Carol Platt Liebau: Disposing of Democracy

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Disposing of Democracy

Daniel Henninger points out a pernicious trend in world thought. Eagerness to discredit President Bush's foreign policy has led much of the world to disengage from any commitment to promoting democracy abroad -- heading back toward the old chestnut of "stability."

The realpolitik quest for "stability," it strikes me, is what allowed the cancerous growth of Islamofascism across the Middle East. On the other hand, democracy -- while much better in theory -- may not be exactly the ticket, either. After all, democracy got us Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Democracy is a procedural matter, dealing with how governments should be elected, but remains discomfitingly silent on substantive matters. One recalls that Adolf Hitler was, at least nominally, elected Fuhrer in 1934.

So what should we be primarily promoting, if not either democracy or stability? How about the fundamental, God-given rights: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, along with other guarantees of a free society, like security of property and equal treatment under the law. Perhaps democrcy is the last step on the road for developing countries around the world -- for peoples who have come to understand the importance of freedom and constitutional government -- rather than the first.


Blogger ligneus said...

The election of Hamas in Gaza 'worked' because it showed the world unequivocally what the Palestinians are and what their aims are. [The destruction of Israel, everything they say and do is towards that end.]
Unfortunately much of the world still refuses to see what is before their eyes, preferring sentimental homilies on 'talk' and 'negotiations' and the 'peace process'.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Is there any other method besides democracy for selecting a government and its officials that better guarantees life, liberty, the pusuit of happiness, equal treatment, property rights, etc.?

Let's not let the desiere for expediency or efficiency confuse the issue. Democracy is not necessarily pretty or tidy. But it is a means for the population to change the direction of its government.

Sure, "unfriendlies" may gain power by popular election. But, if the people retain the power of the vote, they can always change course if/when they decide their government is not facilitating the society they'd hoped to achieve.

If the people continue to elect unfriendly or beligerent governments, then it becomes clear that's the society those people actually want.

5:32 AM  

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