Bernie Sanders warns of Steve Bannon's extremist "Movement", part of a new authoritarian Axis uniting anti-democratic, corrupt, intolerant regimes dedicated to the selfish financial interests of those in power.
He calls out the corrupt, authoritarian leadership of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, China and more and makes the connections among them clear, calling them part of a “common front” sharing tactics and even some of the same mega-rich funders.
He calls it “a global struggle taking place of enormous consequence. Nothing less than the future of the planet – economically, socially and environmentally – is at stake … we are seeing the rise of a new authoritarian axis.”
Sanders didn’t use the term “axis” by accident. He writes:While these regimes may differ in some respects, they share key attributes: hostility toward democratic norms, antagonism toward a free press, intolerance toward ethnic and religious minorities, and a belief that government should benefit their own selfish financial interests.
“In order to effectively combat the rise of the international authoritarian axis, we need an international progressive movement that mobilizes behind a vision of shared prosperity, security and dignity for all people, and that addresses the massive global inequality that exists, not only in wealth but in political power." [emphasis mine]
image source (text is paraphrase)
Zach Beauchamp observed the "soft fascism" of Hungary, which controls every aspect of politics and social life. Instead of one shocking coup, Orbán's system replaced functioning democracy through many changes to laws and electoral rules. Does that sound familiar?
He describes an authoritarian state with border fences, byzantine bureaucracy designed to thwart democratic governance, a stifled press overwhelmed with government propaganda and a kleptocratic economy.
... that ...in combination with corruption and demagogic populism creates a new system — one that appears democratic but functionally is not.” [emphasis mine]
As I see it, Partnership values must replace Hierarchy to re-conceive a genuinely progressive global order based on human solidarity. I'm not naive enough to imagine that Dominator cultures worldwide will cast off their mental shackles just because we all face existential threat together. My hope is that we can work out a Partnership framework for cooperation among the competing regional and religious communities. How could we "addresses the massive global inequality that exists, not only in wealth but in political power" without embracing Partnership values at some structural level?