Karlin Freedom Index 2012

This is the Karlin Freedom Index for 2012, a political classification system I formulated more than a year ago in response to systemic bias on the part of traditional “freedom indices” such as Freedom House and The Economist Democracy Index (hint: they give massive bonus points for neoliberalism and pro-Western foreign policy orientations).

The explanation: Reconciling democracy with liberalism is really hard: since people are illiberal by nature, there is usually a trade-off between the two. The more frequent result is Semi-Liberal Democracy (describes most “Western” countries), which in turn can degenerate into a full-blown Illiberal Democracy (as did Russia around 1993, or the US and Hungary around 2011). Oligarchy is meant in the sense of rule by a few. It should be noted that some legislation ostensibly enacted to protect the public interest, such as libel laws, surveillance laws and anti-terrorist laws – in practice serve more to undermine liberalism. When they go too far, there appear Semi-Authoritarian states of permanent emergency. In the lower rung, Authoritarianism consolidates all political power unto the state (Semi-Authoritarianism tries to, but isn’t as successful). Totalitarianism extends the political realm over all spheres of life, bringing us into the realm of (Viereck’s) Metapolitics.

Liberal Democracy

  • Iceland – In the wake of its post-financial crisis constitutional reforms, this small country may claim to have the most direct democracy on Earth.
  • Netherlands
  • California (state government)
  • Germany
  • Finland
  • Sweden – Not as high as it might have been due to the politically-motivated prosecution of Assange.
  • Spain
  • Czech Republic


Semi-Liberal Democracy (tends to be corrupted by moneyed interests and/or other influential interest groups)

  • Canada – A good democracy, but a whiff of a downwards trend under Harper. ↓
  • Belgium
  • Italy – Not a personalistic regime once Berlusconi left, but not helped by the fact that an appointed technocrat now runs it.
  • Portugal
  • Australia
  • Brazil – Arbitrary power structures; extra-judicial murders.
  • France – Paternalistic; corporatist surveillance state; discrimination against minorities. ↓
  • Chile
  • Estonia – Has excellent Internet democracy ideas, but is hampered by discrimination against Russophone minorities.
  • Japan – Paternalistic; ultra-high conviction rates; no gun rights; but ceased being an (effectively) one-party state with recent election of DJP. ↑
  • Bulgaria
  • Mexico – Drug cartels challenge to the state may lead to curtailment of freedom. ↓
  • Switzerland – The last canton only gave women the right to vote in the early 1990’s, and the banning of minarets restricts religious freedom.
  • UK – Corporatist surveillance state; repressive libel & PC laws, regulations; no gun rights; strongly trending to Illiberal Democracy. ↓↓
  • India – Strong tradition of debate & power diffusion, marred by caste inequalities, privilege, political cliquishness, bottom-up free speech restrictions.
  • South Korea – Paternalistic; surveillance state; restrictive regulations, freedom of speech restrictions.
  • Poland
  • Indonesia
  • Latvia
  • Colombia – Pursued illiberal policies vs. FARC, but transitioned to a Semi-Liberal Democracy with recent transfer of power. ↑
  • Romania ↓
  • Argentina – New sweeping media laws bring Argentina close to the bottom of the Semi-Liberal Democracy rankings. ↓
  • Ukraine – In “anarchic stasis” since independence; arbitrary power structures; recently trending to Illiberal Democracy. ↓

Illiberal Democracy (tends to feature oligarchies and personalism)

  • USA – Highest prison population; corporatist surveillance state; runs transnational Gulag; increasingly arbitrary power structures; despite strong freedom of speech protections and surviving separation of powers, it can no longer be considered a Semi-Liberal Democracy after its formal legalization of indefinite detention under the NDAA 2012. ↓
  • Armenia
  • Israel – Severe national security-related civil liberties restrictions; growing influence of settler & fundamentalist agendas over the traditional Zionist foundation; severe new NGO laws, and discrimination against Palestinians makes Israel a downwards-trending Illiberal Democracy. ↓
  • Hungary – The recent Constitutional reforms in Hungary have effectively ended separation of powers, constrained the media, and established a basis for indefinite one-party dominance. It is now the only EU member to qualify as an Illiberal Democracy. ↓↓
  • Russia – Super-presidentialism with no real separation of powers; arbitrary power structures; surveillance state; and as recently shown, elections are subject to moderate fraud. However, new reforms (e.g. opening up of the political space), technical measures (e.g. web cameras at polling stations) and permits for opposition protests at the end of 2011 portend an upwards trend.  ↑
  • Venezuela – Increasingly illiberal, especially as regards media laws. ↓
  • Thailand
  • Georgia – Arbitrary power structures; opposition protests broken up; main opposition candidate to Saakashvili stripped of Georgian citizenship.
  • Algeria
  • Turkey – Maintains severe restrictions on free speech (a country that has the world’s largest number of imprisoned journalists, many under bizarre conspiracy charges, can’t really be any kind of liberal democracy); ethnic discrimination; arbitrary power structures; paradoxically, both authoritarian & liberal principles strengthening under influence of Gulenists & AKP. ↓

