In the 21st century, the world is capitalist and globalized and the dispute is in the way in which countries are governed. There are two options, democracy based on freedom, respect for human rights, temporary power and the rule of law, or a dictatorship violating freedom and human rights to indefinitely concentrate power. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has marked the year 2022 as the year of the “first global war” with the axis of confrontation of dictatorship against democracy.
The bipolar world after the Second World War (1945) had as its axis the confrontation between capitalism and communism as political-economic systems. With the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the dissolution due to failure of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics USSR (1990-91) capitalism was established as a universal system giving rise to the acceleration of globalization.
The Council of Europe describes globalization “as the increasing economic integration of all the countries of the world as a consequence of liberalization and the consequent increase in the volume and variety of international trade in goods and services, the reduction of the costs of transportation, the increasing intensity of international capital penetration, the immense growth of the global labor force, and the accelerating global diffusion of technology, particularly communications.
Regardless of their system or type of government, today all the countries of the world are immersed in capitalism and globalization with the advantages and challenges that this reality imposes. The acceleration of globalization is based on the triumph of capitalism as a system and the political management of each independent state has returned to the oldest of the disputes in the organization of human society, which is the confrontation between freedom and oppression that they project and implement in democracy and dictatorship respectively.
Democracy is the “political system in which sovereignty resides in the people who exercise it directly or through representatives.” It is “the type of organization of the State in which collective decisions are adopted by the people through mechanisms of direct or indirect participation that confer legitimacy to their representatives.” Described by Winston Churchill as “the worst system of government designed by man, with the exception of all the others”, it is recognized by the Inter-American Democratic Charter as “the right of the peoples of the Americas”.
The practical characteristics of democracy are the granting of a “mandate” from the sovereign people to its rulers, the “temporality” of that mandate that must be exercised subject to the “rule of law” which is compliance with the law, and the obligation to “render accounts”. In a democracy, the owner of power is the people, not the ruler.
Dictatorship is “the political regime that, by force or violence, concentrates all power in one person or in a group or organization and represses human rights and individual freedoms.” It is about an “oppressive regime of a single leader or a small group of leaders and little or no tolerance for political pluralism and press freedom.” In a dictatorship, the sovereignty of the people is supplanted by force and violence in the hands of groups that exercise “state terrorism” in order to hold power indefinitely.
State terrorism one of the characteristic notes of the dictatorship is the “use of illegitimate and criminal means by the government with the purpose of producing fear in the population and achieving its objectives by producing behaviors in the population that would not otherwise be possible.” ”. That is why dictatorships have political prisoners and exiles, judicialized persecution, manipulation and control of all the powers of the state where “organized crime” holds power.
The observation of the objective reality in the Americas and the world show that the year 2022 marks the fact that the world is divided between democracies and dictatorships and that the decisive fact of this historical precision has been the invasion of Russia to Ukraine that has unleashed the first global war, characterized thus because in a battle front between two states there is no country that is outside the conflict.
The dictatorships of the Americas, Cuba and its satellites Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua and the dictatorships of the world such as Iran, North Korea, China and more, are clearly aligned and allied with the invasion of Russia which is another dictatorship. They all exercise power with violence and seek to hold it indefinitely at the cost of human rights and freedom as criminal organizations and not political ones.
*Lawyer and Political Scientist, Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy