Unlimited complexity, unlimited choice, endless competing interests. How can democracy ever achieve the consensus it needs to advance? One person counting on democracy’s inability to do this is China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping.
This is a point that Joe Biden continues to repeat.
Giving the public a little fly-on-the-wall view of talks with Xi, Biden noted this week: “The leader of China, Xi Jinping just tells me straight up, I’ve spent more time with many other head of state, over 76 hours. And guess what he said? Democracies can’t be sustained in the 21st century because they require consensus and things are moving so rapidly you can’t get consensus. That’s why autocracies are going to succeed.”
It’s a revealing quote. It also, probably, helps illuminate a strategic view from China, and certainly from Russia, that to hasten democracies’ decline, authoritarians should do all they can to increase democracies’ internal divisions and paralysis.
Counting on internal conflict, you can see the value of the United Work Front Group and Russia’s most savvy info warriors in amplifying areas of difference inside democracies.
Then what the democracies need is simply a shared vision to work towards.