Semi-Authoritarianism (tends to feature permanent states of emergency)

  • Egypt – Despite the revolutionary upheaval, the military retains wide influence and shoots at protesters in Cairo; this cannot be a democratic state of affairs. The future is uncertain. ?
  • Libya
  • Pakistan
  • Singapore – Overt political repression; repressive laws (esp. on libel); surveillance state.
  • Kazakhstan – Overt political repression; Nazarbayev is Caesar.
  • Azerbaijan – Overt political repression; Aliyev is Caesar.
  • Belarus – Elections completely falsified; overt political repression, and getting worse. ↓
  • Iraq – ↓
  • Iran – Overt political repression; though Velayat-e faqih has embedded democratic elements (under formal clerical “guardianship), in recent years, the system is strongly trending to Authoritarianism as the IRGC clan tries to wrestle the old clerics out of power. ↓

Authoritarianism

  • Vietnam
  • China – Overt political repression; no national elections (but exist at village level & in some municipalities); the Internet is restricted by the “Great Firewall”, but print & online getting freer to discuss issues unrelated to a few unacceptable topics (e.g. Communist Party hegemony, Tiananmen, etc); may implement new form of political model of “deliberative dictatorship”; trending towards Semi-Authoritarianism. ↑
  • Cuba – Overt political repression; pervasive Internet & media censorship.
  • Uzbekistan
  • Syria
  • Saudi Arabia – Overt political repression; pervasive censorship; very repressive laws; political Islam permeated everyday life, esp. in regard to women’s rights; one law for the Saud family, another for the rest.

Totalitarianism (the realm of metapolitics)

  • North Korea – Not much to say here.

Comments

  1. Regarding Mexico the downward arrow you put is in tune with an article by Rémy Ourdan I just read.

    Given that the cartels have more or less taken control of the country, a situation ressembling Afghanistan (the capital Mexico being the exception just as Kabul), the journalist notes that business circles are privately wishing for a “Putin solution” to restore the authority of the State.

    Someone firm enough to eliminate the violent gangs- leaving only the dominant Sinaloa cartel with which an agreement should be made.

  2. Alexander Mercouris says:

    Dear Anatoly,

    I once travelled from Russia to South Korea and then after an extended stay in South Korea travelled back from South Korea to Russia. This made it possible to compare the two directly. South Korea struck me as a far less liberal society and democracy on almost every count than Russia. I commented on the fact extensively at the time and wrote about it to my friends. The degree of social control and of social conformity in South Korea is much greater as are the limits on comment and debate. This is not a criticism of South Korea which is a remarkable country in many respects with many achievements to its credit but your index invites comparisons and I am making one based on my own experience.

  3. Great blog, by the way. Lots of good research.

  4. Alexander Mercouris says:

    Dear Anatoly.

    I have been giving some thought to your relative placement of another country that I know well, which is Poland. My first girlfriend was Polish and one of my best friends is Polish and I would say that I am reasonably well informed about the country.

    Again in no sense do I want what I am about to say to be construed as anti Polish. However Poland now has tough laws limiting abortion and contraception, it has a very tough blasphemy law that could be construed as a form of censorship, there are restrictive laws on the use of Communist era symbols and the former Communist secret police files have been used by politicians to try to discredit their opponents. There is also a fair amount of corruption especially in the building industry and in the management of the EU structural funds. For an illustration of the restrictions thrown up by the blasphemy law take the case of Doda, Poland’s most popular pop singer, who the last I heard faced a possible prosecution with a 2 year prison sentence in case of conviction for saying that she found it easier to believe in dinosaurs than the Bible because the Bible was obviously written by potheads and drunks.

