Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Democracy’

How Democracy Ends by David Runciman review – what Trump and Corbyn have in common

Posted by hkarner - 25. Juni 2018

Date: 24-06-2018
Source: The Guardian

A wonderful, contrarian book captures Twitter-era politics and the danger of allowing democracy to be eroded from within

After Greece’s 2015 referendum, ‘some have argued the government caved in the face of what amounted to a silent coup’.

“Democracy dies in darkness” runs the slogan on the Washington Post masthead, but if democracy really is dying around us, its demise has never been so loudly heralded nor so brightly lit. Even before Donald Trump’s emergence as a presidential candidate, it was clear that the global trend away from authoritarian regimes to democratic ones had slowed down; his rise was accompanied by a barrage of authors’ warnings that we are heading back into the 1930s. Never have the last days of Weimar seemed so worthy of study. Historians have developed a nice sideline in self-help manuals for a life of underground resistance to tyranny.

David Runciman’s bracingly intelligent new book is both a contribution to this debate and a refutation of it. How Democracy Ends shares the widespread sense that representative democracy is not doing well, but argues powerfully against screaming fascism at every turn. History, as Runciman states at the outset, does not repeat itself. The challenge he sets himself is to use the past to see what has happened to democracy today, in particular to diagnose its ailments, without assuming that the only alternative is the one imprinted on our collective memory.

The most successful democratic politicians are the ones who try to turn parties into social movements Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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After decades of triumph, democracy is losing ground

Posted by hkarner - 16. Juni 2018

Date: 14-06-2018
Source: The Economist

What is behind the reversal?

IN A glass case at the Diyarbakir Bar Association are a striped shirt, dark coat and coiled belt. They belonged to the former chairman, Tahir Elci, a lawyer who was murdered in 2015 amid clashes between the Turkish army and Kurdish separatists. He was standing by the Four-Legged Minaret, a 500-year-old landmark in the ancient city, calling for peace. Someone shot him in the head. No one knows who killed him. The government blames Kurdish terrorists. Many Kurds blame the government. After Elci’s death, the army pounded the rebel-held part of Diyarbakir to rubble. The debris, including body parts, was heaped onto trucks and dumped by a river. Locals are scared to talk about any of this.

Barely a decade ago, Turkey was a budding democracy and aspired to join the European Union. Now it is galloping towards dictatorship. In 2016 army officers tried to mount a coup, putting tanks in the streets, bombing parliament and nearly assassinating the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was quickly scotched. Mr Erdogan launched a purge. Over 200,000 people, mostly suspected members of the Gulen movement—the Islamist sect said to have led the failed putsch—were jailed or sacked. Anyone could be arrested for having attended a Gulenist school, holding an account at a Gulen-owned bank, or even possessing $1 bills, which the government says were a mark of Gulenism.

Millions of Turks are now terrified of their president. However, plenty admire him for protecting them from the Gulenists. Adem, an estate agent in Istanbul, congratulates Mr Erdogan for “cleaning away the enemies within”—echoing a government slogan. He says, of the purge’s victims: “They’ve been arrested because they’ve done something wrong.” He adds: “In America if you steal state secrets they put you in the electric chair, don’t they?” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wie demokratisch ist der Euro?

Posted by hkarner - 12. Juni 2018

Dani Rodrik is Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy, Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science, and, most recently, Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy.

SAN SERVOLO, ITALIEN – Italiens Präsident lehnte kürzlich die Ernennung des Euroskeptikers Paolo Savona zum Finanzminister einer Regierung der Parteienallianz zwischen Fünf-Sterne-Bewegung und Lega Nord ab. Nun stellt sich die Frage, ob er damit die Demokratie in seinem Land schützte oder schwächte. Abgesehen von verfassungsrechtlichen Beschränkungen im speziell italienischen Kontext, geht es bei dieser Frage im Kern um demokratische Legitimität. Die schwierigen Probleme in diesem Zusammenhang müssen auf prinzipielle und angemessene Weise angegangen werden, wenn die Gesundheit unserer liberalen Demokratien wiederhergestellt werden soll.

Der Euro stellt eine vertragliche Verpflichtung dar, aus der es im Rahmen der geltenden Spielregeln keine klare Austrittsmöglichkeit gibt. Präsident Sergio Mattarella und seine Verteidiger weisen darauf hin, dass ein Euro-Austritt im Wahlkampf, der die populistische Koalition an die Macht brachte, nicht zur Debatte stand und dass mit Savonas Ernennung eine Finanzmarktkrise und wirtschaftliches Chaos gedroht hätten. Mattarellas Kritiker hingegen argumentieren, dass er seine Autorität überschritten und den Finanzmärkten damit ermöglicht habe, sich gegen die Ernennung eines Ministers einer vom Volk gewählten Regierung zu stellen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The EU Needs Less Technocracy and More Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 16. Mai 2018

