Speed Reads

A sign of things to come?

Study finds 1 in 6 Americans have a favorable opinion of 'army rule'

In 2014, 1 in 6 Americans said "army rule would be a 'good' or 'very good' thing," The New York Times reported Tuesday. That marks a significant increase from 1995, when just 1 in 16 reported having a favorable opinion of the autocratic style of government.

The data comes from a preview of a study to be published in January in the Journal of Democracy. Study authors Yascha Mounk, who wrote the memoir Stranger in My Own Country, and political scientist Roberto Stefan Foa found approval particularly high among millennials, with only 19 percent saying it would be "illegitimate for the military to take over if the government were incompetent or failing to do its job," the Times reported. Forty-three percent of "older Americans" said it would not be legitimate for the military to do so.

The trend isn't isolated to the United States either, Mounk and Foa found. The pair uncovered similar trends in Australia, Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. While young people in each of the countries were particularly indifferent to democracy, the study found the overall number of people who say living in a democracy is "essential" has also dropped.

The findings, Mounk said, indicate the "warning signs are flashing red" for the decline of democracy. "That's only one measure," Mounk said, noting these were just the results of a single study. "But it should have us worried."

To read more on Mounk and Foa's findings, head over to The New York Times.