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Do you think the surge in authoritarian behavior by governments around the world poses a growing threat to democracy, free speech and other civil rights?

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Not at all. I believe in balance. At the beginning of this pandemic, specially Americans, didn't give two hoops and totally disregarded any suggestion to fight a new virus no one knew about. Absolutely no one could tell them what to do because they have "freedom" to do whatever they wanted. Same thing happened in S. Korea, Australia, etc..

Someone had to come and make them take things serious. Then came lockdowns, mandates, etc..

-24 ( +6 / -30 )

Yes, at a time where the world is becoming more and more unsteady, people will be tempted to look for someone who will restore that order, either through bad or good means at their disposal. Authoritarians have a new name, and they're called strongmen - they walk and talk like they're democratic, but they're not. And in my opinion, authoritarianism has a new approach today and it's through the use of mainstream media to flag and silence people who don't agree with the regime's views - a sort of cancel culture if you will. If this pandemic has ever taught us anything, is that people are willing to throw away their freedom for security, and that the system (government and private oligarchs) are quick to step in on the opportunity. The monitoring and security systems are in place and they will most likely stay even after corona blows over.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Not a surge. Just the usual evil-doers going about business as usual.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I call the invasion of Ukraine a surge.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Already the reactions on Covid have finally shown everyone which countries are more authoritarian and which ones are less. The same for how it is handled when it comes to ‘woke’ movements, freedom of speech or opinions and degree of cancel culture, interrupted careers etc. So the ideals are something of the past and it’s really been turning very authoritarian everywhere, but you can still find significant differences in those degree levels.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Until a week ago I would have said Yes.

But the way the world is rallying around Ukraine in its defence against autocracy does give me some optimism that people still view democracy and freedom as things worth fighting for, and that they are actually fighting for it.

Its worth fighting for.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

rainydayToday  01:56 pm JST

Until a week ago I would have said Yes. 

But the way the world is rallying around Ukraine in its defence against autocracy does give me some optimism that people still view democracy and freedom as things worth fighting for, and that they are actually fighting for it. 

Its worth fighting for.

Ukraine is worth fighting for, but the same governments who're condemning Putin are the same ones who were hard on lockdowns, mandates and the like over the past couple of years. The Ukraine affair is a convenient distraction for the rest of the world as the COVID narrative crumbles, but the same leopards are still in power and their spots haven't changed. They'll be back to their old tricks in no time at all, and none of them can be trusted.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Ukraine is worth fighting for, but the same governments who're condemning Putin are the same ones who were hard on lockdowns, mandates and the like over the past couple of years. The Ukraine affair is a convenient distraction for the rest of the world as the COVID narrative crumbles, but the same leopards are still in power and their spots haven't changed. They'll be back to their old tricks in no time at all, and none of them can be trusted.

Lockdowns were needed - just because you clearly wanted to act as if nothing had happened re the pandemic doesn't mean they were wrong. You just want your cake and to eat it. Lockdown is not an authoritarian act - it slowed the spread of the pandemic, and there could have been many more lives lost.

Self self self... diddums

1 ( +10 / -9 )

If this pandemic has ever taught us anything, is that people are willing to throw away their freedom for security

Could that not be viewed in a different way? When a country faces a serious problem (disease, war, whatever), are people not looking for guidance through a set of rules on what to do? Is it throwing away freedom or avoiding chaos?

And is that not quite different from authoritarian rules affecting general life (e.g. no criticism of government) that we see in some of the world's bigger nations.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Countries have the right to have whatever government they have.

No entity should coerce or intimidate a country to change the way it is.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

No entity should coerce or intimidate a country to change the way it is.

Even if, for example, that country has slavery, or denies rights to some of its citizens?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@albaleo

There is some difference between changing a country's government structure and changing it's methods. I was talking about changing it's structure.

Either way, even in cases of slavery and human rights violations, coercion and intimidation is the least effective way to make a change. And quite often it just ends up in large scale violence.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Elections: people vote for people to make decisions for them. If they even vote.

Athens - women and slaves excluded had its yes/no stone system and Switzerland has its Canton-based referendum system for voting on issues.

And Australian states re-discovered their actual pretty authoritarian powers to close borders (even international ones) lock down citizens with threats of fines which can be taken straight from bank accounts all without recourse to debate. Not to mention self-righteous media which claim a voice of people but have money and clout to tell governments what to do on their front pages. At least compulsory voting makes some semblance to a democratic ideal, if enforced.

Democracy? Ideal and reality have never really coalesced or even coexisted.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Using authority for personal aim definitely creates negative effects to one's citizens under the authority. Authority should be used for people's happiness or something beneficial to whole society, not for controlling people. Sometimes large authority or power might be need to for change in society. However, it must lead to people in a positive way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do you think the surge in authoritarian behavior by governments around the world poses a growing threat to democracy, free speech and other civil rights?

