Episode 521 The Fate of Democracy

Carl Gershman was the head of the National Endowment for Democracy for 37 years. In 2004 NED awarded Seymour Martin Lipset a medal for his work on fostering democracy globally. That is when he and Metta Spencer met, so they talk a little first about Lipset. Then they discuss the bright spots that Gershman sees in the contemporary polarized world, though the anti-democratic forces are nevertheless powerful. Can a system of sovereign democracies suffice to bring about the changes required to prevent a global catastrophe? Gershman thinks positively about that. For the video, audio podcast, transcript and comments: https://tosavetheworld.ca/episode-521-the-fate-of-democracy


 Carl Gershman


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The main problem with democracy now is that it is limited to particular countries, but the threats to humankind arise outside those countries. At the COP meeting in Egypt they noted that the countries that contribute least to global warming are the ones suffering most from it. So if you ask the voters in democratic countries (which are the richest, most carbon-spewing ones) to vote on how to handle global warming, they will generally vote to continue business-as-usual instead of doing what is necessary to fix it. That’s because everyone tends to pick the choice of the “free rider” when they can get away with it. Democracy within countries lets the offenders get away with it. We need democracy globally. What to do about that, please?

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