Is it not such a paradox that, notwithstanding all the talk about democracy and democratic governance, just two persons have more than enough power than any other contending actors, to write, re-write or overwrite democracy?
That is, without disputing diffusion, interdependence and deterritorialisation, President Joe Biden of the United States of America and President Xi Jinping of China can, in spite of all the democratic controls on their powers, do and undo so much. Should they choose discursive power, they are in near absolute control. It is even worse if they choose structural power. Should they choose institutional power, the world would still be overwhelmed by them. It is worse if they should be driven to deploy coercive power.
So, how did the human condition emerge in such a way that there would be this disproportionate distribution of powers? What responsibilities does the president of the United States and of China, individually and collectively, owe the peasants in Bolivia or Zimbabwe or Thailand beyond the ODA/aid regime? Is the ‘liberal world order’ all that the United States owes the rest of us for its prosperity? Is the ‘Peaceful Rise’ and its paradigm of ‘win-win’ all that China can give?
Are these questions pointing to the ‘defeat of democracy’ thesis or something better for the international community?