Authoritarians On The Rise
This world map from Freedom House illustrates the trends around the world toward more democracy or less democracy. Interesting enough is the depiction of Australia as heading in the negative direction away from democracy. The fact that the United States has been labeled as neutral, that is, not shifting one way or another, is certainly not anywhere near accurate, given the latest political decisions against civil liberties taken by various states, especially Florida, Texas and Arizona. And Canada is not really that far behind. The oil-igarchs have the country in their grip and won’t let go without a fight.
My personal view is that WW III began on the day that The Orange Menace was elected with the help of the authoritarians, which includes the homegrown American oligarchs who funded his campaign and the foreign oligarchs who assisted through their electronic warfare. The election of Joe Biden has only given the authoritarians more time to get better organized for the final push (Putsch), which will come after the November elections in the USA or in the general election of 2024.
As in the years leading up to all-out war in the last century, the authoritarians have a long term plan, with incremental pressure being put on democracies everywhere. Their desire is that eventually the democratic systems will crack and then break under the constant pressure. And if there happens to be a rebellion against the threat of authoritarian rule (e.g. Spain) then the criminals gang up on the democrats and use all the force at their disposal to try and get rid of them. Hitler and Mussolini were happy to help Franco and get some of their soldiers battle-tested, as well as use some of their new war machinery and see how it performed under true test conditions.
Instead of Spain, this time around it’s Ukraine. Russia is testing out its new equipment, getting its soldiers battle-tested and at the same time testing the will and spirit of the democracies which remain in Western Europe. As we can see from the map, not all of them are immune to a drift toward authoritarianism. And some of them are already well on the road to one-person or one-party rule. Intolerance has already poisoned Dutch and French politics, and Poland – were it not for the pressure Russia is currently exerting on them (and NATO and the EU) – would be more than happy to enact even more drastic anti-democracy legislation and whip up even more hate against non-Christian foreigners. Serbia is like a mini-Russia and the rest of the Balkans are always teetering on the edge of a precipice.
In the case of politics, money is the root of all evil. Since 1980 and the election of that Ronald (McDonald) Reagan clown, oligarchs have been given free rein to double and triple their fortunes, with minimum control about how they do this. Almost all the monopoly laws have either been superseded or ignored so there are no more checks and balances against making money, as they say, by hook or by crook. The pandemic allowed most of these billionaires to increase their fortunes even more while income for normal people either stagnated or disappeared altogether. And now, with war once again increasing profits across-the-board, oligarchs are laughing all the way to their well-hidden bank accounts run by well-disguised shell companies.
The brazen impunity of it all is worthy of a despot’s role in a Greek tragedy. Hubris, of course, has never disappeared from the world stage. And these days it is arrogantly out in the open. Pronouncements from authoritarians like the Brazilian Bolsanegra, the Hungarian Crooked Sausage, the Russian Mad Hater and the God of Immortal Stupidity of the USA are featured in headlines and long articles, with photos of these criminals. The fact that people who espouse ideas like theirs are even allowed to be heard or read about is an error of catastrophic proportions. Their pronouncements should never be heard and their pictures never seen in countries that want to remain democracies. Their silence would be, in this case, golden.
Though there have been minor setbacks lately for the authoritarians in France and Slovakia, be assured that pressure in both of those countries will rise with every subsequent election. The good thing about living here in Germany is that Nazi symbols and propaganda are forbidden by law. None of the authoritarian parties can step over that line without serious consequences. Which is exactly how I wish it were in those bastions (?) of democracy, Great Britain and the USA. Free speech is a cornerstone of the post-war German constitution, but anti-democracy propaganda is a threat to the very existence of free speech and a state with a democratic society, therefore hate speech and anti-democratic rhetoric has no place in the discourse. As everyone with any sense realizes, once authoritarians take over, free speech is placed in a tomb with all its proponents.
Brazil is next on the agenda for the authoritarian movement. Bolsanegra (Black Bag) is preparing to “win” the upcoming election by declaring the vote fraudulent and using the corrupt military to cement his position in power. That is clear to anyone who has half a brain as regards the political situation in that country. Short of executing his whole family and his entourage of sycophant generals, there is little that can be done to stop the coming terror. And it will be a terror worse than the previous Argentine terror. These days the amount of data gathered over social media and electronic footprints puts in mortal danger anyone who has ever uttered a word against the criminals. Bolsanegra has already said there was not enough killing last time around. Torture isn’t enough as far as he’s concerned. You have to liquidate the opposition, like the two best-known Masters of Destruction did. But it has to be more like the mess the paranoid Russian Master left behind because the pedantic Germans left too many accurate records. That can turn out to be a problem should – heaven forbid – a counter-revolution succeed in the near future. Better to have everything done under the cloak of the darkness woven by proper propaganda.
So, if you want to avoid being put on the list and ending up in a stadium in your city, delete your social media accounts, don’t post any images of yourself on the net, make yourself as difficult to follow and trace as is possible these days. And stay vigilant, because sooner or later these criminals will come for your democracy. Be sure of it. As Neil Young once said: Rust Never Sleeps! And authoritarianism is the deadly rust attacking democracy worldwide.
I’d like to dedicate this next song to the authoritarian lapdogs now working to overthrow democracy in the USA, some of them are even in wheelchairs, but that is of course not their greatest disability:
Danny Antonelli lives in Hamburg, Germany