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2005-01-23 Europe
The Dangers of Exporting Democracy (as opposed to say, fascism)
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Posted by Captain America 2005-01-23 00:00:00 AM|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [806 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 But one should always be suspicious when military powers claim to be doing weaker states favours by occupying them.--

Don't we have a base or 2 in England????

Much better to not have put bases in Germany after WWII, I guess.

Posted by anonymous2u 2005-01-23 1:06:18 AM||   2005-01-23 1:06:18 AM|| Front Page Top

#2 A money quote at the link:

"Europe proves the point. A body such as the European Union could develop into a powerful and effective structure precisely because it has no electorate other than a small number of member governments. The EU would be nowhere without its "democratic deficit", and there can be no legitimacy for its parliament, for there is no "European people". Unsurprisingly, problems arose as soon as the EU moved beyond negotiations between governments and became the subject of democratic campaigning in the member states."

Posted by Captain America  2005-01-23 1:13:09 AM||   2005-01-23 1:13:09 AM|| Front Page Top

#3 But one should always be suspicious when military powers claim to be doing weaker states favours by occupying them.

Question is: Do they leave cab fare in the morning?
Posted by Frank G  2005-01-23 1:15:46 AM||   2005-01-23 1:15:46 AM|| Front Page Top

#4 Hobsbawm's an old-time leftist and soviet-worshipper. Hard to take him seriously, especially when this marxist criticizes appplying "universla patterns" to "the world's complexity". Didn't stop Hobsbawm from using his scientific socialist barometer to gauge every social development under the sun for seventy years....
Posted by lex 2005-01-23 1:18:58 AM||   2005-01-23 1:18:58 AM|| Front Page Top

#5 "Spreading democracy" aggravated ethnic conflict and produced the disintegration of states in multinational and multicommunal regions after both 1918 and 1989.
The author is right.

as Jonah Goldberg pointed out a couple years ago, there are differences between the two
What a laugh. Jonah Goldberg isn't exactly an authority on political theories. He's a glib journalist who has his BA (maybe) in psychology and anthropology. Sorry, but quoting a pedestrian hack writer and associating "gravitas" with his thoughts doesn't pass muster.

I'm still not convinced that democracy is answer to effecting world peace. Rather it could cause more instability.

Lack of freedom does not breed poverty or terrorism. Look at China - it's doing very well and it's not a democracy nor is it a terrorist threat. It's quite stable. Whereas bringing self-rule to former EU colonies in Africa, for example, has made living conditions worse there and a breeding ground for extremists. South Africa is a swampland of crime and disease for its own people. Even apartheid was better than "freedom." Also look at countries like Egypt, Pakistan, and Jordan with their military dictators and monarchy. You actually want those "subjugated" people to have more liberty and freedom... to get more anti- American and to throw in their lot with la Bin Laden en masse?

Posted by 2xstandard 2005-01-23 3:46:26 AM||   2005-01-23 3:46:26 AM|| Front Page Top

#6 The Guardian and the left has become like Robespierre after the death of the King...calling for the suppression of the very rights they claimed to support and condoning suppression and terror to achieve their "goals".

I now think that Bush's speech was just a plain, old fashion victory speech. As average citizens, we tend to think it was John Kerry he was fighting. But Kerry was almost irrelevant - any smoe could have been plugged into his place. Bush was fighting against George Soros and the left's failed ideas set forth plainly in this Guardian article - that the masses must be ruled by people "who know best".

