A democratic alliance to promote human rights

First, stop helping dictators

The very first step would not be to challenge, but merely to stop helping, authoritarian oppressors. Many dictatorships depend on the backing of established democracies to gain and maintain power.

Where to start?

An existing alliance like NATO could make membership conditional on meeting democratic and human rights standards (which would entail, for a start, expelling Turkey) and then expand to include any nation that met those democratic standards (as proposed by the Campaign for a World Democratic Security Community). Or the anti-Huawei “D10” recently proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, of the UK as a way for democratic countries to counter China’s edge in 5G technology (and therefore telecom-espionage), might form the kernel. There are also diplomatic efforts like the Community of Democracies and the Streit Council which explicitly aims for the creation of an “international order of, by and for the people”. Both of these efforts emerge from eastern Europe in the immediate post-soviet era, and perhaps are tainted by an implicit eurocentrism, and an aftertaste of NATO triumphalism. The CoD’s website boasts of US secretary of state Madeleine Albright’s involvement in the Community of Democracies, as if this were an uncontroversially good thing, as if she were not famous for saying that the death of half a million Iraqi children was “worth it”, while defending US enforce sanctions on that country.

An economic community of democracies

This alliance could form an economic community, where democracies closing ranks, granting each other preferential market access, and excluding authoritarian nations. The OECD could conceivably form the basis for this, if it became more aggressive in its promotion of democratic values, and helped establish preferential trade access between its members. Part of this reorientation as a bulwark against authoritarianism could be the inclusion of Taiwan.

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