Final Word from Wednesday, March 18, 2015

If capitalism used to be defined by the principles of Adam Smith, wherein customers paid a fair price for a good product, we now live in the era of trick capitalism, where the goal is to mislead customers into buying something they might not otherwise want if they read the fine print. The same is happening to democracy. Politicians trick us into thinking we're getting democracy, when in fact we're getting an enhanced version of authoritarian statism or autocracy. This is most evident with Andrej Babiš's ANO, but ČSSD is no laggard either. Bohuslav Sobotka promoted his internal party referendum as a way to usher in greater democracy, but the result is the opposite. It centralizes power even more. In retrospect, the entire referendum was a way to tighten the power of Sobotka and those loyal to him. The only way to fully appreciate this is to read the fine print - the referendum rules, the statute changes and the procedures for primary elections. Only then does one begin to see that Sobotka the self-proclaimed democrat is similar to Babiš the autocrat. [Czech Republic authoritarianism autocratic democratic]

Glossary of difficult words

fine print - inconspicuous details or conditions printed in an agreement or contract, esp. ones that may prove unfavorable;

statism - a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs;

laggard - someone who fails to keep up with others;

to usher in - to cause or mark the start (of something new).

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