ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Democracy sans Demos Cannot Survive

Backsliding of democracy cannot be arrested by top-down notions such as a Marshall Plan for Democracy or a Global Summit for Democracy, mooted by the Western political leaders. Upholding democracy entails the restoration of popular agency, which hinges on the reversal of the neo-liberal order, perpetuated by these very proponents of the so called “free world.”

In the immediate aftermath of the attempted seizure of the Capitol Hill in Washington, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in a desperate call asked upon the United States (US) to join forces in preparing a “Marshall Plan for Demo­cracy,” emphasising that democracy in Europe is impossible without democracy in the US. If we go through the reactions of most of the leaders of Western countries, it was obvious that the audacity of Donald Trump supporters in Washington on 6 January 2021 had shaken the so-called “free world.” As it was declared by some experts that the US has entered the Weimar era (Bello 2021), the part of the world that had actually experienced the Weimar era and its aftermath could see what could it possibly mean. In the US, the mainstream media, which till then was not very concerned with how much their country had changed beneath the surface in the passing decades, had suddenly started to look into the “American abyss” (Snyder 2021). Finally, the realisation that considering Trump just an aberration is a mistake gained ground and though he will not remain in the White House, his imprint is going to last as he is a result of a deep-rooted phenomenon (McGirr 2021).

Indications of such a phenomenon have also been visible in Europe, at least since the financial crisis of 2008–09. Therefore, it was natural that 6 January shockers were felt like déjà vu. Not only in Hungary and Poland, where state power has been taken over by far-right conservative politics, but in many countries in Western Europe too, far-right, racist, xenophobic and neo-Nazi forces have been on the rise. Their increasing impact on politics is all too visible. Brexit was the most talked about result of such politics, but there are many more such forces at play that are increasingly posing a “threat to the democracy” (BBC 2019).

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Updated On : 6th Feb, 2021

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