Date: 15-05-2018

Source: Foreign Affairs By Catherine De Vries and Kathleen R. McNamara

Subject: How Choice Can Save Europe

The European Union, bruised and battered by years of political and economic crises, is at a crossroads. In a recent speech to the European Parliament, French President Emmanuel Macron warned that today’s political divisions in Europe are like “a European civil war.” Although the decade-old eurozone crisis has faded from public view, the ongoing refugee crisis, Hungary’s and Poland’s descent into illiberalism, and the aftershocks of the Brexit vote continue to divide the continent. In this context, it is not surprising that the EU itself has become an increasingly politicized topic among voters, many of whom have come to doubt the competence and integrity of their political and financial masters in Brussels and at home. Although support for a full-blown exit from the EU still finds only limited public support, Euroskepticism has moved from the fringe to the mainstream.

Yet there is a way out of Brussels’ current predicament. It starts with recognizing that both Macron’s EU speeches and the broader debates between the pro-EU camp and hard-core Euroskeptics rest on a false dichotomy of the EU as a choice between “in and out,” between blind support for the European project and further integration or a retreat into nationalism. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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John Weeks – Politics of Monetary Policy and Why Progressives Prefer to Tax & Spend

Posted by hkarner - 12. Mai 2018

Thanks to M.R.

One of the most important victories of neo-liberalism was banning serious fiscal policy by democratically elected governments to deal with economic crises, relegating this power to monetary policy of purportedly independent, yet unelected, central banks. The result has been increasing inequality. As john Weeks points out, change means reinstating fiscal policy as a tool of government and democracy.

John Weeks is Professor Emeritus at SOAS, University of London, and associate of Prime Economics

 The recent article Richard Murphy raised fundamental issues that should guide all progressive policy making.  Perhaps the most fundamental of these is the role of fiscal and monetary policies.  He makes the fundamental point that democratically accountable governments implement fiscal policy, while almost without exception the agents of monetary policy, central banks, are either unaccountable in law or in practice.

Neoliberalism is the route by which we reached this inversion of policy making, the ascendency of the unaccountable over representative and democratic.  Since the late 1970s the ideologues of economic policy have relentlessly propagandised against fiscal policy and in favour of monetary policy, with astounding success.  Even some putatively progressive organisations endorse the neoliberal ideology that central banks, not elected governments, should serve as the initiators of economic policy.  The so-called QE for the People is an example of the allegedly progressive version of central bank supremacy, a petition for which I endorsed in a moment of insufficient analysis. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China and the Future of Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 11. Mai 2018

Barry Eichengreen is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former senior policy adviser at the International Monetary Fund. His latest book is The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era.

China’s growing geostrategic influence, rising soft power, and, above all, continued economic success suggest that other countries will see it as a model to emulate. But will China’s power and prosperity really boost the global appeal of its authoritarian model?

LONDON – Will China soon be the world’s leading economic and geopolitical power? Has it achieved this status already, as some suppose? And if the answer to either question is yes, what are the global implications for the future of democracy?

The indicators of China’s rise are clear. China is poised to overtake the United States in terms of aggregate GDP within two decades, although forecasting precisely when depends on what one assumes about the growth rates of the two economies and the exchange rate used to convert renminbi into dollars. China is already the world’s leading trading economy, and its push to internationalize the renminbi has resulted in a growing share of that trade being settled in its own currency, potentially challenging the dollar’s position as the leading global currency. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why replacing politicians with experts is a reckless idea

Posted by hkarner - 6. Mai 2018

Date: 05-05-2018
Source: The Guardian

In the age of Trump and Brexit, some people say that democracy is fatally flawed and we should be ruled by ‘those who know best’. Here’s why that’s not very clever. By David Runciman

Democracy is tired, vindictive, self-deceiving, paranoid, clumsy and frequently ineffectual. Much of the time it is living on past glories. This sorry state of affairs reflects what we have become. But current democracy is not who we are. It is just a system of government, which we built, and which we could replace. So why don’t we replace it with something better?

This line of argument has grown louder in recent years, as democratic politics has become more unpredictable and, to many, deeply alarming in its outcomes. First Brexit, then Donald Trump, plus the rise of populism and the spread of division, has started a tentative search for plausible alternatives. But the rival systems we see around us have a very limited appeal. The unlovely forms of 21st-century authoritarianism can at best provide only a partial, pragmatic alternative to democracy. The world’s strongmen still pander to public opinion, and in the case of competitive authoritarian regimes such as the ones in Hungary and Turkey, they persist with the rigmarole of elections. From Trump to Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not much of a leap into a brighter future.

