Parliament, Europe, Yasha discussed on Radiolab


I'm just struggling with the difference. Now I have one. OK, OK, great. And I'm going to start things off by introducing you to Yash Yes, among a lecturer on government at Harvard. So, Yeah, she was studying politics, but he's studying it in the past. So he was looking at, you know, going all the way back to the cradle of democracy in ancient Greece, and then how democracy came to thrive around the world. But as he was studying that he was noticing. You know, in the news he would see in certain countries like France or Austria. You know, there would be these parties. He's far right. Ultranationalist anti immigrant parties. That were starting to gain some traction jumped to 32,000 ten's thieves start winning for the first time Elena and will have a seat in Parliament, along with seven others from her far right party. These far right parties an Austrian, France, They start to gain power, and it's not just their that huge swathes of Europe. What's happening in Italy is also happening elsewhere in Europe. Similar right wing party start rising up in Italy, Greece, The Netherlands, Poland, Hungary. Identity crisis for the entire European continent. And it's not just Europe. You have India, Turkey and what started off as of course, United States unlikely. Impossible is now reality. Basically, there's this wave of politicians whose message was people are really listening to your government has failed. You trust me. I really speak for the people. I'm going to fix everything. And two Yasha. This was you know, this was like a wake up call and not just because of immigration policy or right and left leanings of certain politicians. But even more deeply than that, I was quite worried about the way in which these political movements perhaps pretended to have some allegiance to democratic mechanisms, But actually, we were enemies off it. Like there's this one guy, the leader of the Austrian Freedom Party glorified the third right in various ways on really hardened back to the country's fascist past in a positive way. That wasn't a farfetched fear. I don't think I mean a huge number of worlds. Dictators have been elected democratically at some point, and then they move against democratic institutions in such a way that You can't space from democratically anymore. So for Yasha, who by this point was a lecturer at Harvard, he kept seeing this in country after country after country, he saw these citizens. Willingly elect these wannabe dictators into power. And so he started wondering what is making the citizens do this, do they? Do they feel like their current leaders? Don't get them Do they? Are they are they riled up about? You know some issue of the day like, like refugees or income inequality. Or is this a sign that they're upset about something even more foundational political system itself, like are they actually angry with democracy itself? And so I sat down with with a friend and colleague to figure it out? And his friend, it turns out, worked on something called the World Values Survey, which is a video ambitious attempt to try and get a public opinion around for world. It's basically just a bunch of social scientists who asks a whole bunch of very standard questions. To Ah, whole bunch of people all over the world, and they're like, Okay, let's let's actually like, scrutinize what what's being said in here about democracy? And when we actually look at the numbers We were, you know, honestly flabbergasted, Bella. We saw Okay, So there's actually three questions in particular that he got interested in. Okay here, So let's start with this one. How do you feel about a strong ruler who doesn't have to bother with Parliament? Elections? Who doesn't have to bother with Parliament Elections? Correct. Yeah, Okay. They also asked this of Americans just instead of doesn't have to bother with Parliament, it was doesn't have to bother with Congress. So in 1995 24% of all Americans endorsed that kind of strongman leader..

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