The post World War II globe was largely divided into two main blocs. On the one hand there existed a Soviet and Chinese led bloc of nations whose hallmarks were autocracy, state control of…everything, intolerance of dissent, and a communist, command economy. The other group, led- and protected- by the United States, embraced liberal democracy, capitalism and free trade.
As the liberal bloc succeeded economically, socially and entrepreneurially, the opposing one failed. In light of this fact, many countries altered their institutions so as to become more like the U.S. China itself liberalized its economic policies while remaining strictly authoritarian socially. Many other nations wholly converted from an autocratic to a democratic form of government. The Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, with the gradual but inevitable result being the freeing of its many captive states- or “SSRs.” The decades of the ‘80s and ‘90s saw the most dramatic and rapid rise of freedom around the Earth.
Unfortunately, in recent years, that trend has stagnated and now reversed. With the current U.S. presidential administration focused on changing its own nation’s institutions and insisting that transgender bathroom access, climate change and Muslim outreach must be the priorities of the day, illiberalism is now ascendant. Yes, political autocracy and correctness, state-controlled economies and vast restrictions on civil liberties are all now on the rise, even in the United States.
Like a boa-constrictor wrapped around clueless prey, a soft tyranny slowly envelops us.