The United States and Canada are leading the West into a deepening conundrum that can only further discredit the latter in the non-West, provide ample ammunition for authoritarian leaders to mock republicanism (democracy promotion) as an instrument of NATO expansion and Western domination, and lead to a collapse of what remains of Western moral leadership when it comes to political regimes. Abroad the West ostensibly ‘promotes democracy’ abroad by funding massive programs on what the West calls ‘liberal democracy’, implementing sanctions against autoritarian regimes, boycotting the Beijing Olympics, ostensibly courting Ukraine and other states and defending states Ukraine and Taiwan against a supposed Russian invasion and possible Chinese attack in order to build a ‘community of democracies. However, at home a very different story has been unfolding in the 21st century. Western governments –most often led by their most liberal and leftists parties are dismantling republican rule (democracy) and installing authoritarian rule with increasingly cultural Marxist or communo-fascist shading.
In the United States, the world’s former beacon of ‘democracy’ (republicanism), democracy has been on a downturn. The George W. Bush administration gave anti-republican forces in the U.S. state apparatus the upper hand with the Patriot Act, which allowed massive data collection and spying on U.S. citizens, exposed by Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. The Obama administration rapidly accelerated the democracy downturn, establishing an ‘imperial presidency,’ in constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley’s words, spying on journalists and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, using state finances to fund pro-Democratic Party organizations, and attempting a coup against president-elect Trump before and after his inauguration. Out of power, the ‘Democrats’ moved to rig the electoral playing field by spying on Trump, manufacturing false ‘Russiagate’ conspiracies and using the agents in the Obama-captured deep state to illegally prosecute members of the Trump campaign staff and institute two trumped up impeachment proceedings during the Trump administration, and then further rigging the electoral process by promoting not democracy but electoral rigging and outright fraud through social net censorship, massive mail-in ballots, Facebook-sponsored insecure ballot boxes, ballot harvesting in Democrat districts, and other methods of fraud. With Biden’s 2020 ‘victory’ has come greater social net censorship, a state-backed ‘cancel culture’ to repress Republicans and conservatives, state-promoted illegal immigration, Capitol Police spying on Republican congressmen, Justice Department collusion with civil societ organizations to manufacture complaints of terrorist threats from families trying to protect themselves from transgender rapists and racist ‘critical race theory’, and a secret U.S. Postal System program that spies on U.S. citizens Internet activity (https://www.judicialwatch.org/another-secret-postal-service-program-spies-on-citizens-by-hacking-cell-phones/), among much else.
But none of the above compares to the new evidence of Democrat Party totalitarianism: the news contained in a filing by special prosecutor John Durham that Hillary and her presidential campaign was spying on Trump through various servers and that after his election and inauguration through the top secret server of the Executive Office of the President in the White House (https://www.scribd.com/document/558443477/US-v-Sussmann-GOVERNMENT-S-MOTION-TO-INQUIRE-INTO-POTENTIAL-CONFLICTS-OF-INTEREST; https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/02/12/john-durham-filing-suggests-clinton-operatives-spied-on-trump-in-2016-and-in-white-house/; https://technofog.substack.com/p/durham-clinton-allies-spied-on-the). This was carried out by the same woman who posed as a defender of democracy against the authoritarian Putin.
Finally, we can note that if one doubts that the US is authoritarianizing still, then perhaps one might consider rationing medical according to race. This policy is now recommended by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and has been implemented in one way or another in three states. “In New York, racial minorities are automatically eligible for scarce COVID-19 therapeutics, regardless of age or underlying conditions. In Utah, “Latinx ethnicity” counts for more points than “congestive heart failure” in a patient’s “COVID-19 risk score”—the state’s framework for allocating monoclonal antibodies. And in Minnesota, health officials have devised their own “ethical framework” that prioritizes black 18-year-olds over white 64-year-olds—even though the latter are at much higher risk of severe disease” (https://freebeacon.com/coronavirus/food-and-drug-administration-drives-racial-rationing-of-covid-drugs/). Whites are beginning to be treated in the US as Jews were early on in Nazi Germany.
