Around the world, even in the most developed societies, we are seeing growing tendencies towards the introduction of autocracy, while in contrast democracy is experiencing growing distrust, not only among the elites, but also among the broader masses. We are moving towards changes, but we can’t anticipate the possible outcome of those changes.
A transition is currently happening, not only in Serbia, but rather across the entire world, and we don’t know which political system will prove dominant, firstly in the West, and then in other areas and regions. Autocratic systems have shown that they have some advantages during the coronavirus pandemic, and they have survived and handled themselves better than democracies.
This is firstly because it was necessary to build a political consensus, and we see that this has not been achieved in the U.S. and many European countries, especially when it comes to consensus between the government and a certain section of society, where we see protests held against emergency measures, the shutting down of economies etc. So, that is much more difficult to achieve in democracies, because both political and social consensus must be built. Meanwhile, semi-autocratic and autocratic regimes don’t have to worry about that. They have other problems, but they’re at an advantage when a crisis like this occurs, as we have seen.
Another thing we’ve seen is that the EU would be better prepared to respond to any crisis if it were integrated better, and more, and politically. Unfortunately, the opposite happened. It turned out that solidarity doesn’t exist in the EU during crisis situations. Virtually every country fights to secure its own citizens and its own interests. And that’s another weakness that’s been shown by democracies and represents one of the bigger challenges confronting us as we advance towards a new political organisation and a new system that needs to be formed.
The west is experiencing a serious crisis, perhaps the most serious in the last 100 years, and that is manifesting in distrust towards its own political and economic systems, which has repercussions for everyone else
We also see, if we observe the trends, that Western countries are trending towards becoming greater autocracies and the political elites having greater control over the masses. As such, in America we see a debate about shifting the entire electoral system to the level of the federal government, where the Democrats would have the upper hand. In some way, this would enable them to create rules of the game that suit them, and would guarantee that they will preserve their power and maintain it over a longer period. Republicans are struggling to move towards decentralisation, where the authority of each state resides. They are also currently adopting new election laws that, when implemented, would guarantee their political and electoral interests. So, in the West there are also increasing tendencies in which we see some measures restricting freedom of speech, and during the coronavirus crisis we’ve also seen the implementing of measures that restrict the right to political assembly.
There are no guarantees, as there are in the U.S. Constitution, that if the state decides more than 10 people are not allowed to gather, that can also be used in a political context. Thus, we’ve passed through a phase that leads us to a period of transition. We don’t know what awaits us at the end of the road, but we do know that freedom of speech is currently also under threat in the West, that the freedom to express political views is being stifled, that censorship is being introduced, particularly through the medium of social networks, even to the extent that the American president himself can find himself censored. The tendencies around the world are very bad, as these tendencies are towards autocracy, while democracy is experiencing growing distrust, not only among the elites, but also among the broader masses.