In the week, when it is a year since Russia invaded Ukraine and days after Soros’s controversial remarks about the “democratic revival in India”, here is a book that may be worth reading. It has been endorsed by multiple people, including diplomats, security advisors, think tanks, academics, and journalists. Interesting times we live in when many of us, in our living memory, can remember a freer and a more democratic world. Not this.
Here is the book blurb:
The world is currently experiencing the lowest levels of democracy we have seen in over thirty years. Autocracy is on the rise, and while the cost of autocracy seems evident, it nevertheless remains an attractive option to many.
While leaders like Viktor OrbÃ¡n disrupt democratic foundations from within, autocrats like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin do so from abroad, eroding democratic institutions and values and imperilling democracies that appear increasingly fragile. There are even those who, disillusioned with the current institutions in place, increasingly think authoritarianism can deliver them a better life than democracy has or could.
They’re wrong. Autocracy is not the solution – better democracy is. But we have to make the case for it. We have to combat institutional rot by learning from one another, and, at times, from our rivals. And we have to get our own houses in order. Only then can we effectively stand up for democratic values around the world and defeat the dictators.
Charles Dunst Defeating the Dictators: How Democracy can prevail in the age of the Strongman, published by Hodder & Stoughton, Hachette India.
20 Feb 2023