Is democracy dying?

Alex Klaushofer
4 min readJul 28, 2022

Everybody wanted action, but Nobody wanted to act. Anon

Over the past two years my sense of belonging to a liberal democracy has fallen apart. Until then, I’d basked in a lifelong feeling of security that my ability to amble down a London street breathing God’s fresh air was my birthright as a freeborn English woman. And as a child wandering the fields of Gloucestershire, I intuitively knew a truth well understood by indigenous peoples: simply by virtue of being human, I had a right to be on the earth.

Adult life, teaching political philosophy and reporting on policymaking, added layers of words, concepts and processes of reasoning to this lived experience. I learned that preserving the sense of the-right-to-be that came with being alive was part of a struggle against tyranny that had pervaded human history: there had always been those who sought to disrupt the relationship between self and world, whether out of a desire for resources or to exert control. I understood that Western societies had made irreversible progress in this respect, devising a system of governance with inbuilt protections against the all-too-human tendency to dominate others. It was finally understood that power resided with the people and, when handed to leaders, was always done on a conditional, limited and temporary basis. The system that enshrined this, with its constitutions, declarations of rights and…