There is a far more dogmatic alternative, which has its roots in the 19th century. Why not ditch the charade of voting altogether? Stop pretending to respect the views of ordinary people – it’s not worth it, since the people keep getting it wrong. Respect the experts instead! This is the truly radical option. So should we try it? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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‘Edge of Chaos’ Review: A System in Need of an Overhaul

Posted by hkarner - 30. April 2018

Date: 29-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Democratic capitalism is a peerless engine of economic growth, but it threatens to break down if current trends continue. George Melloan reviews “Edge of Chaos” by Dambisa Moyo.

Economist Dambisa Moyo

Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian-born economist, made a name for herself in 2009 with “Dead Aid,” arguing persuasively that foreign aid has preserved poverty in Africa instead of relieving it. Now she is embarked on an even larger project, proposing reforms in democracy itself in the developed world.

Ms. Moyo is a dedicated democratic capitalist. After earning a master’s degree at Harvard in public administration and a Ph.D. in economics at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, she did a turn at Goldman Sachs before becoming a full-time author. She serves on several corporate boards.

She writes that economic “growth matters—powerfully—to ordinary people” and that democratic capitalism has “proven itself, historically, to be a peerless tool for growth. . . . Nevertheless, the system urgently needs an overhaul if we are to jump-start the global economy.” She is concerned about the world’s rising debt level and about threats to international trade: “Established measurements suggest that globalization is now slowing, or worse, receding.” The diminution of global trade, the collapse of cross-border capital flows and the mounting constraints on the movement of labor—separately or together, she believes, these developments will result in deteriorating living standards and geopolitical unrest. There is even the danger, she adds, of “a global economic death spiral.”

If you overlook the hyperbole, Ms. Moyo’s diagnosis is worth pondering. The anti-immigration backlash in Europe and the United States, not to mention Donald Trump’s trade sparring and protectionist leanings, are unsettling. But what she offers up as a solution—she calls it her Blueprint for a New Democracy—sounds a little dodgy as well. To her credit, she offers the arguments both for and against her 10 reform proposals. Most of the proposals focus on shoring up America’s democratic functions, but they could easily apply, in broad principle, elsewhere. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China’s Challenge to Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 28. April 2018

Date: 27-04-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Runciman is a professor of politics at Cambridge University. This essay is adapted from his new book, “How Democracy Ends,” which will be published in early June by Basic Books.

The democratic cause is on the defensive today, and China’s pragmatic authoritarianism now offers a serious rival model, based on economic progress and national dignity

In his 1992 book “The End of History and the Last Man,” Francis Fukuyama famously declared the triumph of liberal democracy as the model of governance toward which all of humankind was heading. It was a victory on two fronts. The Western democracies held the clear advantage over their ideological rivals in material terms, thanks to their proven ability to deliver general prosperity and a rising standard of living for most citizens. At the same time, to live in a modern democracy was to be given certain guarantees that you would be respected as a person. Everyone got to have a say, so democracy delivered personal dignity as well.

Results plus respect is a formidable political mix. The word “dignity” appears 118 times in “The End of History,” slightly more often than the words “peace” and “prosperity” combined. For Mr. Fukuyama, that is what made democracy unassailable: Only it could meet the basic human need for material comfort and the basic human desire for what he called “recognition” (a concept borrowed from Hegel, emphasizing the social dimension of respect and dignity). Set against the lumbering, oppressive, impoverished regimes of the Soviet era, it was no contest.

Yet today, barely two decades into the 21st century, the contest has been renewed. It is no longer a clash of ideologies, as during the Cold War. Western democracy is now confronted by a form of authoritarianism that is far more pragmatic than its communist predecessors. A new generation of autocrats, most notably in China, have sought to learn the lessons of the 20th century just like everyone else. They too are in the business of trying to offer results plus respect. It is the familiar package, only now it comes in a nondemocratic form. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The End of the Democratic Century

Posted by hkarner - 27. April 2018

Date: 25-04-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs

Autocracy’s Global Ascendance

By Yascha Mounk and Roberto Stefan Foa

At the height of World War II, Henry Luce, the founder of Time magazine, argued that the United States had amassed such wealth and power that the twentieth century would come to be known simply as “the American Century.” His prediction proved prescient: despite being challenged for supremacy by Nazi Germany and, later, the Soviet Union, the United States prevailed against its adversaries. By the turn of the millennium, its position as the most powerful and influential state in the world appeared unimpeachable. As a result, the twentieth century was marked by the dominance not just of a particular country but also of the political system it helped spread: liberal democracy.

As democracy flourished across the world, it was tempting to ascribe its dominance to its inherent appeal. If citizens in India, Italy, or Venezuela seemed loyal to their political system, it must have been because they had developed a deep commitment to both individual rights and collective self-determination. And if Poles and Filipinos began to make the transition from dictatorship to democracy, it must have been because they, too, shared in the universal human desire for liberal democracy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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