— Democracy Digest (@demdigest) July 13, 2020
There is no detailed road map to a better society, no didactic ideology and no rulebook. What liberal democracies demand is continuous participation, effort and argument from their citizens – their greatest enemies remain nihilism and apathy, Anne Applebaum suggests in her new book, Twilight of Democracy. As she perceptively adds, such regimes require some tolerance for cacophony and chaos as well as some willingness to push back at the people who create cacophony and chaos, analyst Ferenc Laczo writes in a review for Visegrad Insight, a partner of the National Endowment for Democracy:
The personal anger and cynicism of new nationalistic entrepreneurs who intend to undermine existing institutions; their opposition to a meritocracy based on prior notions of deservingness; their conspiracy theories to foster an alternative moral framework; their emotionalisation of public discussion to shift attention away from actual political practices; their raucous polarisation to impose exclusivist visions: these are key points in Applebaum’s illuminating analysis of political forces that have come to reshape much of Western politics in recent years.
What is missing from Applebaum’s engaging account of the parting of ways between her and several intimate friends and close colleagues is an exploration of how her neoliberally inspired conservatism might have planted the seeds of its own weakening, Laczo contends. RTWT