Yes! I think that authoritarian behavior by governments around the world poses a growing threat to democracy, free speech and other civil rights BECAUSE "authoritarian behavior" is the Human default and all Human social organizations eventually sink into it and become too rigid to continue through time and are replaced by newly less organized but more adaptable organizations. It is the natural outcome of our innate pathological hierarchical social structure which is destroying our viability in this instance of Earth's ecosphere, well, destroying this whole instance of Earth's ecosphere. The most innately pathological elements of our genepool rule and our species' overgrowth and parasitism and/or disregard of every other genepool and the dominance of pathology over 'reason' are, as apparently we are now beginning to see, not well tolerated by this Universe. Our demise as we are now constituted will be no loss to this place but an opportunity for the Earth to develop a more rational knowledge accumulating organism.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Watching the jackboot thugs in Canada beat peaceful protesters and trample innocent people with their horses leaves little doubt...

The tyrants in the West LOVE the tactics of the #CCPChina and wish to emulate them!!

Up next... social credit scoring!!!

Be prepared to think correctly... or else!!

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Lockdowns were needed - just because you clearly wanted to act as if nothing had happened re the pandemic doesn't mean they were wrong. You just want your cake and to eat it. Lockdown is not an authoritarian act - it slowed the spread of the pandemic, and there could have been many more lives lost.

Self self self... diddums

Wrong.

You're operating under the perhaps noble but misguided premise that governments should be able to do whatever it takes in the interests of the greater good. Problem is, you've been hoodwinked by superficially democratic governments who claimed to be acting for the greater good while enriching their friends and lying wholesale on a daily basis.

Ya know, the same leaders who were locking down their populations while partying behind closed doors, occasionally getting caught, offering a phoney apology or excuse if caught, then going back to the same. The same leaders who'd make a show of social distancing, mask wearing and those moronic fist bumps for the plebs, then doing the opposite when they thought the cameras were off them. The same leaders who'd get a fake vaccination with the needle cap still on for TV to convince the masses to get jabbed. The same leaders who put in vaccine passports just to get a cup of coffee, while being too important themselves to be subject to the same rules.

If you want to talk about self, self, self, point your fingers at the people who make the rules but don't follow them. Once you understand that they don't care a whit about the people they're ostensibly governing, what's going on becomes a lot clearer.

They don't care who gets sick from the virus or the jabs. If they did, they wouldn't ban cheap, safe and effective treatments while pushing everyone to get vaccinated with jabs that are of dubious effectiveness and safety and allow the makers to hide critical information on the trial results.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

prionking

Lockdowns were needed - just because you clearly wanted to act as if nothing had happened re the pandemic doesn't mean they were wrong. You just want your cake and to eat it. Lockdown is not an authoritarian act - it slowed the spread of the pandemic, and there could have been many more lives lost.

Self self self... diddums

Wrong.

You're operating under the perhaps noble but misguided premise that governments should be able to do whatever it takes in the interests of the greater good.

Why not? That's what governments are for. To serve their people. For the greater good.

Problem is, you've been hoodwinked by superficially democratic governments who claimed to be acting for the greater good while enriching their friends and lying wholesale on a daily basis.

So your position is that every government is against their own people? Rather simplistic thinking and not true. Sure, some governments and leaders failed with covid, Trump and Boris are the one s that come to mind.

But most other governments follow the advice from their medical experts and implement sound plans of lockdowns, vaccines, therapeutics and the like to keep their people safe.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

"So your position is that every government is against their own people?"

Like you, the government is a tool. The universal form of Human social structure is a pathological cadre of psychopaths who dominate a control structure which we call 'government' whose sole function is to train (program perception) and maintain the large population of essentially slaves who richly support the parasitic psychopaths. This structure emerged circa 70Kya and has become innate in the Human species. The parasites are not 'evil' because they are just as blind as those who serve them and have no other drive but to TAKE and CONTROL however they can, blindly using techniques thousands of years old. The one awareness which is denied to almost all Humans is the self-awareness of what we really are and how we really operate. Those that are able to point it out so that others actually hear do not last long. A government is not 'against' their own people, they are managers of the herd and operate for the benefit of their Masters the psychopaths amongst us who rise up through the ranks of our hierarchies and replace those who die. We are a communal organism and, like ants, have our own mindless ways. NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN ALL OF RECORDED HISTORY and, of the delusional forms, 'democracy' is the greatest perceptual delusion of all in this collective psychosis we call Human Reality.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Maybe the question needs to be framed less ambiguously. On reading it, I thought it was talking about serious attacks on voting rights, such as have been happening in Hungary, the USA, and many other places.

