Sunday, January 10, 2016

Decline or remedy?

I have earlier predicted, that we will see more and more signs of the political decline in the form of phenomena like populism, badly prepared legislation and not least obstructionism making administration and legislation difficult or impossible. And to contain and counteract this we will need stronger executive power.

At the same time I have criticized the moves toward greater governmental or even personal power in some countries as a sign of the same political decline. How do these forms of stronger executive power differ from each other?

Obviously the question is whether a strengthened government is a goal in itself to achieve power for certain persons or groups. Or it is a remedy to control and overcome the decline.

When the present leaders of Hungary, Poland and Turkey increase their control, it is a sign of the political decline as it is not necessitated objectively, but only serves to gain more dominance and power. When the present US president uses decrees or other means bypassing Congres, it is in order to manage the lack of governability resulting from the decline.

Of course often matters are not so clearcut as in these examples. When are obstacles for legislation strong enough to justify executive force? Which legislation is important enough? Also motives for stronger governments can at the same time be both governability as such and a wish for power. Worse, over time the two types of motives will tend to fuse more and more. This is clearly to be seen in the figure of Julius Caesar, who lived in a time corresponding to our 21. century.

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