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Do you think there will be many functioning democracies around the world in, say, 20 years from now?

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There are almost none now, and I am even counting the exemplarary democratic socialist governments of Northern Europe.

Corporatocracy is the new Hegemon.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

Why wouldn't there be? There are 38 of them right now:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OECD

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I could say that there is no democracy as long as First Past the Post corrupts all our countries but I always get downvoted by people who presumably don't know what that means. At least some countries have instant runoff voting which is a suitable alternative, though, so it still isn't zero.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Does a machine need democracy? The machine is the future. We have had attempts to create societies like machines in the past - Soviet Socialism and Fascism - but, good as they might have been for this purpose, they are nothing like the future of humanity integrating with the machine and becoming more machine-like. The machines are much more sophisticated now and their will is being done, assisted by big tech and uncritical IT workers.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

even Japan does not....

That’s a pretty silly declaration. Japan had open and transparent elections with a peaceful transition of power. That’s the definition of democracy.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

There aren't that many at the moment. There are unlikely to be any soon. Certainly none in 20 years.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Does a machine need democracy? The machine is the future. We have had attempts to create societies like machines in the past - Soviet Socialism and Fascism - but, good as they might have been for this purpose, they are nothing like the future of humanity integrating with the machine and becoming more machine-like.

@Moonraker is highly accurate in his assessment

A pity for the bootlickers and the blinded.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Most of the people answering this question were more than likely born in democracies likely from English speaking countries. Being from a country that was not a democracy until my country was united in the early 1990s. Do you really know what it is like to live under as one commentor quoted as the machine?

Yes I'm skeptical and not very fond of democratic rule and often reflect on the times long gone, however I'm happy with the changes in my own country that it has brought and where it is today. What people in the west and Japan needs to realize is the power you have when you can choose your own leader, the fact that you can vote in or out your own leader is a gift. DO NOT LOOSE IT. Problem money has too much power now and this is the main issue that leads to division. Money above all else and democracies have the ability to keep this in check because you have the say of who you want to rule. Keep going down this path and regret it after this is taken away or do what is hard and change it NOW,

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Most of the people answering this question were more than likely born in democracies likely from English speaking countries. Being from a country that was not a democracy until my country was united in the early 1990s. Do you really know what it is like to live under as one commentor quoted as the machine?

Yes. It’s why I am aggressively pro democracy. My parents grew up with a dictator and escaped the country with me as a baby. They let me know exactly what it was like for them

What people in the west and Japan needs to realize is the power you have when you can choose your own leader, the fact that you can vote in or out your own leader is a gift. DO NOT LOOSE IT. 

Preach.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Any political/government system is flawed and could be improved importantly, but democracies are not inherently more likely to be destroyed than other forms of government (it may just appear so when they are the vast majority) tyrannies are not exactly something that last either so I would say that decades in the future democracies would still be common, maybe in countries that don't have them right now.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I don't know too. I would have said yes, because after all, people's wish for freedom, vivid economy , freedom of speech, innovations and business chances, democratic elections, all that will of course prevail in the West and make itself a path also in more autocratic regimes or dictatorships. On the other side, everything is at stake if we continue not to care about own democratic part of the world. Non-democratic countries don't care and don't like our meddling in and have some advantages in resources, cheap labor, not being woke, not having a halved society, where one half has it all, the other half politically or economically a victim of cancel culture, also there's not primarily keeping climate policy and de-industrialization , promoting rights of every small minority or splinter group and all such, because everything is forced to serve the regime before anything else is granted. That all has to stopped or reduced to a healthier level in our part of the world to have democracy also in about 20 years. But I don't see any attempts to do that currently, so I don't know, instead of a certain 'yes'.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What people in the west and Japan needs to realize is the power you have when you can choose your own leader, the fact that you can vote in or out your own leader is a gift. 

What people in the West don’t realize is that you think you are choosing your own leaders but the candidates have been chosen for you. It’s an oligarch authoritarian state with people, with civil rights, thinking they choose most of their leaders but they actually don’t.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Sven AsaiToday 03:12 pm JST

not having a halved society, where one half has it all, the other half politically or economically a victim of cancel culture

I don't know of a democracy where a party is an actual victim of cancel culture. Maybe some unscientific, violent, or bigoted positions of a party but they should be able to be a party without that junk. And the supposed economic equality of dictatorships can be explained as the following: everybody is equal when everybody has nothing.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

quercetumToday 03:42 pm JST

What people in the west and Japan needs to realize is the power you have when you can choose your own leader, the fact that you can vote in or out your own leader is a gift. 

