A Fourteen-Year Record
an article by our site
(Green=free, yellow=partially free, purple=unfree.
Source: 2011_Freedom_House_world_map.svg:, 2010_Freedom_House_world_map.svg:,2009_Freedom_House_world_map.svg: derivative work: Voland77, Freedom_House_world_map_2009.png: Voland77)
Looking at the events of the 20th and 21st centuries, one sees that the shift toward a greater degree of freedom (defined in terms of political and civil rights) was quite slow through 1986. However, events in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union/C.I.S. in 1989, 1990 and 1991 added millions to the numbers of those free or partly free. (Source: About Freedom in the World and Map of Freedom 2017, © 2013-2017 Freedom House)
In 2016 there were 86 free countries, 59 partly free countries and 50 not free countries out of a total of 195 countries. The 14 year record is 3 less countries are free than in 2003. In 1973 there were 44 free countries, 38 partly free countries and 69 not free countries out of a total of 151 countries. Countries kept getting more free until 2000. We've made no progress—as a world—since then.
Surveys are great marketing, sociological, and demographic research tools
The Fraser Institute’s new book, Towards a Worldwide Index of Human Freedom says that Human Freedom Index (HFI) highlights these 10 countries as the ones with the most human freedom. New Zealand takes the top spot, followed by the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United States, Denmark, Japan, and Estonia. The goal of the HFI “is to measure the degree to which people are free to enjoy classic civil liberties — freedom of speech, religion, individual economic choice, and association and assembly — in each country surveyed.” In this Index, the U.S. barely made it and Russia has degenerated from an "aspiring liberal economy into a kleptocracy." (Kleptocracy=a government characterized by rampant greed and corruption.
There is a huge gap between rich and poor and even a huge gap between rich and middle class
Anyone can see that the U.S. is an oligarchy, which is a power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. Look at the U.S. Look at power, politics, corporate influence to the degree they now can effectively buy elections and legislation and politicians and policy, the huge gap between rich and poor or even the huge gap between rich and middle class, etc. What do you see, what does it mean, and who really has the power? Look beneath the surface, since our various institutions like to keep up the appearance of being democratic, and acting in the interest of the citizens. What do you see underneath this well-polished surface veneer, this false front, this fascade? Raw power effectively in the hands of a relatively small number of people. Corporations run the show. See Democracy—an American Delusion and Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion and Tragedy and Hope 101: The Illusion of Justice, Freedom, and Democracy and Unaccountable: How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt our Finances, Freedom, and Security.
Have we sunk to the level of a Kleptocracy (a government characterized by rampant greed and corruption like Russia) yet? No, but we are surely fulfilling the "rampant greed" aspect of the definition. There's plenty of corruption, but most corrupters seem to cover their tracks well, so it is either not rampant yet or it is rampant and we just do not uncover it because the corrupters are too clever. Who knows? What we do know is that in America, the propensity for authoritarian thinking and the love of military solutions continues to grow as the country spends itself deeply into debt to pursue the military fantasies of closet authoritarians concomitantly with those in charge eroding our privacy, our rights, and indeed—our futures. Bye-bye freedom, hello oligarchy. See Politics and Government and see The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.
The American Enterprise Institute reviewed the book cited above. The Fraser Institute worked with the Liberales Institut of Germany, and the Cato Institute of the United States to create the book, which is edited by the Fraser Institute. They are doing a good job of looking at human freedom in the world. The American Enterprise Institute noted that President Ronald Reagan fretted over the growth of government and said that “There is a threat posed to human freedom by the enormous power of the modern state,” and that there have been numerous government interventions in recent years, and a huge expansion of government spending. We see how campaign finance laws fixed it so the voice of the people is effectively silenced as the corporations buy the elections and the legislation. Most of us (middle class and below) have been tricked into believing it matters who we vote for, when in truth it only determines which party will be doing what the corporations dictate. Not that anyone admits any of this—they all keep up a good front. It fools most people, but it no longer fools us. The more we look into this stuff, the more we see corporatocracy at work. There are dozens of authors on our website who have realized some or all of what we're saying—some of the links to their books are above, or on our articles page.
Since the Supreme Court rubber-stamped our becoming an oligarchical corporatocracy (Citizens United) where elections are being bought, democracy took it on the chin