Balance of Power, Columns, Government, Lifestyle

What is going wrong with Western Democracy?


There is no doubt that democracy is in crisis.  This is a widespread phenomenon throughout the developed world.  It is harder, however, to understand why this crisis exists and why it is so widespread.

A report from the Democratic Audit about British democracy states that:

Britain’s constitutional arrangements are “increasingly unstable” owing to changes such as devolution; public faith in democratic institutions “decaying”; a widening gap in the participation rates of different social classes of voters; and an “unprecedented” growth in corporate power, which the study’s authors warn “threatens to undermine some of the most basic principles of democratic decision-making”.

US democracy has been in serious difficulty for some time and is currently so dysfunctional that governing seems almost impossible.

Democracy is intimately linked to modernism and modernism is intricately linked with capitalism.  China is demonstrating that is possible to have capitalism and modernism without democracy.  Meanwhile, capitalism seems to be faltering in the developed world.

Democracy’s failings have been well catalogued and the champion of democracy and freedom, Winston Churchill is famous for having said “that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

The question begs to be asked: is democracy damaging Western capitalism and does the lack of democracy in China explain why its form of capitalism is doing so well?

If the answer is “yes” that is bad news for us all.

See Guardian article for more: British democracy in terminal decline, warns report | UK news | The Guardian.

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