Everything is worse in these authoritarian countries, not just the freedom. That is another thing people generally don't understand. There is nothing to catch up to. We just have to make sure to not get worse ourselves. And to actually use the advantages we had. That is why I am saying that it is the West that is defeatist. It is we that are changing our ways, to a large extent from our post war ideals.
If you want the feature of democracy you have actually be democratic. Which many areas of our societies increasingly aren't. It is nice to be able to say whatever you want, but if no one is listening there is no effect. The point is that something should happen, otherwise we are just cargo culting ourselves and being jesters for those in power.