IN THE WORLD
ALLA DEMOCRAZIA PARLAMENTARE
Giovanni De Sio Cesari
Sulla nostra democrazia parlamentare occidentale si riversa una valanga di critiche, dalla corruzione alla inefficienza dallo strapotere dei mass media alla mancanza di coscienza politica
Non entriamo nel merito delle critiche: vediamo le alternative
Infatti noi possiamo anche abbandonare la democrazia. Si può vivere anche senza democrazia, ci siamo vissuti per millenni ma non si può vivere senza cibo: per questo gli uomini si interessano più al cibo (e al benessere in generale) che alla democrazia. Ad esempio al cinese che vede il suo tenore di vita aumentare in modo insperato fino alla generazione precedente, interessa poco il sistema di governo, la democrazia, la liberta. Come diceva Deng il creatore della Cina moderna: non importa se il gatto sia bianco o nero importante è che acchiappi il topo
La democrazia ( parlamentare ) non è l'unica forma di governo e certamente non e' perfetta. Potremmo quindi rigettarla ed orientarci ad esempio sul coerente "emirato islamico" proposto da Bin Laden (magari trasformato in noi come “primato politico del papa” ), oppure la teocrazia del Tibet, pure essa illustre e venerabile o anche un partito unico nazionalista ( come in tanti pesi ex coloniali) o una giunta militare a carattere sud americano : si sarebbe solo l'imbarazzo della scelta
Populism, pluralism,and liberal democracy
Marc F. Plattner
(Journal of Democracy Volume 21, Number 1 January 2010)
The first decade of the twenty-first century has not been a happy time
for the fortunes of democracy in the world. After a period of extraordinary
advances in the final quarter of the twentieth century, the overall
spread of democracy came to a halt, and there have even been signs
that an erosion of democracy might be getting underway. According to
Freedom House’s annual survey, there have now been modest declines
in the level of freedom in the world for three consecutive years. Earlier
in the decade, democratic hopes had been inspired by the success of the “color revolutions” in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and even Kyrgyzstan, but subsequent developments in these countries have on the whole been disappointing. Moreover, nondemocratic regimes elsewhere became obsessed with the threat of color revolutions, and having learned from thefailures of their fellow autocrats, they launched a set of efforts that have reduced the space for opposition and civil society groups in their own countries—a phenomenon described as the “backlash” or “pushback” against democracy.
Another indicator of what Larry Diamond has labeled a “democratic
recession” is that the world’s autocratic regimes have begun to show a
new élan, leading other commentators to speak of the emergence of an
“authoritarian capitalist” alternative to democracy. In the 1990s, political
scientists tended to regard authoritarian regimes as transitory, and
studied them largely from the perspective of their potential for achieving
progress toward democracy. Of late, however, impressed by the staying
power of many of these regimes, scholars have begun to focus on what
has enabled them to persist and often to display a considerable degree of
stability—a phenomenon that Andrew J. Nathan, writing about China,
has dubbed “authoritarian resilience.”
There is no question that a large number of other nondemocratic regimes, especially in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union, have demonstrated an impressive ability to maintain their hold on power, and it makes good sense to explore the sources of their survival.
At the same time, however, the new focus on the resilience of authoritarianism may have led to a tendency to neglect or undervalue the
resilience of democracy—a subject that I believe merits fresh attention.
Despite the obstacles that democracy has encountered in recent years, it
in fact continues to endure remarkably well. In the first place, in a departure from previous cycles, the “third wave” of democratization that
began in 1974 has not yet given way to a third “reverse wave,” in which
the number of countries experiencing democratic breakdowns substantially exceeds the number giving birth to new democracies. It is true, as Larry Diamond has noted, that the incidence of democratic break down or backsliding has increased in the last few years, but the democratic regimes that have succumbed have all been of fairly recent vintage.
Put differently, no well-established or consolidated democracies have
been lost. In particular, in countries that have achieved high levels of
per capita GDP, there still has not been a single case of democratic
Part of the explanation, of course, is that democratic regimes today enjoy a high degree of legitimacy, not only among their own citizens
but in the world at large. This can be seen in the endorsement that democracy has been given by international and regional organizations, in
the way in which nondemocratic countries try to claim the mantle of
democracy for themselves, and in the support for democracy that public opinion surveys find in every region of the world. As Amartya Sen has
In any age and social climate, there are some sweeping beliefs that seem
to command respect as a kind of general rule—like a “default” setting in
a computer program; they are considered right unless their claim is somehow precisely negated. While democracy is not yet universally practiced nor indeed universally accepted, in the general climate of world opinion, democratic governance has now achieved the status of being taken to be generally right.
The high degree of legitimacy that democracy enjoys can also be observed in the paucity of support in established democracies for antidemocratic movements and regimes elsewhere. During the twentieth century there were significant sources of support in Western public opinion, especially among academics and intellectuals, not only for Marxism, but for Stalin’s Soviet Union, for Mao’s China, for Castro’s Cuba, and for the Sandinistas’ Nicaragua. In the democratic world today, open backing for the regimes of Russia, China, or Iran is rarely to be found. There is of course, a great deal of criticism of Western and especially U.S. policy toward these regimes, but that is a very different matter from endorsing their ideological claims.
Yet although explicit sympathy for antidemocratic alternatives is virtually
absent among significant groups of citizens in consolidated democracies,
this cannot be taken to reflect widespread satisfaction on their part with political life in their own countries. When viewed from the vantage point of emerging democracies, the advanced democracies may appear to be paragons of successful governance, but that is not generally how it looks from the inside, where dissatisfaction with politics is widespread. This manifests itself in contempt for politicians (especially the people’s chosen representatives in the legislature), frequent outbreaks of scandal and corruption, and declining trust in political institutions. Moreover, across the political spectrum, at least in the United States, one hears heightened expressions of concern about escalating partisanship, a coarsening of political discourse, an inability to get things accomplished, and a broader cultural decline.
It would be hard to deny that many of these complaints have a good
deal of justification. Yet in the developed world democracy remains,
if not exactly robust, seemingly impregnable. This may in part be due
to an increasing acceptance of what has been dubbed “the Churchill
hypothesis”—that “democracy is the worst form of Government except
for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
It is surely true that the failures and drawbacks of other types of regimes help to shore up the continuing appeal of democracy. Even cases such as the People’s Republic of China, with its remarkable success over the past
three decades in achieving economic growth and military power, have
not been able to convince citizens in the advanced democracies that they
would want to sacrifice their liberties to enjoy the putative benefits of
single-party rule. The direction of migration in the world remains overwhelmingly from less free countries to freer ones.