Citizen Archetypes

No matter how many people we encounter, the human mind is capable of finding neat categories that they can be organized into. It is so common as to seem like human nature. For example, surveys routinely divide people into sex, race, class, profession and by our shopping, ideological and sexual preferences. Like with many whose … Continue reading Citizen Archetypes

The Psychology of Dictators and their Followers

In her essay titled ‘Trump: A Fable’ Eve Ensler describes the emergence of the strongman or authoritarian leadership and anti-democratic sentiments (particularly in the context of America) as a ‘virus’. An important question she raises in her essay is this: Was the man with orange hair the origin of the virus or simply the manifestation … Continue reading The Psychology of Dictators and their Followers

Explaining the rise of Authoritarianism in Liberal Democracies

Today, 1 in 6 US citizens favor a strong leader who doesn’t have to bother with parliament and elections as opposed to 1 in 16 in 1995. I will focus on the fault lines in liberal democracies that have allowed authoritarian populists – Strongman leaders who disrespect individual rights and are openly skeptical of democracy … Continue reading Explaining the rise of Authoritarianism in Liberal Democracies

DemoSapiens – Saving Democracy from Ourselves

We were delighted to host our first learning and discussion event in collaboration with the peace-building organization, HasNa, on authoritarianism and strongman leaders. Thanks to HasNa’s kind hospitality, we began the evening with light refreshments and casual discussion in Nevzer’s beautiful home. Citizen Demos (an initiative of Meta-culture) believes that without good citizens, liberal democracy … Continue reading DemoSapiens – Saving Democracy from Ourselves

A Cabinet Minister for Democracy and Civic Engagement

At least theoretically, in a democracy, newly elected Presidents and Prime Ministers are able to hand pick Cabinet Ministers and Secretaries to lead key departments. There is usually a scramble for prized portfolios such as Finance (Treasury), Defense, Foreign Affairs (State) or Home (Interiors). As a response to changing times, once lightweight portfolios like Education, … Continue reading A Cabinet Minister for Democracy and Civic Engagement

Democratic Dispositions – 3

Human kind has, at various times in its evolution, sought to extend, overcome or breach frontiers to escape restrictive or oppressive conditions. Once physically limited by mountains, oceans, deserts and outer space, we sought to overcome these first, through brute strength, grit and crude ingenuity and thereafter through expanding the ways in which we understand … Continue reading Democratic Dispositions – 3

Democratic Dispositions – 2

Despite the howls of protests from Ayn Rand’s acolytes who will stand firm on the unbridled virtues of the market, we must, if we are to understand liberal democracy as a system of political order, make a distinction between democracy itself and its materialistic cousin, capitalism, both of which have been, in the popular imagination, … Continue reading Democratic Dispositions – 2