War is always rebuked as a curse, at times, is also commended as a harbinger of ultimate peace. The developments which were witnessed after the end of second world-war include the conformation of an edifice for global governance in the shape of UNO and the triumph of Western Liberal Democracy after cold war in late 1980s, not only ended the dialecticism of ideologies but also hitherto prevented the world from the scourge of another world war. Kudos to deterrence theory and the development of weapons of mass destruction as well for keeping the nuclear powers at bay. Since more than half a century has passed, the ramifications and hallucinations of the much cherished West born liberal democracy, characterized by the free market economy are ostensible. Most of the global south has embraced it as a model of governance which is being espoused by the Global Policemen-US and its allies.
Recent Liberal Challenges
From the recent past the fissures within the liberal democracy all over got starkly materialize, which led to a superheated debate among the political pundits. The very proponents of the end of ideology debate today seems woeful for the future of democracy. The growing nationalist sensations with the rise of far right forces in Eurasia, America and other third world countries as well make us realize that all is not going well with the liberal democratic system. It is now being argued that it can’t escape the Hegel’s law of ‘negation of negation’ and has to face its own antithesis. The racist attacks on African students in India, the Brexit process, the triumph of Donald trump in US on the one hand and the changing flavour of world politics on the other have plunged the liberal democracy into crisis and almost everywhere it is losing out. The recent constitutional amendment in Turkey, incessant attempts by Jacob Zuma in South Africa, the rise of rightist Hindutva forces in India starkly supports the above argument.
Exposed Economic Distinction
The capitalist Globalisation spawned by the liberal democracy results in the rapid economic growth for a tiny group of people which seems like the dictatorship of bourgeoisie and deprived a chunk of populous from yielding any advantage or left them negatively affected. The flagrant poverty especially in the so called third world countries is swelling which is being mushroomed by the global capitalism. One important cause being the introduction of pro-market reforms and the market driven distribution of resources. Although India’s share of the world GDP is expected to increase significantly from 7.3% in 2016 to 8.5% in 2020, but there is no denial of the fact that the sub-continent is also home to half of the world’s poor population. The advocates of the Liberal Democracy has from times propagating the Laissez-Faire policies in economy by introducing the fact that, any remedial measure of regulating the capitalist system will cause economic inefficiency and will bring the indication of economic growth to low levels. This resulted not only in deregulation but also privatization of basic amenities which in turn caused wide spread economic disparities within the society, in which the poor and underprivileged were relegated to the wall.
The capitalist Globalisation spawned by the liberal democracy results in the rapid economic growth for a tiny group of people which seems like the dictatorship of bourgeoisie and deprived a chunk of populous from yielding any advantage or left them negatively affected. The flagrant poverty especially in the so called third world countries is swelling which is being mushroomed by the global capitalism.
Sponsored Fourth Estate
The mass media in such liberal democracies has been manipulated to its highest levels by the big corporates and political parties. The growing ownership of media not only led to major distortions of the democratic values but also deprived the voiceless of their fundamental rights. “Manufacturing consent” a laudable work by Noam Chomsky and Herman makes mention of propaganda model to reveal that the corporate media limits all the contesting views which helps them to create a narrow spectrum of elite opinion.
Challenges of Minorities
The liberal democracy in globalised world is facing challenges all over. The competitive craze of states for resources has not left any stone unturned to fail liberal model of governance. The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, the unabated human rights violation of Kashmiri’s by Indian state to suppress their claim for self-determination, the suppression of separatist tendencies by Pakistan in Baluchistan province where it is alleged to have violated human rights and the repression by Russia of the people of Chechnya and many others is an ample proof for the failure of these states to accommodate diversity within the garb of liberal democracy. The tyranny of majority in these states and many others have created loathe among minority not only against the majority but the establishment as well which forces them for launching secessionist movements against their respective states. Systematic state terrorism to curb the separatist tendency has forced the already disgruntled separatists to pursue violent means of guerrilla warfare, which not only challenges the state sovereignty but eventually helps other non-state actors to mobilize all such dissatisfied groups and reinforce them to commit gory crimes. They are then labelled as terrorist groups by the state authorities and the social concern is deflected to fight the vicious cycle of terrorism by the states in spite of working for social development.
The future of the liberal democracy may be anything but uncertain. Its sacrosanctity is being constantly challenged. The growing sense of hyper-nationalism is now invading the tract of individual liberty. Right to speech and expression is constantly being suppressed. The dearth of moral values among majority of the elected representatives has further worsen the already degraded system.
The liberal democracy, eulogised as a global governance model, is today being challenged comprehensively. The horrendous economic disparities has left the half of the humanity to live in perilous conditions. The re-emergence of ‘exclusive’ nationalism almost all over the world has become a concern for the intellectual class. Its failure to cope with the conditions caused by globalisation has made it what scholars call the instrument of neo-colonialism. Should we be prepared to dig the grave of liberal democracy?
Author is the student of graduation with Political Science major from Aligarh Muslim University, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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