For most of the 7,000-year history of modern civilization autocracy has been the default system all over the world, as I lay out in The Hidden History of American Democracy.
The past two centuries, however, have featured an ongoing battle for primacy between democracy and autocratic oligarchy. At the time of the Civil War there was only a small handful of democratic nations in the world, and they all held their breath to see if the American experiment would fail or succeed.
Between the Civil War and the turn of the 21st century there was a steady growth in the number and vitality of democratic nations; since then, however, multiple democracies (Egypt, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Philippines, Brazil, Peru, etc.) have turned away from democracy to embrace strong-man governments and rule by the rich.
For much of the 20th century — particularly following WWII — democratic nations, led in large part by America, evangelized the world on behalf of democracy. We fielded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, helped start the UN, built NATO, and worked with democratic allies around the world.
Continue reading @ The Hartmann Report.