What people in the West don’t realize is that you think you are choosing your own leaders but the candidates have been chosen for you. It’s an oligarch authoritarian state with people, with civil rights, thinking they choose most of their leaders but they actually don’t.

Democracy does exist and China ain't it.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What people in the West don’t realize is that you think you are choosing your own leaders but the candidates have been chosen for you.

No, that's just the line that the CCP propaganda machine pushes.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I am very pessimistic. Here in the US there is grave danger due to governmental divisiveness that the way the wind is blowing is going to lead to the end of democracy altogether. The US used to brag about their democracy (rightly so) but conspiracy theories, debate and compromise disappearing, radical reactions to the democratic process, and a general breakdown of freedoms and rights is affecting the process altogether. If the US can't keep its democracy, other countries will probably be affected as well. I hope hope hope that I'm wrong.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Gene HennighToday 02:27 am JST

I am very pessimistic. Here in the US there is grave danger due to governmental divisiveness that the way the wind is blowing is going to lead to the end of democracy altogether. The US used to brag about their democracy (rightly so) but conspiracy theories, debate and compromise disappearing, radical reactions to the democratic process, and a general breakdown of freedoms and rights is affecting the process altogether. If the US can't keep its democracy, other countries will probably be affected as well. I hope hope hope that I'm wrong.

You're not entirely wrong, but I would argue that freedoms and rights are as strong as they have ever been but of course could be stronger.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Democracy will exist, but like most of these clickbait poll questions, it is not all black and white.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I think peoples idea of democracy is different. The ones that were born in a non-democratic countries think there is democracy, but they don't realy understand what democracy is. The ones that were born in a democratic country, think there is no democracy, because they have no real idea of what it is like to live in a non-democratic country.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The people will respond to trivial wants inspired in them by sophisticated gambling psychology-driven marketing having already been created to be susceptible to such things. They will be so trivialised they will have few profound thoughts or desires. Moving every decision to the market - at least for the proles - deprives them of any real say over the future of their societies anyway. The corporations control their lives and, for now, the machines micro-manage big parts of them, and increasingly large parts as machine and corporation become largely indistinguishable. They will gradually, partly through their own propensity to give away all the information they can about themselves and partly through nefarious government and corporate policies, be held hostage to a Chinese-style social credit system. Those who create it bit by bit will have no misgivings about what they do because the big picture is something they need not consider. It's a job creating the machine future they have dreamed of so what more can they ask for. It will be sold as for everyone's benefit, be created to give that impression and plenty will utter such self-satisfactory justifications as "Do nothing wrong, nothing to fear." Even the chance of an automated Birkenau gets closer when human workers are surplus to requirements. Hell, we have automated abattoirs with a few low-paid workers to do the most difficult parts. I think we are sleepwalking into this. The only thing to stop it is to wake up, or the global environmental-geo-political crisis escalates into total war over diminishing resources when we will all become cogs in the total-war machine.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sure as long as they have free and open elections where all that want to vote.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The word democracy comes from the Greek words "demos", meaning people, and "kratos" meaning power; so democracy can be thought of as "power of the people"....where do you see that people has any power regarding what government do?

Few countries like Switzerland people vote directly through a referendum for some laws, this is democracy!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

diobrandoToday 08:48 am JST

The word democracy comes from the Greek words "demos", meaning people, and "kratos" meaning power; so democracy can be thought of as "power of the people"....where do you see that people has any power regarding what government do?

Few countries like Switzerland people vote directly through a referendum for some laws, this is democracy!

Many states in the US do allow for referenda. Their results are... hit or miss. I'm fine with democracy being balanced with having to come through people that are successfully able to run a campaign. I'm not sure Joe the Plumber is the level of representative we need.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

As Churchill said, "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

The number of countries which are, more or less, democratic is the highest its ever been - and that's why we're seeing backsliding. But the trend, as slow and frustrating as it is, is irrepressible.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why would you want "democracy"? 50% of the voters are below average intelligence. The "information" they need to make there all important cross in a box every 4 years, is controlled by a small handful of vested interests.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

so democracy can be thought of as "power of the people"

But when the people are divided, it can be problematic. In a country with elections, 51% of the people can impose their views on the other 49%. That can be an issue in countries that have internal divisions - examples are Zimbabwe in the past and in Ukraine more recently.

