Harvard historian Yascha Mounk took a look at data by Freedom House, a watchdog organization that measures the level of freedom experienced in countries the world over, and found an alarming trend that reads like this: Democracies around the world are crumbling.
Zero Hedge has the basics:
“While there is a certain level of complacency among the citizens of most developed countries in the security of their freedom, at least one Harvard historian sees some glaring warning signs. Citing a ‘freedom index’ compiled by Freedom House, Harvard historian Yascha Mounk notes that after rising steadily from the mid-1970s through the early 2000s, the number of countries globally that are considered “free” have been on a steady decline ever since.”
Political theorists use a factor called “democratic consolidation” to determine at what level do robust societies achieve security in freedom. And between the mid-1970s and early 2000s, the number of countries rated as “free” rose, especially in Latin America, where nations moved from despotic and military rule to democracy.
Then the Cold War ended, and many of the countries in Eastern Europe that had been gripped by tyranny took a turn to the democratic, and more “free” ratings ensued.
But that upward trend toward freedom came to an abrupt halt in 2005, according to the Freedom House index. The question now is: Are the numbers a trend?
To test, Mounk and his colleague created a three-factor formula that gauged citizen perception, citizen openness to government crackdowns on freedom, and whether the political parties in place were riding that wave of citizen desire for more government intervention.
And here’s the finding, alarming as it is, from Zero Hedge:
“The most startling takeaway from Mounk’s research was, even for developed democracies like the U.S., the staggering percentage of millennials who were seemingly indifferent to living in a democratic society. According to Mounk’s research, while the majority of Americans born before 1960 felt it was ‘essential to live in a democracy,’ only around 25% of millennials held the same viewpoint.”
Large percentages of people in Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden believed similarly – that it was time for governments to take firmer hands in rule.
As Zero Hedge noted:
“Moreover, the indifference among millennials to democracy was consistent in countries all around the world.
“Perhaps our precious snowflakes, who have all been so quick to lavish praise upon Fidel Castro, should spend a little time in Cuba to rediscover just how ‘essential’ free and democratic societies are.”