    There is currently a very strong reaction against this sort of illiberalism underway in Poland, which finds reflection in some extent of the recent election results and in some of the responses to the Smolensk air crash. There is no doubt that the country is becoming more liberal and more tolerant. The same however could also be said of Russia. Having said this and whilst any view is subjective my overall feeling is that if anything the general climate in Poland is still if anything actually rather less liberal than in Russia. I don’t want to press the point but it often seems to me that Poland often wins out in comparisons between the two countries simply because of the different way in which the two countries are reported. For example if a Russian pop singer like Shavchuk were to face a threat of prosecution like Doda’s there would I am sure be an international storm whilst the threat of prosecution that Doda faces has internationally gone unnoticed.

    • Yikes! That Doda affair sounds very theocratic. I’m moving Poland down to the likes of Indonesia. Though in fairness, Russia (and Ireland) too have blasphemy issues.

      You are correct on the abortion issue.

    • That’s what happens when you let Catholic Church come to power. Allude to Spanish Inquisition.

  5. Hi Anatoly,

    Australia probably ranks about the same as Canada and, like Canada, may be trending downwards. Our Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have not been as spectacular as Harper who shut down the Canadian Parliament twice in less than 15 months (first time about end of 2008, second time about end of 2009 and lasting until March 2010) but we did have that extraordinary putsch in June 2010 when the Australian Labor Party ditched Rudd as Prime Minister and ALP leader and installed Gillard in his stead. One of the cabal who helped to install Gillard, Bill Shorten, is a son-in-law of the current Governor General, Quentin Bryce.

    Before the current New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell took office in 2010, the previous Premier Kristina Keneally prorogued State Parliament briefly to block an inquiry into the government’s sale of a major electricity asset.

    At the state level, Western Australia tends to be more politically conservative and potentially more illiberal than New South Wales and Victoria state. For a long time Queensland was also very politically conservative but since the 1990s, south-east Queensland where Brisbane and the Gold Coast are located are more like the southern states.

    There was a recent case in Australia where a Pakistani student was deported after he was questioned by immigration officials over phone calls he was making to Pakistan. Apparently his family had donated some money to a charity that happened to be linked to terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba (but the family might not have known at the time they made the donation) and this triggered the investigation of the student. The man is determined to clear his name and return to Australia.

    My understanding is that in Canada, the eastern provinces and British Columbia tend to support liberal democracy and are less politically conservative than the prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba). Alberta is the most right-wing province in the country.

    I don’t know much about New Zealand politics although I think New Zealand would rank the same as Australia. Late last year there was a food bill in the NZ Parliament that if passed would severely restrict the right of individuals and families to grow food, save the seeds and share the food with family members and friends. I don’t know if that bill got passed but if it did, it’s very drastic.

    It would be interesting to find out which states in the United States are more like liberal democracies and which ones less so. I think of the Pacific Northwest states (Oregon, Washtington state), Colorado and some of the New England states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont) as being more liberal, and the southeastern US, traditionally Confederate-leaning, some of the Rocky Mountain states (Idaho, Montana, Utah) and Arizona as more illiberal.

    Ditto with Brazil and India.

  6. below_freezing says:

    China more authoritarian than Egypt and the stans? Very unlikely. There’s no dictator in China the way there are in the stans. There’s no personalized use of arbitrary power like how the Islam Karimov boiled his political opponents alive in China. Police and troops aren’t firing at protesters every day like in Egypt. With 80 million CPC members and 240 million relatives of CPC members at the least, a famous blogger and dissident Han Han said it best: “Because there are so many CPC members, we can’t regard it as a tiny clique disconnected from the rest of the country. The problems the CPC faces are the problems China faces as a whole.”

    • Well, if you notice, China *is* higher than Uzbekistan or Syria. The Egyptian state is at the moment undeniably quite a lot more violent than China, but it’s also conducting what seem to be generally free and fair elections (after years of massive fraud by Mubarak); China does not have elections at the national level – there is no alternative to the CCP – and should there be *serious* disturbances, are you really saying that it will refrain from the use of lethal force?

      There are a few other reasons why China is lower than Egypt. It’s obviously more socially progressive, but on the other hand: (1) Great Firewall censorship; (2) world’s most prolific user of the death penalty by far; (3) at least 27 imprisoned journalists (although granted, Egypt’s 2 imprisoned journalists become more comparable if adjusted for population size); and (4) various political activists; yes, I know they aren’t always pure as snow themselves (who is?), but what they endure tends to go well beyond the petty harassment practiced by countries like the US/Britain or Russia and actually frequently involves hard jail time.

