The Corner

Democracy and Its Enemies

Larry Diamond is a scholar of democracy, and an advocate of it. It has been his career-long theme. I call him “Mr. Democracy.” And he is the guest on my latest Q&A podcast.

I ask him some basic questions: What’s so great about democracy? The U.S. is a republic, not a democracy, right? We also talk about the Middle East and Africa.

And Russia, of course. Vladimir Putin is challenging democracies all across Europe and even farther afield. Professor Diamond calls him the “pope” of an international, anti-democratic movement.

At the end of our podcast, I mention something that a historian friend said to me. He said something very simple — elementary: “Things can go backward, you know.” Ideologies that you thought you had finished off can resurface on you. Over the weekend, someone tweeted at me something like, “Your days are over. We on the authoritarian right are in charge.” I thought of a song: “Tomorrow Belongs to Me.” Oh?

Anyway, this subject is extremely important, and Larry Diamond addresses it superbly. Again, that podcast is here.