Fear and trembling seizes the land as the death of democracy becomes clear:
Those three aspects of Western foreign policy coincided catastrophically with the rise of illiberal populism across the globe and a crisis of confidence in the concept of democracy in the West. This was the perfect storm necessary to halt democracyâ€™s advance and transform it into a retreat back toward authoritarianism.
…More substantively, Trumpâ€™s early foreign policy decisions (and especially his â€œAmerica Firstâ€ rhetoric) has sent a clear signal that the United States will be shifting its focus away from global human rights to focus exclusively on its narrow conception of self-interest. Indeed, his budget proposal would gut the State Department budget, axe pro-democracy foreign aid, and make it far more difficult for the United States to promote democracy generally.
The we-are-all-one altruism that enables democracy to thrive worldwide has died now that the West has rejected its altruism spiral. Instead, people are looking toward realism: what works instead of what “should” work based on ideas of human equality which make people feel empowered to act selfishly, knowing the tribe cannot retaliate against them.
In fact, there is only one type of person who really likes democracy, and that is the person who thinks it is more likely that they will be criticized than praised. They want a defense against the standards of the group, and so they choose egalitarianism a.k.a. individualism, and in doing so, hope to avoid censure.
Democracy was not killed. It killed itself because it became clear that altruism was a lowering of all defenses and enabled exploitation. Whether this was by rich globalists, third world immigration, callous politicians or simply badly-behaved other citizens, it ended badly, and it became clear that further walking down this road would lead to doom.
Instead of mourning the failure of the already dead, we should look toward the future: a society which escapes altruism, but instead of being anti-altruistic, has another purpose instead. After all, that is what the West has lacked for some time, purpose. We need a goal or we stagnate and self-destruct, and even our slowest now know that this process leaves nothing for the future.