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Transatlantic Blog

The perfect podcast to give a democratic socialist

On this week’s edition of “Radio Free Acton,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Juan Pina of the Foundation for the Advancement of Liberty, based in Madrid, about its first-ever World Electoral Freedom Index. The index ranks all the nations of the world in terms of how free their elections are – but the report also veers into some fascinating territory about religion, culture, and economic freedom.

“Socialism,” Pina told me, is “rather incompatible with electoral freedom.”

This holds true even when the nations being compared are neighbors: “Latin America is approaching” the level of Western Europe and North America – but only among “the non-socialist countries in Latin America.” In socialist Venezuela, dozen of protesters died at the hands of government forces while demonstrating against electoral fraud last summer. Pina and I discuss why that tragedy should not surprise anyone.

The report also found that free elections occur in nations that respect a series of other, specific rights.  (If you wish to cut to the chase, I analyzed the report’s findings in this blog: 4 freedoms that affect your right to vote – and 1 that doesn’t.”)

In all, the WEFI shows the importance of a free and virtuous society – something many in the West dismiss – for creating the cultural environment that respects electoral freedom – which the West still, rightly, respects.

This interview, part of RFA's recurring "Transatlantic Intelligence" segment, is an ideal one to share with those who support "democratic socialism."

The second-half of the show is a panel discussion about the movie Incredibles 2.

Whether you’re jogging, relaxing at the beach, watching Incredibles 2, or poring over arcane volumes of economic and political theory, this episode makes the perfect companion.


Rev. Ben Johnson is a senior editor at the Acton Institute. His work focuses on the principles necessary to create a free and virtuous society in the transatlantic sphere (the U.S., Canada, and Europe). He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History summa cum laude from Ohio University and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.