These indexes are usually bullshit and, indeed, the Latana Democracy Perception Index editorializes with a bunch of American propaganda points about Ukraine and Taiwan before getting to the actual point:
“The countries considered most democratic by their citizens are China*, Vietnam, and Taiwan.”
They put the asterix on China because “*In some countries surveyed the government plays an active role in shaping public opinion,” as if Americans aren’t the most actively propagandized people on Earth.
The merit of this index, despite its best efforts, is that they actually surveyed 52,785 people and had to report what they said. Latana still divides the world into ‘Free’ and ‘Less Free’, but what people actually say is the complete opposite.
The real surprise is that communist countries like China and Vietnam think that their countries are democratic. As much as Latana tries to editorialize the title into a negative, that’s the result.
In the West, it’s assumed that people want politicians, which we obviously don’t.People want results, like having baby formula and not dying in a plague. On those counts, East Asian, communist countries actually deliver, and people give them props.
I have previously asked about the paradox of Chinese Democracy in a series. First from an ancient philosophical perspective and then from a modern observational one. What we have here is not so theoretical. It’s just what the people concerned actually think. And people's opinions seem to bear the theory out.
The Greeks never had the modern magical belief in democracy, it was simply a means to an end, not an intrinsic good. And they never thought democracy was just elections, that was just one form, and one of the dumber ones. Each city-state had its own practice of democracy and it was viewed as a means to an end, not the end of history (as Francis Fukuyama described liberal democracy).
Old Aristotle did a tour of African and West Asian city-states and said:
“We will first consider what particular sort of democracy is fitted to a particular city, and also what particular oligarchy to a particular people; and of other states, what is advantageous to what.” (On Politics)
To the West-Asian Greeks, democracy was a Swiss-Army Knife, whereas to western liberals elections have become a hammer, and every problem a nail. And it’s just not. It’s interesting that people today still don’t believe this bullshit, as much as it’s been droned into us.
People seem to instinctively understand what Aristotle said about ‘many species of democracy’ and what Wang Shaoguang says today about formal vs. substantive democracy. In short, people know when they’re being screwed.
Whatever liberal democracy is advertised as, it doesn’t fucking work. Elected representatives are quite openly bribed by oligarchs, as Aristotle said they would be. That’s why he like selecting representatives by lots, like jury duty, which interestingly no one has tried.
Instead western democracies just enrich arms dealers while losing wars, enrich drug dealers while losing pandemics, and enrich the rich while the poor lose everything. As much marketing goes into this losing proposition, people know what they have lost.
White Empire has taken on democracy as their state religion, and mangled it as much as the Romans mangled Christ. Behind all the pomp and incense, these are the states that crucified the most people, and most people know.