In the more developed countries today, I think a big issue is that the poorer sections of society are seeing fewer opportunities to improve their lives. And because of that, we are seeing more anger among certain groups.

When I first moved to Japan in 1980, there used to be a kind of joke about whether, because of its single political party in charge, it was more like a communist or capitalist country. The general thought was that it was irrelevant as the economy was growing and generally people were becoming wealthier. Government didn't matter much. And I wonder if perhaps the same view has been taken in China in recent times.

Sorry if I'm waffling - but I'm still wondering how a "functioning democracy" might be defined.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Mr KiplingToday 12:42 pm JST

Why would you want "democracy"?

Because it is the only way for a free press to operate and a free press is the only way to see that the uniparty CCP, for example, is massively corrupt.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

EastmanOct. 23  08:50 am JST

even today...you tell me which country have it?

even Japan does not....

Why don't you go live in China or North Korea for several years, then tell us?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It is rather disturbing to see the increase in support for totalitarian regimes on here and in social media - fans of supposed "Strongman" rulers like Putin, Xi and Kim seem to be popping up all over. These people fantasize about a government who controls all aspects of our lives and watch over us 24-7. Totalitarian China is their utopia. They denounce the idea of citizens having any say in deciding who governs them. They endlessly attack democracies like Japan, the USA, the EU and so on - for this very reason - and promote the "glorious" regimes of fascist Russia, China and other police states.

Those of us who worship freedom and cherish democracy need to maintain the rage. Many don't know how good democracy and freedom are - until they are gone.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I am pessimistic. I am Canadian, now 84 years old and have seen many changes in my lifetime. Canada was always regarded as a democracy. with supposedly "free and fair elections," a Charter of Rights and Freedoms supposedly guaranteeing certain rights to every citizen and so on. However, it seems those "rights and freedoms" can easily be suspended in the interrests of an emergency, real or imagined. I understand in a democracy a government is supposed to work for the majority and perhaps at one time that was the case, but now it is not; now some "minorities" seem to get special rights and privileges that the majority does not. As for "free and fair elections" now we see all kinds of "advance voting" and mail-in voting," which are a recipe for fraud, not everybody is honest, especially in politics. Corruption in high paces is rampant, people have lost trust in institutions - police. the judicial system, organized religion, the media, big business, you name it. Every democratic country is more divided than ever before for various reasons and as was always the case, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A Realist ,

Im also a Canadian and I'm 68. Are you sure you're not a unhappy American. Because you sure sound like one. I like the fact we have advanced, mail-in, and day of voting. It gives everyone a chance to vote if they couldn't vote on election day. The only thing I agree with you is the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, but that's the way it's always been. I'm very happy and comfortable in my retirement. Maybe you should relax and enjoy what you have.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Im also a Canadian and I'm 68. Are you sure you're not a unhappy American. Because you sure sound like one. I like the fact we have advanced, mail-in, and day of voting. It gives everyone a chance to vote if they couldn't vote on election day.

In my experience this opinion is much more representative of the Canadian attitude than A Realist’s, which seems to only be the opinion of the Canadian MAGA who watch Fox News and listen to the right wing American podcasts, something that the Canadians I talk to overwhelmingly shun due to being so American.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

strangerland,

I don't understand your point. I don't watch Fox News or listen to any right wing podcasts. What exactly is a Canadian MAGA?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't understand your point. I don't watch Fox News or listen to any right wing podcasts

Ok. You’re speaking the same language they do though. Likely just coincidental, or maybe you’ve been listening to Canadians who listen to Fox News and the podcasts without realizing that’s where they get their ideas.

What exactly is a Canadian MAGA?

The Canadians who have been sucked into Fox News and the American right wing podcasts and think the American concepts apply to the Canadian system, even though it’s an entirely different system.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Strangerland ,

Boy do your idea of me 100% incorrect. I can't listen to Fox or anything like it. I think Trump and most of the people close to him should be in prison.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Boy do your idea of me 100% incorrect. I can't listen to Fox or anything like it. 

As I said:

Likely just coincidental, or maybe you’ve been listening to Canadians who listen to Fox News and the podcasts without realizing that’s where they get their ideas

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Probably not if the Democrats keep getting elected and take the warmongering to 11

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

FizzBitToday 10:22 am JST

Probably not if the Democrats keep getting elected and take the warmongering to 11

Probably not if the Republicans get elected and collapse the society due to surrender abroad and economic failure at home.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes, there undoubtedly will. People may be lured from time to time by the promise of a "strong/patriotic/[fill in your choice of crap here]" leader, but all authoritarian systems collapse eventually as they bring nothing but misery for everyone apart from those at the very top. And even those are the top are never safe, as we see right now from top-level purges in China, Russia and other places.

