For most of the past century, we have lived with the premise that Democracy is the best form of government and that the rest of the world would copy the practices of the United States.
Yet the world appears to be moving in the opposite direction.
- In Russia, Vladimir Putin has an approval rating of close to 90%, while he governs autocratically.
- Turkey has turned from a Democratic Republic to a dictatorship.
- Eastern European governments, like Poland and Hungary, are becoming more autocratic and increasingly looking at Russia as a model for governing.
- The Chinese government, under Xi Jinping is becoming far less Democratic, restricting dissent and concentrating power in the hands of the Communist Party.
- In the Philippines, Duterte has become a strongman, concentrating power and crushing dissent.
- Smaller countries, like Vietnam and Cambodia, which had started to turn toward Democracy are coming more repressive.
- In the Middle East, many of our strongest allies, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt have autocratic governments.
- The same applies to enemies, like Iran.
- On the other hand, some of our attempts to build Democracy in other countries, like Afghanistan, appear to be failing.
In the United States, many of the aspects of Democracy that we have come to expect are being questioned. The press is under attack, as are the FBI and other intelligence agencies. Political opponents of the President are being accused of treason.
Current developments raise two questions:
- Is Democracy, as we have experienced it, under threat?
- Is Democracy still a viable form of government for developing countries?
Come to our next Seniors BBL to discuss this important topic.
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Time: 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Location: WeWork, 1460 Broadway (entrance is on 41st street), Conf Rm 14A
New York, NY 10036 (Must bring your picture ID to enter the building)
Price: FREE — RSVP Required (HBS Alums Only; No Guests)