80 years ago, on January 6, 1941, the U.S. began a new stage in the world order. A phase characterized by the defense, unilaterally if necessary, of what F.D.Roosevelt considered the American values. The Four Freedoms: freedom of expression, faith, economic and security. None of those freedoms can survive without the other three.
A commitment that led to a time of progress and prosperity. First with the defeat of the racist totalitarianisms of the 2GM, then with the victory over communist totalitarianism in the Cold War and finally with a phase of globalization of prosperity that has allowed to reduce as never before the percentage of people living under poverty and violent oppression.
But with prosperity, peace of the first world and the disappearance of old enemies, personal and national ambitions have again become prevalent. America suffers a cultural attack that erodes its self-esteem and will to lead the world. Europe is once again putting its national ambitions before the maintenance of a world order, focusing in Franco-German control of the EU and the competition with America. The Chinese dictatorship threatens with a new nationalist totalitarianism. And in the world at large, in the absence of a leader, dictatorships grow: Venezuela, Iran, Turkey, Russia…
In this picture is were Trump appeared, trying to maintain the old order. Denouncing the attack on freedom of speech by medias fake news, that constantly distort reality against American values. Regaining defense against aggressive dictatorships, rectifying the Obama administration’s appeasement strategy. And suffering opposition from an EU, that uses multilateralism and political correctness discourses to erode of American hegemony without attending to democratic scruples.
But Trump has suffered a defeat probably resulting from electoral fraud. Viable due to his almost absolute political and media loneliness. And it seems to have fallen permanently on January 6, 2021. Just on the 80th anniversary of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech. For his own mistakes in the convening of a demonstration before the Capitol to support the allegation of voter fraud. A demonstration that he did not control and led to vandalism. A danger inherent in his strategy, the mobilization of society with an emotional-populist discourse. And, of course, with the participation of his many enemies, who collaborated both in the lose of control (infiltrated groups, police demobilization…) and in his subsequent exaggeration with distorted accusations of coup and intentional vandalism.
What can we expect from the future? Nothing good, I imagine.
Those on suspicion of voter fraud have not only not collaborated with the investigation and clarification. They have started a media censorship campaign of whistleblowers. And, sadly, they are succeeding. It seems clear that the first freedom to fall is going to be freedom of speech.
It’s been already eroded during the last years. And after speech it’s normal for the rest freedoms to also fall. Faith and economic freedom and finally the right to the system defending personal security. We have seen it in Venezuela, we saw it in its day in the Basque Country, and everything points to it spreading worlwide as the US loses its stability and gives up influencing the world order.
I bet we’ll soon be talking about America’s inevitable decline and its replacement by China as the world leader. Of the necessary collaboration with the Venezuelan dictatorship. Or the intrinsic evil of any European governments that does not bend to follow-up of what Germany dictates. Bad times.
And, when I think about it, for the Spaniards this comes from long ago now. As a child, I experienced the fall of Franco’s dictatorship and the triumph of democracy with the Transition. But since then it’s all been defeats of democracy. First his defeat in the Basque Country to violent and indoctrinating nationalism. Nowadays the contempt for the Democratic Transition throughout Spain from the left-wing and nationalist alliance that governs.
I’m afraid we’ll miss the four-freedom stage. Eighty years of collaborative progress that encouraged optimism, as Steven Pinker would say. I don’t know where it’s all this going to end, but the stages of change and destruction of an order aren’t usually the best to live in. No good vibrations!