Eventually, people in autocracies become educated/worldly enough that they realize they were sold a lie, and that a relatively liberal democracy is the only sane path. Mao and Lenin might have been able to convince illiterate peasants, but Xi and Putin cannot do that now. There's a reason you see so much push-back against Russia from the Baltic states: they've lived through communism and it was utterly awful.

However, there will always be those who try to sell (or are paid/enticed/forced to sell) the idea of authoritarianism, and attempt to assert that "democracy is just the same as authoritarianism." So, the rest of us who value human rights and freedom must continue to call them out.

On that note, I give you:

quercetumOct. 23 03:42 pm JST

What people in the West don’t realize is that you think you are choosing your own leaders but the candidates have been chosen for you. It’s an oligarch authoritarian state with people, with civil rights, thinking they choose most of their leaders but they actually don’t.

...

Mr KiplingOct. 24 12:42 pm JST

Why would you want "democracy"?

...controlled by a small handful of vested interests.

...

EastmanOct. 23 08:50 am JST

even Japan does not....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Of course there will - I don't imagine, for example, Europe becoming an autocracy in 20 years. They've been asking this same question since the hippies. Yes there are democracies which have gone backwards (Turkey and Iran for example), but by and large countries which were democracies two decades ago still are, and some former slaves of the USSR are now democracies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are almost none now, and I am even counting the exemplarary democratic socialist governments of Northern Europe.

They will be the first to go.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow! Amazing - and worrying - that there is so much optimism when the evidence is all around. The 2021 Global State of Democracy Report states:

"The world is becoming more authoritarian as non-democratic regimes become even more brazen in their repression and many democratic governments suffer from backsliding by adopting their tactics of restricting free speech and weakening the rule of law ... For the fifth consecutive year, the number of countries moving in an authoritarian direction exceeds the number of countries moving in a democratic direction. In fact, the number moving in the direction of authoritarianism is three times the number moving towards democracy."

Moreover:

"Over a quarter of the world’s population now live under democratically backsliding governments... Together with those living in non-democratic regimes, they make up more than two-thirds of the world’s population."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes, let’s hope so for the brighter future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Democracy doesn't work. You need a highly educated population for democracy to work, and even then, you get nupties like Trump getting elected. The whole system is a lie.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I voted "no". Proper democracy needs an educated public, with diverse media, civil engagement, and plural elites competing with each other and creating opportunities for non elites to play them off each other or make temporary alliances with one or others as appropriate.

True democracy needs ordinary people to act collectively, but this is increasingly difficult, basically because capitalism targets the individual. Thanks to algorithms and customer survelliance (cookies, purchase and viewing histories etc), it can do so ever more skilfully. Why go out and engage other people when Youtube or Amazon or Spotify or whatever knows you better and will give you exactly what people like you want?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

MoonrakerToday 07:27 am JST

None of that means democracy will die. A large proportion of countries that claim to be democracies don't have the proper free press and civil societies to make it last.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

MagnetToday 10:43 am JST

Democracy doesn't work. You need a highly educated population for democracy to work, and even then, you get nupties like Trump getting elected. The whole system is a lie.

It's better than the alternatives: Xi Jinping's successor will be...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There aren't that many at the moment. There are unlikely to be any soon. Certainly none in 20 years.

A bad joke. Democracies are not going anywhere, it is the best form of governance. You think they will all go backwards? Nope, wont happen. Perhaps a better form of government will be invented soon? Doubtful.

The only way democracies go extinct is when WWIII brings humanity itself to the brink of extinction.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The key word here is functioning. As others here have pointed out, democracy is on the decline and there are currently virtually none that are democracies in any meaningful sense. The majority of western democracies are in reality plutocracies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm no Trump fan, trust me there. But I have to admit, he is the "screaming in your face" living proof that something is wrong with the system.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

None of that means democracy will die. A large proportion of countries that claim to be democracies don't have the proper free press and civil societies to make it last.

In the context of the overriding question here and the evidence I provide, this makes no sense at all. The question is not: Will democracy die? And you seem to be saying that there are more fake democracies, which one would suppose adds to the proportion of non-democracies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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