[OPINIÓN] Alvaro Hensler: Getting Out of the Great Depression | Depression | Poverty Economy | Capitalism | Democracy | Comment

Globally, capitalism is in deep crisis and democracy is in rapid decline. The growth of prosperity slows down and the distribution of its fruits between the most successful few and the rest has become very unequal. The number of democracies in the world has stopped growing and their quality has deteriorated in most countries. Of the 1.9 billion people living in democracies, more than three-quarters of citizens live in democracies with only 2% satisfied. Populism and authoritarianism are on the rise, both on the left and the right. Citizenship is not just a slogan or a romantic concept. Only one idea can save us. This is the central argument in the book by the British journalist, Martin Wolf, a leading economic commentator and co-editor of the Financial Times for nearly three decades. The crisis of democratic capitalism.

Wolf proposes some ways to restore democracy: enabling citizenship, reforming governments, ensuring accountability, and revitalizing the press. I would like to explore two.

Ensure accountability with a renewed political representation system. Wolff proposes that a democracy should have 3 bodies of government: the House of Representatives (elected by the population), the House of Merits (made up of various people with exceptional qualities to promote and stop legislation) and the House of Peoples (which we choose by lottery in the form of citizen assemblies that can stop or postpone the approval of laws). Wolf recommends conducting experiments at the local or regional level to test innovation.

Implement a patriotic and civically virtuous citizenship. Patriotism means that “one should be willing to accept as a legitimate government what they hate with ideas they hate. People should place their loyalty to institutions rather than their attachment to any party or sect.” Civic virtue is “understanding that citizens have obligations to each other, and how we treat each other with consideration and care in our daily lives. This requires providing people, especially young people, with ethical citizenship education that includes what democracy is, how it works, and what our responsibilities as citizens are.”

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Recovery from this Great Recession will require vision, bold leadership, experimentation with innovation, and above all, the commitment and commitment of each and every one of us. So much, everything, is at stake.

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