Democracy is a system of government through representation which is generally carried out in many western countries. The word democracy itself comes from the Latin “demos”, which means people and “kratos” which means government. This system requires regular elections in which the people elect their representatives. But there are times when democracy is dead and defeated by a dictatorial government system.
Daniel Ziblatt is a professor of government systems at Harvard University in America, who has just published a book entitled “How Democracies Die”, which he co-authored with Professor Steven Levitsky of political science at the same university.
Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt, “How Democracies Die”
Ziblatt mentioned four characteristics that indicate that democracy has changed into a dictatorial government system. When discussing his book in a recent discussion at Harvard University, Professor Ziblatt said,
“We saw in the last presidential election campaign, Republican presidential candidates launched attacks on the media, and threatened not to accept the election results. He also accused his political rival of being a criminal and threatened to put him in jail if he won, and he also allowed violent actions. “
Ziblatt said the four characteristics can be considered as an indication of an authoritarian system of government.
“No presidential candidate from a major party in America has ever done that. Therefore we want to see other countries that have experienced threats to the democratic system, and how they have overcome the crisis. Or how the democratic system was defeated by the authoritarian system, “he said.
Professor Ziblatt said the problems facing the political system in America today are not only caused by Donald Trump alone.
“It’s not just his comments that are shocking and exaggerated, and his psychiatric background is unusual and confusing. But we also need to realize that all of this is just a distraction, and we must be able to maintain focus on more important things. “
The best way to prevent the emergence of an authoritarian government is to prevent such leaders from getting a chance to rule, Ziblatt said.
“This means we have to look at how Donald Trump was elected, and how he can become a candidate for a big party. During the Cold War, 75 percent of the failures of democratic systems around the world were caused by military coups. “
But since the collapse of the communist system of government, the world has changed, Ziblatt said. Most democratic governments are defeated in general elections, where political figures gather support by using popular issues and prejudiced arguments against their political opponents.
“Such a demagogue rises to the top of power through elections, and then it will begin to destroy democratic political institutions. So this is the critical paradox that must be faced by the democratic system. “
Until 1972 American presidential candidates were elected by party leaders, and the role of the people was arguably insignificant. But since then, presidential elections have been conducted more openly.
This is what happened in 2016. While people were lured in what technology (for more topics about technology, see Gogrit) has brought to us such as social media, this has changed the way the 2016 presidential campaigns have gone. Donald Trump, the modern-day demagogist is a Republican presidential candidate. So history repeats itself. Italy in the 1920s, Germany in the 1930s, and Venezuela in the 1990s.
That is the opinion of professor Daniel Ziblatt about the democratic system which he said was being threatened in America.