Freedom House March 4, 2020. Despite mass protests in every region, world suffers 14th consecutive year of deterioration in political rights and civil liberties.
Democracy is under assault around the globe, and the effects are evident not just in authoritarian states like China, Russia, and Iran, but also in countries with a long track record of upholding basic rights and freedoms. While protest movements in every region have illustrated widespread popular demand for better governance, they have yet to reverse the overall pattern of declining freedom, according to Freedom in the World 2020, the latest edition of the annual country-by-country assessment of political rights and civil liberties, released today by Freedom House.
Countries that suffered setbacks in
2019 outnumbered those making gains by nearly two to one, marking the
14th consecutive year of deterioration in global freedom. During this
period, 25 of the world’s 41 established democracies experienced net
The report also found an alarming
global erosion in governments’ commitment to pluralism, a defining
feature of liberal democracy. Ethnic, religious, and other minority
groups have borne the brunt of recent state abuses in both democracies
and authoritarian countries. Left unchecked, such violations threaten
the freedom of entire societies.
Why Nigeria is now eruptingRick Gladstone and Megan SpeciaNew York Times October 21, 2020 Africa’s most populous country and biggest oil producer has been convulsed by protests that started with anger over police brutality and have now broadened, drawing worldwide attention.
Bolivia under blockade as protesters choke access to citiesMaría Silvia Trigo and Anatoly KurmanaevNew York Times August 7, 2020 Six million people have been marooned by 70 roadblocks set up to protest the government’s response to the coronavirus and the postponement of the country’s general election.
Exploitation and oppression continued to play a major role in the world in 2019. Standard economics principally looks at income obtained from production. This website looks at income or other benefit gained by harming others. We prefer the term harm, as being correct and also indicating a range of behavior. Types of harm in a society may not rise to the level where they could reasonably be termed exploitation and oppression. Harm, no matter the term(s) used is much more important than suggested by standard economics1. This follows Kenneth Boulding in The Economy of Love and Fear. Boulding distinguishes not only the productive economy but also the grants economy, which consists of two parts: exploitative grants from threats or ignorance, and integrative grants from love or kindness. In Boulding’s terms, this is an exploitative grant. A principal aspect of this website is publishing links to articles that describe a current aspect of harm in the United States or elsewhere; this is reviewed here.
An important part of the struggle for control is between democratic/popular forces that want to expand human rights and opportunities and those who want to restrict access to key rights and opportunities to their group. HE published a summary of what Freedom House had to say about 2018. Here is an excerpt from that summary. (2019 report not yet available.)