From Democracy Digest
A dramatic debate between US strategist Stephen Bannon and French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy* at the Athens Democracy Forum, illustrated the intensity of the battle for political minds and souls, The New York Times reports.
Democracy as a system of government is a given in the West, and has been for a long time, the Times’s Farah Nayeri writes.
Yet in large parts of the world, it is a distant dream, said Annika Savill, the executive head of the United Nations Democracy Fund, who said the word “democracy” appeared nowhere in the United Nations Charter, and about half of the world’s countries “do not embrace it as a form of governance, or merely pay lip service to it.”
That stark statistic was epitomized by the Syrian human rights activist and author Kassem Eid, who is an adversary of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and a survivor of a Sarin gas attack in August 2013. Mr. Eid appeared onstage in Athens sporting a Batman mask — a reminder, he said, that while politicians (such as the Chinese leadership in Hong Kong) ban face masks, “they get to wear them every day, and just wear a poker face, and go out on TV and lie to people.”
Read the full article here.