Friday, 20 July 2012
Europe's democracy dilemma – how and when to step in?
I don't think any country aspires for a Putinisation of the political life. What I think is most citizens in Europe (mostly continental, but even in Britain) have lost faith in a) democracy and b) free markets. I think people would prefer by and large a Xiaopingsation to a Cameronisation of their country.
The perception is democracy has brought in cronyism and free markets have brought in inequality and a firm belief that wealth does not come through hard work but through ruthlessness, not by outwitting but out-cheating others, not via open competition but via lobbying.
Many in Eastern Europe still prefer the current system to communism, but selling the American Dream on the basis that fairness = socialism, and that equality of rights and opportunity = equalitarism is an ideological time bomb. Neither The Dream nor Communism works, simply because they are extremes based on propaganda and run by plutocracies, in which minorities win and most of us are left with an ever larger debt and an ever smaller hope.