What is ILLIBERALISM?
Illiberalism is a political ideology that rejects the core tenets of liberal democracy, such as individual rights and freedoms, the rule of law, and the separation of powers. Illiberal regimes may hold elections, but they often undermine or subvert democratic institutions in order to maintain power. They may also restrict individual rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly.
Illiberal regimes can be found on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. Some examples of illiberal regimes include:
- Right-wing illiberal regimes: Hungary under Viktor Orbán, Poland under the Law and Justice Party, and the United States under Donald Trump
- Left-wing illiberal regimes: Venezuela under Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, Russia under Vladimir Putin, and China under Xi Jinping
Illiberal regimes often emerge during times of economic or political crisis. They may appeal to voters who are frustrated with the traditional political system and who are looking for a strong leader who can “fix things.” However, illiberal regimes ultimately lead to less freedom and prosperity for their citizens.
Here are some of the key characteristics of illiberalism:
- Rejection of individual rights and freedoms: Illiberal regimes often restrict individual rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly. They may also persecute minorities and dissidents.
- Undermining of democratic institutions: Illiberal regimes may hold elections, but they often undermine or subvert democratic institutions in order to maintain power. For example, they may pack the courts with their own appointees, gerrymander electoral districts, or restrict access to voting.
- Concentration of power: Illiberal regimes often concentrate power in the hands of a single leader or a small group of people. This can lead to corruption and abuse of power.
- Populist rhetoric: Illiberal leaders often use populist rhetoric to appeal to voters. They may scapegoat minorities, attack the media, and promise to “drain the swamp.”
Illiberalism is a serious threat to democracy and human rights. It is important to be aware of the signs of illiberalism and to resist its spread.