Illiberal democracy is a term first coined by the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban during a conference of his national-conservative party Fidesz. The idea behind it is that a democratic society doesn’t need to adhere to liberal principles to function and prosper. That it is possible to have a government for the people, with some influence by the people but not governed through the people or accountable to the public. And this is an idea that has in recent years fallen on fertile grounds all across the world. Not just in Hungary, but also in the United States with President Trump, in evermore countries across Eastern Europe from Poland to Belarus, to the Islamic Republic of Iran with its Ayatholas, to countries such as Singapore and Brazil with its president Bolsonaro, to his neighbors in Venezuela under Maduro and Bolivia and Evo Moralez. The idea of the illiberal democracy is however far older than Orban. Illiberal democracies have existed as long as democracies existed and could be undermined by those who sought power but didn’t fancy the accountability that came with it. fancy terms such as majoritarianism, liberation, solidarity, modernization and more. but the ugly truth behind all these states has always been that they are in truth, once the veneer of ideology is wiped away, nothing but crooked oligarchies and crony states.
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