Autocracy is growing in India

The point of the game was to build your “civilisation” up from the Stone Age to the Space Age, marshalling resources, building cities, establishing trade networks, developing new technologies, and, of course, conquering your enemies with brute force.

Periodically, the game would offer you the option of switching forms of government. Why not try feudalism or monarchy or, later on, constitutional monarchy or republicanism, capitalism or communism? My brother and I tended to stick to more bludgeoning political systems. We enjoyed waging war.

India is an outlier in the study in another way. The country scores high on the “Democracy Index”, in the same tier as the United States, Italy, France, and Japan. But unique among these strongly democratic countries, Indians are most sceptical of their current political system. The Pew study claims that 76% of Indians are either “less committed” or “not committed” to representative democracy.

At the same time, over 80% of Indians “trust the national government to do what is right for the country.” Together with the previous finding, that figure suggests an odd mix of fealty to the state and fatigue with the democratic process, the perfect ingredients for an authoritarian outcome.

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