This new initiative by the Consumer Choice Center aims to highlight, and more importantly, counter the growth of authoritarianism internationally and the impact that has on consumers and consumer choice. Authoritarianism ultimately runs counter to the values of freedom and suppresses consumer freedom.
Authoritarian regimes reduce consumer choice depriving them of their fundamental right to free trade.
Non democratic governments have no limits on personal privacy, constantly spying and exposing the defenders of freedom, repressing the freedom of speech.
Non democratic regimes have no respect for the individual and the values of human rights, inflicting physical and psychological harm and pain by the use of force.
Authoritarian regimes diminish the importance of private property specially attempting to infringe Intellectual Property Laws.
For decades political stability, economic growth and peace have been indispensable to making Europe a prosperous and free continent.European Union institutions and individual member nations spearheaded these efforts, liberalizing trade and opening up markets to make consumers and citizens much better off. Increased cooperation and free exchange of goods have vastly improved the lives of millions of people.As great as these endeavors have been, key issues remain that should concern us all as citizens of democratic countries. The specter of creeping authoritarian regimes is still very real in Europe, as demonstrated by brazen military moves and sophisticated digital and technological influences in our infrastructure and our political establishments.
On the borders of the European Union, Ukraine is still rebuilding after five years of invasion, conflict and strategic undermining by its mighty neighbor Russia. Thousands of Ukrainians lost their lives defending their territory and the situation remains perilous as millions of former Ukrainian citizens now live behind Russian borders. That’s often forgotten. And Russian influence in many mainstream political parties in Europe — not to mention bot campaigns during elections — must be reckoned with.
Will Europe allow itself to be outcompeted? What impact will a more robust military alliance between China and Russia have on ordinary Europeans? Only time will tell, and we would hope that our democratic principles will guide us toward ensuring prosperity and security in the same fell swoop.
What remains clear is that European nations must pursue smart policies to combat this rise of autocratic regimes. Careful evaluations of technology imports and standardizations will be vital, as will diplomatic support.Democratic principles such as the rule of law are incredibly important. Liberal democracies such as the EU and the U.S. need to find a common approach to protect citizens from the rising influence stemming from authoritarian players such as communist China.
That’s how we can continue to support democracy and prosperity around the world.
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