When they die, they die screaming.

Not anymore, argue Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt in their new book, How Democracies Die. In most modern cases, “democracies erode slowly, in barely visible steps.” They rot from the inside, poisoned by leaders who “subvert the very process that brought them to power.” They are hollowed out, the trappings of democracy present long after the soul of the system is snuffed out. (Related: I interviewed Levitsky and Ziblatt for my podcast, The Ezra Klein Show, which you can listen to here, or wherever you get your podcasts.)

How Democracies Die is being read as a commentary on Donald Trump, but the analysis of Trump is the book’s least interesting, and least important, contribution. Trump is a symptom, not the cause, of the problems bedeviling American democracy.

Where Levitsky and Ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and to the deep structure of American democracy and politics.

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Reply How democracies die, explained (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2018 OP
VMA131Marine Feb 2018 #1
appalachiablue Feb 2018 #2
BigmanPigman Feb 2018 #3
JI7 Feb 2018 #4

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 9, 2018, 04:34 PM

1. Trump isn't Hitler

He's Franz von Papen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_von_Papen

"Papen was authoritarian by inclination. Richard J. Evans described his philosophy as "utopian conservatism" due to his long-term goal of restoring a modern version of the Ancien Régime. He imposed increasingly stringent censorship on the press and repealed his predecessor's ban on the Sturmabteilung (SA) as a way to appease the Nazis, whom he hoped to lure into supporting his government.[99] Papen's economic policies, which were all passed by Article 48, were to sharply cut the payments offered by the unemployment insurance fund, subject all jobless Germans seeking unemployment insurance to a very strict means test, had wages drastically lowered (including those reached by collective bargaining) while bringing in very generous tax cuts to corporations and the rich.[100] Papen argued that lowering taxes on the well off and corporations would encourage them to spend and create jobs; that lowering wages would encourage businesses to hire and reducing unemployment insurance would force the jobless (whom Papen often implied were just lazy people who didn't want to work) to find work; and thus alleviate the effects of the Great Depression.[101] As 1932 was the worst year of the Great Depression with joblessness at an all-time high, Papen's economic policies of favoring the rich while punishing the poor enraged ordinary Germans, making him into Germany's most hated man.[101] Papen reveled in his unpopularity and took a great deal of pleasure in taunting and baiting his critics as he enjoyed provoking people.[102] Papen's thesis that lowering wages would make employers more likely to hire and less likely to fire employees was not a popular one as he was widely viewed as engaging in "one-sided catering" to big business.[103]"

Which makes Pence .......

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 9, 2018, 09:49 PM

2. K & R. Jan. 2017, US was downgraded from full democracy to flawed

democracy for the first time by The Economist Group annual Democracy Index of the Intelligence Unit.

US NEWS, Jan. 25, 2017
The Economist Group: 'The U.S. is No Longer a Full Democracy': The Economist Intelligence Unit Downgrades the U.S. from a 'Full Democracy' to a 'Flawed Democracy.'

For the first time in its history, the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper, has listed the U.S. as a "flawed democracy" in its annual Democracy Index.

The Economist Intelligence Unit downgraded the U.S. from a “full democracy” to a “flawed democracy,” due to the "further erosion of trust in government and elected officials there," according to the group's website.

Joan Hoey, editor of the report, told EurActiv.com that the lower ranking wasn't a direct result of Trump. “On the contrary, the election of Mr. Trump as U.S. president was in large part a consequence of the longstanding problems of democracy in the U.S.” she said.

The 2016 Democracy Index report, called "Revenge of the "deplorables," looks at "the deep roots of today's crisis of democracy in the developed world," and explores the state of democracy in every region.

According to the Index, democracy had a tough year in 2016, with no global region having an improvement in its average score and almost twice as many countries, 72, declining in score. Eastern Europe experienced the most severe backward movement.
Of the 167 countries scored, Norway took the top spot, while North Korea remains rooted to the bottom of the table.

The Index looks at "60 indicators across five broad categories: electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties," according to the Economist.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-01-25/the-economist-group-the-us-is-no-longer-a-full-democracy

The Economist-Democracy Index Report, Global Rankings
https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/01/daily-chart-20

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Feb 9, 2018, 10:19 PM

3. Race and Religion are the two key words

that are at the root of this long problem. After reading the article I think that sums it up nicely, or not so nicely to be more accurate. Is anyone surprised?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Feb 10, 2018, 05:17 AM

4. about the last part in the article, there is California

no single group makes up a majority but minorities as a whole are a majority although individually whites are the largest. also every newer generation will have higher number of people who are of mixed race .

i think the biggest thing that helps california is that it does lean mostly socially liberal so right now the debate is more on things like taxes and other economic issues.



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