This week we discussed the comfort that people felt under authoritarianism. In Eastern Europe many people still alive today remember living under the specter of communism during the Cold War. In countries such as Hungary and Poland, they are relatively new democracies without strong democratic institutions. That creates a situation where it is relatively easy to see why some might have felt better under authoritarianism.
The role the government played in the lives of people under authoritarianism was one that allowed for people to live their lives not having to worry about making any political decisions as you could never question them. Under democracy problems can be blamed on the leaders that have been elected but authoritarianism projects a certain aspect of strength in a regime. Many in the country during authoritarianism could have seen themselves as a part of a country that was strong in their conflict against the West.
Now, globalization and democracy have taken their toll on the people and they have pent up frustrations that causes them to move towards populism over traditional democratic leaders. Populism rises where democracy does not have a strong base and the democracies in Eastern Europe are only 30 years old.