Democracy beleaguered: freedom for one requires freedom for all



Democracies generally remain the world’s wealthiest societies. They are the most open to new ideas and opportunities, the least corrupt, and the best at protecting individual liberties, according to Freedom House’s Michael J. Abramowitz and Sarah Repucci. When people around the globe are asked about their preferred political conditions, they embrace democracy’s ideals: honest elections, free speech, accountable government, and effective legal constraints on the police, military, and other institutions of authority, they write for the National Endowment for Democracy’s Journal of Democracy:

In the twenty-first century, however, it is increasingly difficult to create and sustain these conditions in one country while ignoring their absence in others. The autocratic regimes in Russia and China clearly recognize that, in order to maintain power at home, they must squelch open debate, pursue dissidents, and compromise rules-based institutions beyond their borders. The citizens and leaders of democracies must now recognize that the reverse is also true: To maintain their own freedoms, they must defend the rights of their counterparts in all.


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