Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Real Price of Democracy

I think people who live in places other than Europe and North America, and Australia and New Zealand often might have unrealistic expectations about Democracy. So, I think new nations in the middle east and other places trying to obtain a workable democratic government might want to look at the models of India and more recently, Iraq. I think India is a better example because of Ghandi. Ghandi took a non-violent approach that only worked because he was fighting English people for democracy who also had fought hundreds of years for their own democracies in England, the U.S., Canada, and Australia already. So, at a certain point the English in India could not deny the rights of people who just wanted democracy in the end like their own people had already fought and died for in Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, if people are fighting other people for democracy who have never known democracy in their own lives this could be very problematic simply because of precedent. So, for example, people trying to create democracies in the middle east on their own might take 10, 20, 30, 50 or even 100 years to create a long lasting and effective democracy.

Even if you look at what happened in India, for example, which is the world's largest democracy, people wise, and study history, you can see how many died and continued to die even through the 1950s and early 1960s while Pakistan and Bangladesh separated from India to form their own democracies. So, in the middle east, likely history might be more like what happened to India, Pakistan and Bangledesh than any other result in the future.

The first goal of democracy has to be to stop the major parties warring with each other. Bloodshed has to cease (at least out in the open) for democratic progress to move forward. Also, rumors (especially ones that are lies) can cause mayhem and death as well and derail democratic progress too. So, the more educated cool headed people there are in a country, the more likely a democracy can prevail. So, the first goal is to replace physical bloodletting with verbal confrontations without bloodletting. Once there can be enough politeness and gentlemanlyness and gentlewomanlyness in a country, then democracy might prevail. But as long as there is open physical warfare going on, democracies have no hope of working long term until major bloodletting can be stopped among all the major parties of that democracy.

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