      For all these reasons I classify China as an Authoritarian state, though if it eases back on the censorship and its insanely hardline law and order policies and stops jailing so many people for political reasons – even without any democratization – it could easily transition into Semi-Authoritarianism.

    • The situation in China is that the authorities there will tolerate some dissent if it’s directed away from them and at someone or something else. If the dissent is directed at particular individuals, companies (especially foreign companies) or at an external enemy like Japan, the authorities don’t mind. But if the dissent becomes criticism of the government or of its ideology and systems, then the authorities will turn on the protestors.

      After the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, when it became obvious that schools in some cities in that province had suffered the worst from the quake destruction while government buildings remained standing, parents and others tried to sue for justice for their dead children and to bring charges of corruption against government officials and agencies. The authorities resorted to harassment and intimidation of the parents or buying them off with money.

      In the last three months, protesters in Wukan village in Guangdong province have been engaged in a stand-off with authorities over a sale or lease of collecitively owned land to a major developer by the authorities that will force several thousands of people to move. For more details about the protests, see here: http://wsws.org/articles/2012/jan2012/wuka-j23.shtml.

      As for Uzbekistan, so little information comes out of that country that I think everyone seizes on every small thing that emanates from there and blows it up. For sure, President Karimov doesn’t tolerate criticism of his rule and does torture his opponents. There is an American air base at Karshi-Khanabad in the country and he could conveniently arrange with the US military authorities there to take away opponents for renditioning in other countries. Also we don’t hear about Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan torturing their dissidents in the lurid way that Craig Murray described and I assume that the rulers of these countries would be fairly close to Karimov and swap ideas about how to maintain their rule and control and this might include ways to silence dissent.

      Murray’s claim is based on some photographs he’d seen of a couple of men who died from torture which he then sent to the pathology department at the University of Glasgow and the chief pathologist there at the time wrote back to him saying that the injuries could only have been caused by immersion in water. I don’t know if Murray got second and third opinions. Anyone interested in knowing what death by boiling involves, see here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Death-by-boiling/144926182189122

      • below_freezing says:

        In Wukan, the villagers got what they wanted in the end.

        Also, you should distinguish the actions of the central government vs. the provincial government vs. the local government, because they’re often in conflict.

        You should also notice what sites are blocked by the firewall. No major Western news outlet is blocked, therefore there is freedom of information.

        The CPC has 80 million members and 300 million people who are relatives of CPC members. It is not an ordinary political party and is far larger than the tiny cliques ruling the US and Latin American/African “democracies”. Only about 1000 people participate in the party national convention of the US.

        Elections have little to do with how free a country actually is. Even if elections were important, China indeed has national level elections, just that they’re not direct and the CPC controls the process. Despite that, why is it bad for the CPC to control the process? The pool of candidates, even if restricted to CPC members, is the size of the population of Germany.

        Social progressiveness is the only measure of freedom that is important because that measures how you feel for the 99.9% of the time you’re not at the polls.

        Otherwise, ludicrous conclusions can be made, such as the Congo, Somalia and Liberia are more free than Singapore.

        • Dear below_freezing,

          I assume from what you’re saying that the CPC is now as much a business and social networking platform as a political party?

          I guess when you ask why it’s “bad” for the CPC to control elections, what you might be referring to is how much control the CPC has over the electoral process itself and the selection of candidates. How are the candidates selected: are they selected purely on merit and experience? I’m supposing as long as they are CPC members, the CPC doesn’t go too deeply into what they actually believe.

          The Chinese experience would be nothing like the Iranian experience where all candidates for the Presidency, mayoral positions and the Assembly of Experts (who choose the Supreme Leader) have to approved by the Guardian Council of the Constitution on a set of narrow criteria.

  7. On negative side of the ledger for China:
    Did China really sell the cadavers of political prisoners to a trendy Western artist for public display? First torture ‘em to death, then put ‘em on display… Yechhhh!!!
    This is not as bad as boiling one’s political opponents alive. Did Karimov really do that?

    • Alexander Mercouris says:

      Dear Yalensis,

      I am sure the story about the cadavers from China being those of political prisoners is untrue. The Chinese authorities would be incredibly stupid to do something like that, which would be bound to cause China massive negative publicity when it was discovered. Whatever the Chinese authorities are they are not stupid. It is not as if there aren’t plenty of other dead bodies in China without having to turn to use those of political prisoners and this is so even allowing for the traditional respect Chinese feel towards the dead because of their tradition of ancestor worship. Frankly the story looks to me like a propaganda smear.

