Democracy in the early 21st century
by Elias Blum
My concerns are the following:
(i) That the moral, ethical, cultural foundations of democracy in the West are being eroded by ‘post-truth’ politics and by culture divided between relativist individualism and silly gatekeeping, purity-testing, SJW identity politics – both of which have little regard for real civic virtue or for a sense of public duty, without which free institutions cannot be maintained.
(ii) That the economic foundations of democracy (based on a broad middle class and general prosperity) have been undermined by neoliberal doctrines, increasing poverty and inequality.
(iii) That the legal-institutional and constitutional foundations of democracy are being ignored and undervalued, while precious and hard-won civil liberties are curtailed.
(iv) That democracy in its current form is failing to respond to the existential challenge of climate change and other long-term slow-burn environmental and technological challenges.
I therefore foresee four main areas of work for any democracy support programme:
(i) Democratic values, public ethos and strong citizenship;
(ii) Shared prosperity, economic democracy and effective public services;
(iii) Constitutional government, checks & balances, and human rights; and
(iv) Democratic sustainability, environmental stewardship and resilience.