"I've known Xi Jinping for a long time. ... He doesn't have a democratic -- with a small 'd' -- bone in his body," said Joe Biden in his first press conference as president, and then he ambled on: "He's one of the guys, like (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, who thinks that autocracy is the... Read More
It may have been President Bill Clinton who once justified his wrecking of the Balkans by observing that liberal interventionism to bring about regime change is a good thing because “Democracies don’t start wars with other democracies.” Or it might have been George W. Bush talking about Iraq or even Barack Obama justifying his destruction... Read More
Thousands of communists, anarchists, and international NGOs have descended on Athens to celebrate a Greek court's decision to declare nationalist opposition party, Golden Dawn, a criminal organization. The ruling is a historic departure for post-war liberalism, which traditionally frowns upon putting members of parliament in prison for their beliefs. All 18 elected MPs, including Golden... Read More
What happens when democracy fails to deliver? What happens when people give up on democracy? What happens when a majority or militant minority decide that the constitutional rights of free speech, free elections, peaceful assembly and petition are inadequate and take to the streets to force democracy to submit to their demands? Our world may... Read More
In Roman politics, citizens lost control of politicians after electing them. It’s one of the system’s greatest weaknesses and it is no wonder that, like our Roman forebears, we regard government as our biggest problem: we cannot compel them to keep their promises. Imagine that, instead of hiring eloquent amateurs, we hired professionals–sociologists, statisticians, political... Read More
Still too soon to tell?
In 2005, Germany transferred her high speed rail technology to China. Today, China’s HSR is bigger, faster, safer and cheaper than Germany’s, runs entirely on Chinese intellectual property and Chinese trains are displacing Germany’s in the world market. Coincidentally, in 2005, The Carter Center began transferringAmerica’s democracy knowhow to China. Today, China’s democracy is bigger,... Read More
The most striking feature of the failed Turkish coup has been the people’s response. The plotters did their routine right: they seized the broadcasting station, they sent a sortie to kill the president, they stationed troops in the vital points, they rolled out the tanks. They calculated everything but the people’s response. As the president... Read More
Inquiring Minds Elsewhere Want to Know
Americans who live abroad -- more than six million of us worldwide (not counting those who work for the U.S. government) -- often face hard questions about our country from people we live among. Europeans, Asians, and Africans ask us to explain everything that baffles them about the increasingly odd and troubling conduct of the... Read More
And can China get along fine without it?
So where are we with this democracy business? Last time I brought it up I left you with Robert A. Heinlein’s time traveler: It’s not clear that American democracy, as it has developed to the present, really is so wonderful. One of our big political parties somehow manages to market itself as the party of... Read More