April 14, 2022   

Seduction of Authoritarianism

According to the Democracy Index published by The Economist, only about half of the world is democratic today. Interestingly enough, Ukraine is smack in the middle of it. I suspect the western half of the country prefers democracy, whereas the eastern half still prefers authoritarianism. For those of us living in a democracy, the idea of preferring authoritarianism sounds odd, but think about all the kids who refuse to move out of their parents’ homes. Many are well into their thirties. Some never move out.

Being independent comes with a lot of responsibilities and risks. Many would rather give up their freedom to avoid responsibilities. Suppose you are living in the basement of your parents’ house. Even if your father treats your neighbors badly, you are not likely to protest. After all, who are you to criticize your father?

One Russian vlogger explained why Russian people cried when Stalin died even though he treated them horribly. It was like losing their father; despite being abusive, he was still their father. It’s like getting kicked out of your basement because your parents died. They were scared because they didn’t know how to be responsible for their own fate.

There are still many pro-Russian people living in Ukraine’s Donbas region. Believe it or not, even after experiencing the Russian atrocity firsthand, they still prefer to live in the basement of Putin’s house. But, obviously, the overall trend in Ukraine is to move out of his basement. This is precisely what Putin wants to prevent. So, this is indeed a war against democracy.

Ukraine is going through growing pains. It’s true that they have Nazi elements but what country doesn’t? Even Germany still has neo-Nazi problems. The US, too, is full of white supremacists, some of whom our ex-president endorses.

Democracy will never be perfect because it’s a system to cope with our imperfections. We, the people, must continually learn and grow. That is a prerequisite for democracy.

Photo by @iuriikochubei, Kharkiv, Ukraine via depositphotos.com