      On the subject of Karimov boiling his opponents alive, I am skeptical. I strongly suspect the story originates or was at least widely circulated by Craig Murray the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan who is the source of a lot of the criticism you hear of Karimov.

      I have some time for Craig Murray and I occasionally contribute to his blog. I even once provided him with free legal advice, which to my astonishment he then reproduced without my permission on his blog. He is by no means a bad commentator on British affairs and in some of his pieces for example on Libya and on the infiltration of the Ministry of Defence by someone who looks as if he might have been an Israeli agent he is little short of outstanding. There is no doubt also that Craig Murray was genuinely sincere in trying to fight for human rights in Uzbekistan (as opposed to using human rights to serve western interests) and showed great personal courage in doing so given that he was acting contrary to the policy of the British government. There is also no doubt that he was subjected to a revolting smear campaign through the British press and that his career as a diplomat was prematurely ended as a result.

      Having said this Craig Murray’s book Murder in Samarkand gave me a frankly uneasy feeling. His knowledge of Uzbek and Central Asian history seemed to me partial and flawed and I have to say that I also felt that he showed no understanding for the sort of problems Karimov and Uzbekistan faced when the USSR broke up (something which Karimov by the way opposed). Overall the impression I got was that the book elevated Karimov to the level of a pantomime stage tyrant if only to explain Craig Murray’s destruction of his own career by his hostility to him. The story of Karimov boiling opponents alive (mentioned by the way in the book) fits in too well with this image to be for me entirely credible. Besides why would Karimov murder his opponents in such a grotesque way?

      I would just finish by saying that Craig Murray if not exactly a Russophobe is someone who uncritically accepts the Russophobe picture of Russia. In a recent post on his blog he called Russia “Nigeria on the Volga” on the strength of a certainly wrong BBC report that Russia imports most of the vegetables it consumes from the EU instead of growing them itself.

      • “I would just finish by saying that Craig Murray if not exactly a Russophobe is someone who uncritically accepts the Russophobe picture of Russia. In a recent post on his blog he called Russia “Nigeria on the Volga” on the strength of a certainly wrong BBC report that Russia imports most of the vegetables it consumes from the EU instead of growing them itself..”

        What’s most disturbing about Murray’s nickname for Russia is that it contains racist undertones. It’s truly sad that some forms of discrimination are still allowed by society and at times even openly encouraged by the establishment (such as Russophobia). At times these forms of allowed discrimination seem to be used as cover for the other forms of discrimination now frowned upon (such as antisemitism and discrimination based on colour).

        Ironically Murray could have called Russia “Britain on the Volga” and been able to make the same point or an even stronger one since although Britain apparently produces about 60% of the food it consumes in total (http://www.soilassociation.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=wCYoHYSHsy8%3D&tabid=387) but that apparently 60% of the fruit and vegetables consumed in the UK are imported mainly from the EU (http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/18/10/2011/335330/how-reliant-is-the-uk-on-imported-food.htm and http://www.freshproduce.org.uk/documents/FPCPressRelease-SustainabilityandUKFoodPolicySDCreport280311.pdf) and fruits and vegetables from Africa account for 14% of total imports of fruits and vegetables (http://archive.defra.gov.uk/evidence/economics/foodfarm/reports/documents/Final%20Africa%20trade.pdf).

      • Craig Murray does not like to highlight the fact that Uzbekistan has the largest most militant Islamic terrorist group in the world the IMU and its German offshoot Islamic Jihad Union or the fact that Britain is the driving force supporting Islamic terrorism in the Eurasian sphere.

        Due to Uzbekistan’s strategic importance in Eurasia which the EU and US are supporting and financing Turkic Islamic terrorist groups that even Brzezinski noted as its importance in The Grand Chessboard I would take information about Uzbekistan with a grain of salt especially fantastic horror stories.

        Good example was the incident in Andijan in 2005 which was characterised as security forces firing on unarmed protestors but in reality Uzbek militants used the protests outside a prison as a cover to free captured terrorists in a prison break.

      • Alexander,

        That prisoners were boiled alive is not in doubt. That Karimov personally knew of it, let alone ordered it, I have never claimed. But there can be no doubt that Karimov is aware of and sanctions in general the level of torture used throughout his security system. The techniques individually applied are presumably a local decision, and like much else largely inherited from Soviet times.

