We are living in a dangerous political moment, when people are seeing their political opponents as enemies, not just partisans of a different political stripe. When we believe our political opponents should “be eliminated or destroyed,” writes Michael Ignatieff, then “all means that might be used to combat them are fair.”
As political polarization deepens in the world’s democracies, political violence is on the rise. And in the wake of these acts, conspiracy theories often bloom. We offer three essays that look at these forces that threaten to upend democracy, and what must be done to overcome them.
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When political struggle in a democracy becomes a battle between existential foes, the future of democracy is endangered.
By Michael Ignatieff
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In a deeply polarized United States, ordinary people are increasingly primed to commit violence.
By Rachel Kleinfeld
Image credit: Felix Hörhager/picture alliance via Getty Images
The political competition that is inherent to democracy is driving the spread of lies, fake schemes, and half-truths.
By Scott Radnitz