Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin Mustafa Kaya/ZumaPress

La tentation autoritaire

NEW YORK – Il y aura 24 ans ce mois-ci, des jusqu'au-boutistes soviétiques, prêts à tout pour arrêter les premiers moments de la transition démocratique du pays, ont arrêté Mikhaïl Gorbatchev et ont déclaré la loi martiale. En réponse, des millions de manifestants se sont rassemblés dans les rues de Moscou et dans les villes de l'Union soviétique tout entière. Les principaux gradés de l'armée ont refusé d'accepter le coup d'État qui s'est bientôt effondré, suivi de près dans sa chute par l'Union soviétique.

Même si les conditions économiques étaient désastreuses durant les derniers mois de l'URSS, les citoyens pouvaient entrevoir les libertés à venir et contrairement à aujourd'hui, étaient prêts à les défendre. En effet, dans les premières années de la transition démocratique qui a suivi, la plupart des électeurs de la période post-communiste n'ont pas succombé à la tentation d'élire des extrémistes qui leur promettaient de mettre fin à la période difficile qu'ils traversaient. Au lieu de cela, ils ont choisi en général le candidat disponible le plus sensé.

Les Russes par exemple ont rejeté Vladimir Zhirinovsky, un clown nationaliste et antisémite comparable à Donald Trump, en faveur de Boris Eltsine, qui a défié du regard les chars pendant le coup d'État raté de 1991 et qui a reconnu que l'avenir de son pays devait passer par la démocratie et par l'Occident. En Roumanie, le poète extrémiste Corneliu Vadim Tudor a perdu face à une succession de pragmatistes corrompus, menés par Ion Iliescu, qui avait entraîné la destitution du dernier dirigeant communiste du pays, Nicolae Ceaușescu.

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