In Canada, a police state is being established to combat ‘fascists’ and ‘white supremacists’ who oppose the draconian COVID vaccine, mask and lockdown mandates instituted by the government. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately called the peaceful freedom truck convoy protests people with ‘unacceptable views’ and then implied they were fascist and white supremacists. He has now instituted emergency rule — never before declared in Canada — and may be preparing to use force to break up the protests and arrest and imprison hundreds of their participants. The Canadian regime has already tried and/or imprisoned a priest and other citizens for failing to observe mask mandates. Democracy-promoter abroad, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, has moved to place crowdsourcing methods used by the freedom truckers under terrorism statutes to repress the movement and its funders (https://dailycaller.com/2022/02/14/canada-crowd-funding-platform-terrorist-law-givesendgo-gofundme-trucker-protest/). Abroad, Canada has cozied up to the neofascist element in Maidan Ukraine, training its paramilitary units to……promote democracy under pressure from the large, and often radically nationalistic Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, of which Freeland’s family is a part (https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/canadian-officials-who-met-with-ukrainian-unit-linked-to-neo-nazis-feared-exposure-by-news-media-documents?fbclid=IwAR0lNQKpRmH9RefbjCuQ0AH8wxklYypUJ8aIM-D-rHSr9n76NCpNKH12gds) in the face of the ‘imminent Russian invasion’. In Europe we see many of the same patterns. Western COVID-fighting strategies and power grabs are on a par and often exceed those undertaken by authoritarian regimes, such as Putin’s Russia.
The obvious question when considering this record — and it is a very selected partial list of new authoritarian efforts being undertaken in the West as you read this — is: On what moral basis, on what actually significant moral distinction between Western governments, on the one hand, and many of the authoritarian regimes its claims to be fighting to ‘defend democracy’ from, on the other (excluding harsher such regimes as North Korea, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and such), can the West claim its right to foment pro-democracy movements, instability, revolts or ‘color revolutions’?
The United States and Canada are leading the West into a deepening conundrum. The West and the global oligarchs such as Klaus Schwab, George Soros, Pierre Omidlyar, Mark Zuckerburg, by their creeping authoritarianization, are discrediting the West and republicanism in the non-West. Non-Western authoritarian leaders, except for perhaps the most radical like the Chinese and North Koreans, increasingly no longer need to shy away from discussions of their ‘democracy deficit’; it is no longer all that large, and Western governments are providing much ammunition for authoritarians to point out the democracies’ democracy deficits and in some narrow areas may even have a comparative advantage. For example, Putin’s Russia has not instituted the kind of harsh vaccine mandates that exist in the West, and when it attempted to institute mandatory certificates for use of public transport, public opposition led to dropping the initiative.
This trend is not going to change any time soon, but one doubts that champions of democracy such as the State department, USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, or The Journal of Democracy will be discussing the Western democracy deficit any time soon. If they do not they will open the West further to the non-Western authoritarians’ charges that democracy promotion has all along been nothing more than a tool for Western domination, NATO expansion, and EU enlargement at the expense of non-Western powers and players. This muddying of the waters of distinctiveness between republican and authoritarian regimes is quite frankly a disaster not just for the West but more importantly for republicanism (democracy). Without a dwindling difference, Western societies will become less stable as they often state authoritarian regimes are inherently. This will weaken their influence and power abroad, giving the more strident authoritarians a greater advantage. The collapse of Western democracy and hegemony, even competitiveness will be a boon to authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Soon the latter will come to rule the roost, and all republicans, liberal and conservative, will pay the price–a very steep price.
About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is an Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, www.cetisresearch.org.
Dr. Hahn is the author of the forthcoming book: The Russian Dilemma: Security, Vigilance, and Relations with the West from Ivan III to Putin (McFarland, 2021) He has authored four well-received books: Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the “New Cold War” (McFarland, 2018); The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland, 2014), Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia’s Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.
Dr. Hahn taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and was a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.