‘We are between epochs’ – democracy must adapt



The current democratic crisis demonstrates that “we are between epochs,” says former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

“The political reality, of which the basic formula involved countries grouped together in blocs, is a thing of the past. Technological development—especially the Internet, handheld devices, as well as the availability of air transport—have changed the world,” he tells The New York Review of Books:

Democracy must adapt to this. An era of intellectual property, information, and globalization is emerging. It requires new infrastructure. Usually, societies develop slowly, but sometimes there is a leap. We live in such a moment. We are witnessing the fall of an era and the emergence of a new one. RTWT

“We underestimated democracy in Poland and allowed populists and demagogues to influence the election,” he told a 2019 National Endowment for Democracy forum. “You have to do everything you can to prevent this. … If you underestimate democracy, you will be in trouble.”

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