We talk these days about the grand shift in liberal democracy — about the dismantling of the liberal democratic project worldwide — as if we're talking at a purely theoretical level. About ideas. That's my takeaway as I read Andrew O'Hehir's recent Salon essay about Trump, Assange, and the enemies of liberal democracy.
But hidden in the abstract intellectual conversation are people and their lives. Isn't it interesting that people — men, mostly, white men for the most part — have suddenly decided to have this global conversation and to dismantle the liberal democratic project just as women began to emerge on the stage of world history as people asking for their full humanity to be respected? And as LGBTQ people and people of color and poor people did the same?
What's that all about — the decision suddenly to have a global conversation about the meaning and dismantling of liberal democracy, just when women, LGBTQ people, people of color, and poor people began to expect human rights? What's really going on, in other words, as this seemingly abstract, highflown intellectual conversation about the failure of liberal democracy takes place?
Why has democracy, as a global project, been stopped in its tracks now?
And who's effecting the stopping and dismantling?