Pushing Back For Democracy Around The World

Pushing Back For Democracy Around The World

 Given the massive impetus the presidency of Donald Trump gave to authoritarian and anti-democratic forces around the world, it is worth seeing that his defeat in a democratic election, despite his efforts to illegally overturn it, seems to have been followed by some outbursts of pro-democratic demonstrations in parts of the world, even as we saw a major setback for democracy in Myanmar with the military coup there.

Indeed, one of those pushbacks has been in Myanmar, where various groups have gone into the streets to protest this coup. I fear they will not succeed in reversing it, at least not immediately. But the generals have not gotten away with doing this without pushback and clearly will have their hands full hanging on to power.

Another location has been in Russia, where Trump’s old boss, Vladimir Putin, after giving himself a de facto lifetime appointment (or at least until 2036) has been facing large demonstrations since the return of Andrei Navalny from Germany, where he recovered from Putin’s effort to have him poisoned. Putin has tried to ridicule the accusation by Navalny regarding this matter, saying that his people would have succeeded in killing him if they were really doing it. But, of course, they failed, and it clearly was Putin’s people, as the complete lack of any investigation to find the “real” killers made clear.  Large numbers have been out in many cities, with an apparent new atmosphere by a new generation, who do not seem as subservient to Putin as their elders.  However, apparently Navalny’s people have called off further demonstrations for the near future.

Finally we have a major uprising by students at Bogacizi University in Istanbul against Erdogan appointing a flunky of his to be Rector.  I am not sure if those are continuing, but they at least went on longer than anybody expected, with Erdogan duly embarrassed.

No, I am not expecting any of these to lead to the downfall of any of these regimes in the near future, just as the ongoing demonstrations in Belarus have not yet dislodged Lukashenko.  But I am glad to see at least some like among those who oppose these dictatorial regimes at this time. I like to think that the victory of Biden over Trump may have given support to many of these who have stood up in their nations to oppose further manifestations and assertions of power by their dictatorial leaders.

Barkley Rosser