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Democracy is not Government by Democrats, and Authoritarianism is not Government by Authoritarians

an important distinction…

Tom Pepinsky

In a post from October 2015, “Democratic Disappointments, Authoritarian Reformists, and Political Equilibria,” I mused about a seemingly ironic feature of contemporary Malaysian politics. The former dictator Mahathir Mohamad, a staunch defender of ruling party hegemony who happily jailed opponents to his regime, has emerged as one of the key critics of Najib Tun Razak. I suggested that the focus on Mahathir’s potential “change of heart” is entirely misplaced. Such a focus, I argued,

…reflects a common belief that the views of individual elites are central to understanding the essence of a country’s politics. There are lots of people who demand reform and openness in Malaysia, but when Mahathir does, this clearly changes the game. This belief in turn draws on a common view that the problem of political reform is getting the right people with the right beliefs in office. That is why it is…

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musical interlude CXCV


Trump’s relationship to media- Still the same as during the election?

Caught a bit of CNN at a restaurant today at lunch. Left side of the screen: 2-4 heads talking. Right side of the screen: empty podium where “Trump may speak within the next 1-2 hours”… <sigh> …  Same ratings game as during the election. I’m really starting to think the whole media feud, the networks’ part in the so-called “resistance”, is kayfabe. Or it may as well be.

musical interlude CXCIV

zees one is for the February!

Current trends in politics, in US, Europe, and other western countries [Tariq Ali / Telesur]

Tariq Ali, 30 minute video. Much of it devoted to a country-by-country review of Europe.

[via Dandelion Salad]

musical interlude CXCIII

audio only link (currently locked out, TODO: sub above when it is)


musical interlude CXCII