Newsletter February 2003


Freedom House's First Thirty Years


Democracy is good.  More democracy is better.  Thirty years of increasing democracy-that’s the very best! 

In a preliminary report in the “Journal of Democracy”  (January 2003, V14, # 1, pp 100-113),  President Adrian Karatnycky of Freedom House tells us that the number of  “sovereign” states has increased from 150 in 1972 to 192 in 2002; and: “There has, meanwhile, been dramatic progress in the expansion of freedom and democratic governance. 


In 1972, there were 43 Free countries, with 38 Partly Free and 69 Not Free.  Today, [as of December 2002] there are 89 rated Free, 56 Partly Free and 47 Not Free.”


He clarifies that  “The share [of the total] of Free states has increased from while 29 to 47 percent, Not Free states have declined from 46 to 25 percent . . . a momentous change in the political landscape of the world.”  Readers of Unite! will rejoice at this progress, well aware from research by Hanna Newcombe and Rudy Rummel and others, that more democracy means less war, much less famine and much less genocide.


Steady, strong, sustained progress toward a remarkable world at peace with increasing freedom and justice for all!  At this rate, in another thirty years, we’ll be there!  Twenty-five hundred years after they were introduced, democratic values will dominate and a worldwide union of democracies will become a reality.  Let’s keep our eye on that ball and work together to make it happen. 


-Menko and Helen Rose