The defense of democracy is of critical importance but the task requires seeing the dilemma of democracy so-called rise to swamp all discussions as here that cannot discriminate left and right, omit discussions of capitalism, and the legacy of the US in its imperialist reality behind the facade of promoting democracy as capitalist ideology.
The discussion is crippled step one if socialism and fascism are collated in a generalized sloganeering of the abstraction, ‘democracy’. And putting Maduro in the same category as Putin, et al. is a distortion even if Maduro’s drift into ‘faux socialism’ merits challenge. The record of the US interventionism that attacks all real efforts to create democracy and/or socialism in Latin America puts real democratic promotion ambiguous. If the CIA was directly involved in rigging the election of Bolshonaro in Brazil how can a magrag like Atlantic keep a straight face on the issue of global democracy led by the US?
But the larger picture remains that a ‘conspiracy’ against democracy has taken shape globally/locally and its expose is essential. Yet the question remains as to whether fascism was implicit all along in the American facade of democracy. Even so a great deal of the parts and pieces have a reality that suggests caution in leftist blanket attacks on the US, viz. degrees of free speech and civil liberties, etc…
The legacy of the left is problematic itself, but it was a key player at the dawn of modern democratic exemplars from Rousseau onward as the early socialists saw from the start the dilemma of democracy as the vehicle of the bourgeosie and the response codified in Marx of the potential of ‘real democracy’ beyond class, capitalist domination as a fascist imposter from the start.
If the 20th century was the story of slow, uneven progress toward the victory of liberal democracy over other ideologies—communism, fascism, virulent nationalism—the 21st century is, so far, a story of the reverse.