The world is currently experiencing the lowest levels of democracy we have seen in over thirty years. Autocracy is on the rise, and while the cost of autocracy seems evident, it nevertheless remains an attractive option to many.
While leaders like Viktor Orbán disrupt democratic foundations from within, autocrats like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin do so from abroad, eroding democratic institutions and values and imperilling democracies that appear increasingly fragile. There are even those who, disillusioned with the current institutions in place, increasingly think authoritarianism can deliver them a better life than democracy has or could.
They’re wrong. Autocracy is not the solution – better democracy is. But we have to make the case for it. We have to combat institutional rot by learning from one another, and, at times, from our rivals. And we have to get our own houses in order. Only then can we effectively stand up for democratic values around the world and defeat the dictators.