Duterte’s creeping authoritarianism

Professor Emmanuel S. de Dios of the University of the Philippines School of Economics wrote for BusinessWorld:

Duterte’s creeping authoritarianism, however, is being implemented in full view of an apathetic crowd (think Sauron and the orcs). Since there is no need to burnish the regime, it can be populated with mediocre provincials, rank amateurs, and outright clowns. (Question: under which one are you more confident the economy will fare better? “So obvious.”)

It will bring cold comfort that the Philippines is not alone. But the long view and the last word must, of course, come from the administration’s favorite européenne:

“What is exceptional is the very question of human rights is being questioned and in many places rejected. And that constitutes a marked alteration of our environment globally and locally, possibly the most significant human rights development since the establishment of the modern global and universal human rights system at the end of world war two. …

“Most crucially, however, this rejection of human rights is predicated on rejection of our common humanity. The rejects — those that don’t fit in, are not welcome, are to be rejected, criminalized, punished, may differ from country to country, community to community, leader to leader — but be assured they are all human… Their demonization — and the unaccountable empowerment of authority that accompanies it — pushes open a door onto an abyss — a void into which humanity has thrown itself before with awful consequences — because, of course, one cannot deny the humanity of some people without losing humanity for all people.”

So true.