🤥 We live in a lie

🤥 We live in a lie

How can we accept this, I thought after the first day of the Copenhagen Democracy Summit. How can it be that in 2024 we still have dictatorship in the world? How can it be allowed to exist? Because we live in a lie.

Mathias Sundin
Mathias Sundin

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When I walked home in the evening after the first day of the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, it suddenly became clear to me: We live in a lie.

All day I had listened to brave and inspiring people who stood up against brutal dictatorships. People who had spent years in solitary confinement but still continued the fight. These people give me a lot of positive energy.

Richard Walakira, rapper from Uganda, friend and supporter of Bobi Wine, and program manager at the Alliance of Democracies.

At the same time, during such a day, I think more about dictatorship and oppression than on any other day of the year. In the evening, I had also watched a documentary about Bobi Wine. A rapper and artist from Uganda who started protesting against dictator Yoweri Museveni in his songs. The people liked it, Bobi Wine was elected to parliament and decided to challenge Museveni in the presidential "election". Of course, the dictator could not tolerate this, and Wine was beaten and imprisoned, and many of his supporters were killed.

Bobi Wine should have been in Copenhagen, but he couldn't come. Museveni had the military raid Wine's party headquarters the day before.

Why do we accept dictatorship?

How can we accept this, I thought over and over on my way to the hotel. How can it be that in 2024 we still have dictatorship in the world? How can it be allowed to exist? How can we accept this?

That’s when it hit me. We live in a lie.

In The Greengrocer's Revolution, I wrote about how, by having a communist sign in the window of his shop, he contributed to the lie that upheld the system. The whole system is built on a lie, and when no one takes down the sign, everyone contributes to maintaining it. To accepting the system.

✊ The greengrocer’s revolution
Nothing has done more to create human progress than democracy. There is nothing more important than achieving a fully democratic world as quickly as possible. Then even a grocer can make a difference.

If the greengrocer takes down the sign, he stops living a lie and instead begins to live in the truth, as Vaclav Havel wrote. In a system built on a lie, a truth is a crack in the system. That’s where the light comes in.

There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in
Leonard Cohen

We have a world order that accepts dictatorship. We don't like it, we criticize it, but at the same time, these dictators have voting rights in the UN, sit on the UN Human Rights Council, and are members of numerous international organizations. We welcome them on state visits. We call them president, even though they have stolen the title.

To the left: The president kills political opponents. To the right: The UN shows how the president pretends to care about sustainability goals.

The strongest force for progress

Democracy is the strongest force for progress, development, and prosperity that we have come up with. There is nothing more important than for all people to live in a democracy. In a world with only democracy, we will have solved all of humanity's major problems. Such a world will be dramatically different.

By accepting dictatorships the way we do, we live in the lie that upholds the system. Which contributes to their existence, which makes it harder for democracy activists to win.

We should stop accepting them. Not just say we dislike them, but continue to treat dictators as our equals.

Stop accepting them will not change anything overnight. But just like when someone shouts "The Emperor is naked!" and just like when the greengrocer takes down the sign, it means we stop living a lie and start living in the truth. A crack emerges in the system – and that's where the light gets in.

Bobi Wine: Freedom

Mathias Sundin
The Angry Optimist