        I am well aware, and say so in Murder in Samarkand, that Karimov opposed the break-up of the Soviet Union. As a Politburo member hew was indeed one of those who launched the failed coup against Gorbachev. Much of Karimov’s Uzbek rule is a retention of the Soviet system, but with added kleptocracy, less accountability and much less effort and resource put into public services.

        • Alexander Mercouris says:

          Thank you for this Craig.

        • Pity the west won’t sanction him for his bizarre cooking habits. Instead, he gets “gratefulness for for Uzbekistan’s considerable assistance in addressing the Afghan crisis and practical support for socio-economic reconstruction in Afghanistan.” This from the same overweight harpy who responded to news of Ghaddafi’s murder by western-backed al Qaeda fundamentalists with, “We came, we saw, he died”. Karimov might have alluded that the west is vigorously opposed to torture and all about human rights from that, I suppose.

          http://www.uzbekistan.org/uz_us_relations/archive/988/

  8. I wouldn’t have put Canada so high up with its Human Rights Committee and hate crime laws not to mention supporting the most radical foreign policy Diaspora groups of Bosnians, Ukrainians and Circassians.

    Look at the lengths at which they went to prosecute Ernst Zundel on YouTube or banning Srdja Trifkovic from entering Canada.

    Most of these liberal countries have very strict Orwellian PC laws that can put you in prison like here in Britain and Germany which is probably the worst in Europe.

    There is also a big problem with the list in that it does not take into account that countries like Russia and China the US and EU finance to the tune of millions of dollars all civic and social organisations and political parties seeking to overthrow their governments in colour revolutions and stoke separatist movements in their countries especially Russia.

    In Belarus the US and EU has illegally imposed economic restrictions and sanctions and increased aid to opposition candidates.

    • I agree with the PC law Orwellianism and that it should be a factor to reduce the rank of these countries. There is a case fresh from Norway where the children of a family of guest workers from India where seized by the state because of purely frivolous excuses. No accusations of real abuse, e.g. sexual or physical, were made. The parents apparently violated the “rights” of their children by feeding them by hand and feeding them an Indian diet (http://www.deccanherald.com/content/221566/india-urges-norway-return-kids.html). Apparently the child protection agency has draconian legal leeway and everything it does is completely secret. This applies to the legal proceedings. So there is no transparency and abuse is rampant. The number of cases of what amounts to state child abduction is increasing like crazy: http://www.fampo.no/cps.html

  9. pravochka says:

    interesting, but why writing “liberal democracy” and not “authoritarian democracy”? As far as I understand the word “democracy” means power of the people, even when people’s traditions are authoritarian. It does not mean neither liberalism, nor power of the intelligentsia.

    For example in France (my country) you have roughly half of the people who totally left the political debate because their ideas are not at all represented (if they vote, it is only to pourish the actual government – think about the therwise paradoxal fact that the presidential and legislative elections regularly gie opposite results since some years). By the way, the “discrimination against minority” seems to just indicate a bad understanding of the republican ideal (“minority” or “community” make little sense in an egalitarian ideology!).

    In Russia, where there is a lack of some political liberties which are common in France, the global action of the government seems to go more in the direction the people want (the real people, not the 0.007% of bolotnaja ploshhad). But you surely better know than me in this case.

    Ok, you just propose an alternative classification of democracy…but you should not avoid a short mention of the controversial definition of democracy (beyond the clear bias of freedom housethat you stress).

    best regards

  10. Chrisius Maximus says:

    According to the original classification of types of government developed by Aristotle — which all ensuing ones are based on — modern ‘Western” countries would be mixed democratic-oligarchic systems.

  11. This has many mistakes. Firstly, Islam is Totalitarian not merely Authoritarian. Remember that women are half the population. If they are going around in Burkas, that’s Totalitarian. There is a huge difference between living in Vietnam and living in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia needs to be in with North Korea.

    Israel has a permanent state of emergency, the military controls everything, and the majority of the population have no voting or other rights because they aren’t the right race. So Israel should be in with the Semi-Authoritarianism or worse.

    Also, California’s position is misleading, since the people who created the state have no voice, and voting is controlled by foreigners.

    You seem to have a thing against communists. Communists really aren’t any worse than other Authoritarians. Is Iraq really more free than Vietnam?

    Illiberal democracies needs to be split. Australia has a very democratic voting system where you number every candidate in order of your preference. It doesn’t belong in the same category as some of the other countries in that section.

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