When looking at the state of our current political polarity and systems of government, it definitely seems true to me that we are at a crossroads in the history of our democratic system.
A democracy can only continue to exist at the will of the people, and we’ve come very close to seeing just how fragile it is when its foundation is rocked. Yascha Mounk’s book, The People Vs. Democracy, paints an accurate picture of what we are seeing in real-time, and I found it to be an interesting analysis of what’s going on across the world today.
With an in-depth examination of the rise of global populism, Mounk cautions us about the health of our democracy and offers a glimpse into what the future could hold if we don’t stand up and take action to protect it.
One of the biggest threats to democracy is identified as the constant tension democracies face in balancing the assertion of individual rights with the popular will, and how this gets exploited by populist leaders who then end up creating democracies without rights.
Drawing from a wide body of research and stories, one of the most important points Mounk makes in the book is the wider problem of the ever-increasing lack of trust in democracies and the democratic process, and it’s definitely something you can see reflected in the public discourse of our country with respect to elections, conspiracy theories, and the spread of disinformation.
The rise of social media, along with stagnant living standards and fears of multiethnic democracy are all mentioned as contributing factors, and we’ll need radial change to fix it.
Bob, do you have any other personal thoughts on this book?
Most importantly, Mounk argues for concrete action on all our part to save our democracy. I think that anyone interested in contemporary politics and government should read this great book, and I hope it inspires all of us to not take our freedoms for granted.