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Demagogic authoritarians are on the rise

por beatriz j a, em 15.09.18


A new authoritarian axis demands an international progressive front


publicado às 04:47

Liga das Democracias

por beatriz j a, em 14.02.17



Se calhar, como sugerem estes dois autores, estava na altura de criar uma Liga das Democracias que fizesse aquilo que a ONU não faz. O autoritarismo, em qualquer forma ou dimensão, tem imensos custos sociais: aumento da fome, diminuição da educação, na saúde física e mental das pessoas, na criatividade, no engenho, no desenvolvimento e na prosperidade geral. 


At present, the authoritarianism business is booming. According to the Human Rights Foundation’s research, the citizens of 94 countries suffer under non-democratic regimes, meaning that 3.97 billion people are currently controlled by tyrants, absolute monarchs, military juntas or competitive authoritarians. That’s 53 percent of the world’s population. Statistically, then, authoritarianism is one of the largest — if not the largest — challenges facing humanity.


Consider the scale of some of the world’s other crises. About 836 million live under extreme poverty, and 783 million lack clean drinking water. War and conflict have displaced 65 million from their homes. Between 1994 and 2013 an annual average of 218 million people were affected by natural disasters. These are terrible, seemingly intractable problems — but at least there are United Nations bodies, aid organizations and State Department teams dedicated to each one of them.


Dictators and elected authoritarians, by contrast, get a free pass. The World Bank bails out repressive regimes on a regular basis. There is no anti-tyrant U.N. task force, no Sustainable Development Goals against tyranny, no army of activists.


If injustice and oppression aren’t bad enough, authoritarian governments bear an enormous social cost. Dictator-led countries have higher rates of mental illnesslower levels of health and life expectancy, and, as Amartya Sen famously argued, higher susceptibility to famine. Their citizens are less educated and file fewer patents. In 2016, more patents were filed in France than in the entire Arab world — not because Arabs are less entrepreneurial than the French, but because nearly all of them live under stifling authoritarianism. Clearly, the suppression of free expression and creativity has harmful effects on innovation and economic growth. Citizens of free and open societies such as Germany, South Korea and Chile witness advances in business, science and technology that Belarusans, Burmese and Cubans can only dream of.


And consider that free nations do not go to war with each other. History has shown this to be the only ironclad law of political theory. Meanwhile, dictators are always at war, often with a foreign power and always with their own people. If you are worried about public health, poverty or peace, your mandate is clear: Oppose tyranny.


Tragically, world institutions and organizations have failed to properly address authoritarianism. Western governments sometimes protest human rights violations in countries such as Russia, Iran, and North Korea — but routinely ignore them in places such as China and Saudi Arabia, in favor of upholding trade deals and security agreements. The United Nations, established to bring peace and justice to the world, includes Cuba, Egypt and Rwanda on its Human Rights Council. Here, a representative from a democracy carries the same legitimacy as a representative from a dictatorship. One acts on behalf of its citizens, while the other acts to silence them. Between June 2006 and August 2015 the Human Rights Council issued zero condemnations of repressive regimes in China, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Despite the fact that dictatorship is at the root of many global ills — poor health, failing education systems and global poverty among them — authoritarianism is hardly ever addressed at major conferences worldwide.


The noble struggle against tyranny has fallen upon individual activists and dissidents living under authoritarian rule or working from exile.


To turn the tide against repression, people across all industries need to join the movement. Artists, entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, diplomats, students — no matter who you are, you can reach out to a civil society organization at risk and ask how you can help by using your knowledge, resources or skills.

Today, authoritarians rule an increasingly large part of the globe, but the leaders of the free world lack the motivation and gumption to create a new U.N.-style League of Democracies. In the meantime, as individuals living in a free society, we believe it is our moral obligation to take action to expose human rights violations and to use our freedom to help others achieve theirs.


by By Garry Kasparov and Thor Halvorssen

(Garry Kasparov is chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation. Thor Halvorssen is the foundation’s president and chief executive.)




publicado às 14:47

Sai um mini-Lenine para o almoço

por beatriz j a, em 29.11.13



Crato quer mudar cursos de professores em sete meses

O Ministério da Educação e Ciência (MEC) apresentou às universidades e politécnicos um projeto-lei que implica alterar todos os cursos de Educação, que formam os futuros professores, a tempo das candidaturas ao Superior de julho do próximo ano.

Só na rede pública, estão em causa seis dezenas de cursos, para mais de 1200 estudantes. Mas a equipa de Nuno Crato já nem admite autorizar as atuais ofertas a abrirem vagas no próximo ano letivo.

E é tudo muito democrático. Faça-se assim que eu é que sei e não preciso de discutir com ninguém!

publicado às 15:00

no cabeçalho, pintura de Paul Béliveau. mail

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