But the wording leaves open the possibility for the loony tune brigade to jump on their hobby horse about vaccinations yet again. Strict public health measures are not equivalent to authoritarianism folks. They're called common sense, an example of why we have governments in the first place.

Talking about real, serious, growing efforts to suppress democracy around the world, the answer can only be *yes, of course (and why are you even asking?)** *We should already be at the stage of asking "What the hell are we going to do about it??"

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Lil Kim is a ruler, Xi is a ruler, Lil Putin is a ruler and TRUMP if elected will try to become the same so yes the world over is trying to go back to to where one guy rules the people and it will never work

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes. Every time a place or country where the people may speak and think freely is conquered by an authoritarian government, it's as if another chess piece has been removed off the board. Perhaps each piece is small and seemingly insignificant, but after you take them all off the board there is a gap or hole where freedom of thought and speech existed before. In recent times, Hong Kong and Ukraine is in the cross-hairs at this moment . . . next is probably Taiwan. It's sad to see and I'm wondering if there's a war going on right now which needs to be fought with more energy by the countries that believe in the rights of people to think and speak freely without fear of being arrested, imprisoned or assassinated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

2020hindsights

Wrong.

You're operating under the perhaps noble but misguided premise that governments should be able to do whatever it takes in the interests of the greater good. 

Why not? That's what governments are for. To serve their people. For the greater good.

I should have phrased that differently, as you easily tore it to shreds!

What I should have said is:

"You're operating under the perhaps noble but misguided premise that governments should be able to do whatever it takes to persuade the public that what they're doing is in the interests of the greater good."

There's a difference in the nuance: the original one was that governments are considering the greater good. The second is merely convincing the public to perceive what they're doing is for the common good. They're very different.

So your position is that every government is against their own people? Rather simplistic thinking and not true. Sure, some governments and leaders failed with covid, Trump and Boris are the one s that come to mind.

But most other governments follow the advice from their medical experts and implement sound plans of lockdowns, vaccines, therapeutics and the like to keep their people safe.

I'm saying that that the people at the top levels of government are deeply corrupt. Doesn't the behind-closed-doors behaviour of top-level politicians and bureaucrats of both the right and left seem contradictory to the rules they were imposing on the rest of us? There are loads of video clips and news reports of these people deliberately breaking their own rules when they think they're not being watched. How can you possibly believe them when they say what they're doing is for the common good?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

William B said:

BECAUSE "authoritarian behavior" is the Human default

This is the sad, unvarnished truth.

Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too. Its pattern will be the same, down to the last detail; for it cannot break step with the steady march of creation. - Marcus Aurelius

5 ( +5 / -0 )

its a trick question, because the authoritarian behavior is being done BY the liberals.

While at the same time the liberals complain about it happening.

its not happening they are the ones DOING it.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Many of these regimes, dictators, authoritarian figures long for the "good old days" when they suppressed millions and ruled with an iron fist. Some of them want to settle old scores and flex their (newfound) clout. This is just the beginning. Better keep an eye on China, too, as they have long been showing their intentions with Taiwan, Hong Kong and the disputed islands for some time now. We've had two world wars in the past 110 years. What's past is prologue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Fear makes them nervous. Last thing they want is to be held accountable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Can anyone cite evidence that lockdowns etc "helped slow the spread"?? Only one study I have heard of is that it might have reduced spread by like 5%......

And if you look at some of the most restrictive places (e.g. HK, China, Singapore etc), they are experiencing record infection levels despite having imposed all this nonsense for ever......

Truth is governement doesn't always know best or even have any answers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes without doubt.

The horrific end game is being played out in Ukraine.

The soviet era is having its last spasm, as the EU comes ever closer.

President Putin dictatorship is directly under threat. Putin twitching last convulsions evident as the Russian people realise Putin years of corruption finally catch up with him.

This fact accounts for Putin's threats of nuclear war

0 ( +0 / -0 )

its a trick question, because the authoritarian behavior is being done BY the liberals.

I so wish this isn't true, but it is. Absolutely demoralising.

Last year, Erik Prince's proposal to send old F16s to Ukraine (instead of the scrapheap) was rejected by the Biden (captain feathersword) administration.

How much mistakes can one administration make before it's considered a corrupt mafia?

Realistically, who next? Japan? Turkey? Australia? Biden is going to run out of alliy to feed Xi, Putin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

its a trick question, because the authoritarian behavior is being done BY the liberals.

Ahh, the old Trudeau vs. Putin argument.

It takes a special kind of stupid to look at those names, and not know one as clearly a dictator, and one as clearly not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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