“Brazil’s president on Monday ordered 200 troops to the southeastern state of Espirito Santo, where a police strike in recent days sparked a wave of violence including what is already believed to be dozens of murders. [The stoppage over wages] in a state struggling with a budget shortfall is the latest example of how depleted public finances, amid Brazil’s worst recession on record, are crippling even basic health services, education and security in some states” (Reuters, February 6, 2017).
Brazil is one of many floundering democracies. For nearly 200 years, Western democracies have been the status quo in many parts of the world. Many philosophers and other observers have suggested that human governments follow cycles, such as moving from monarchy to aristocracy to democracy to anarchy and then to dictatorship. Historians Will and Ariel Durant concluded that democracies are “hectic interludes” between other, more stable, forms of government, and they are “the most difficult of all forms of government” (The Lessons of History, pp. 69, 77). The Durants observed that if modern democracies falter, “the road to dictatorship will be open to any man who can persuasively promise security to all” (ibid., pp. 79-80).
The world is changing, and once-strong democracies are struggling with economic, military, safety and other challenges. Bible prophecy reveals that even the political landscape in democratic Europe will revert back to some type of dictatorship before the end of the age (Revelation 13:1-9; 17:1-14). To understand why today’s democracies are in such turmoil, be sure to read “The Future of Democracy.”