For the next four years at least, we have a man who understands that the United States is a government "of the people". And his administration will put for the idea that individuals are more capable of governing themselves than are a small group of ambitious, unelected know-it-alls, who once given power will ALWAYS abuse it.
Posted by 2b 2005-01-23 4:57:15 AM||   2005-01-23 4:57:15 AM|| Front Page Top

#7 China is stable?? The Chinese oligarchy is holding on to power by its teeth and toenails, praying to the gods it doesn't believe in that nothing goes funny. The noises against Taiwan are an attempt to distract its people and the world from that reality. At the moment the growing educated middle class is gorging itself on computers and Gucci dresses and other trinkets, but at any moment they will start to think politically, and the whole pyramid of cards will fall. Or, should the U.S. embargo Chinese exports (imports?), the entire country may well revolt.
Posted by trailing wife 2005-01-23 5:19:45 AM||   2005-01-23 5:19:45 AM|| Front Page Top

#8  why liberty?

I don't know if this was posted yesterday and I know we aren't supposed to link blogs - but this rocks! I need say no more - this says it all for me.
Posted by 2b 2005-01-23 6:12:18 AM||   2005-01-23 6:12:18 AM|| Front Page Top

#9 oops... here's the right link:

Posted by 2b 2005-01-23 6:14:38 AM||   2005-01-23 6:14:38 AM|| Front Page Top

#10 2x,I suggest you take a look at the economy of China's rural areas,Thet are not doing very well.
Posted by Raptor 2005-01-23 8:00:37 AM||   2005-01-23 8:00:37 AM|| Front Page Top

#11 There's always been dangers to democracy, mainly by those who oppose it.

This professor, is not different from Zarqawi (link).

Thankfully, I put my money on our smart guys like forefathers (ie Franklin) who understood that the balance of power is granted by the public, who can claim responsibity for it's government, not life-term King, Caliph, Warlord, or Chairman. It's up to the people to decide if they want to go western or form their own local style of democracy.

Basically the very principles of democracy are being ignored by these two clowns, for various motives I'm sure.

Anyway thanks professor for this sophisticated commie bullshit. (into the shredder) 8-)
Posted by (-Cobra-) 2005-01-23 1:25:02 PM||   2005-01-23 1:25:02 PM|| Front Page Top

#12 The argument that democracy will be the panacea for the world's ills is too much theory and not enough realism.

Consider India - a democracy yes, yet look at the squalor and poverty of its 300 million people. In fact, India ranks well below communist controlled countries like China and Russia in terms of human development rankings:
That the Human Development Report ranks India at 127, with China more than 30 places ahead, sums up our situation. Of the four countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — that are supposed to burst upon the world scene, India is an embarrassment; Brazil and Russia are more than 50 ranks ahead of India on the human development index.,curpg-2.cms

China is stable?? The Chinese oligarchy is holding on to power by its teeth and toenails, praying to the gods it doesn't believe in that nothing goes funny.
China's GDP continues to rise each year, and while its true urban residents have experienced the most increase in their pocket pockets, this past year from what I read, rural residents also benefited from a growth in per capita GDP.
The incomes of Chinese residents increased rapidly, the statistics indicate. In the first half of 2004, urban residents' disposable incomes reached an average of 4,815 yuan (600 US dollars), up 11.9 percent. The average cash income of farmers reached 1,345 yuan (160 US dollars), up 16.1 percent, the largest increase since 1997.

Also this fall, China's leadership , being well aware of its restive farmer class, announced they would pass laws to protect the property rights of farmers and to extend other basic rights to farmers that were enjoyed previously by urban residents.

I'm rather skeptical of academics like Sharansky having the USA going off half cocked on a crusade to implement his "uotopia" ideal around the world with nothing more to support this argument of democracy= world peace than Sharansky's hopes and dreams. As I said earlier, there are countries like South Africa that are worse off for democracy than they were as a British colony or even when they were under the rule of apartheid oligarchy. African peoples as suffered considerably after they were encouraged by the West to plunge themselves into self-rule, self determination, democracy of sorts. Also, these same "liberated" countries are ripe as staging grounds for terrorists in the future.Otoh, Kuwait Quatar and the UAE are not democraies but the peoples there are doing okay with shared wealth from oil revenues. Also these 3 countries are generally pro-West. Even with regards to Saudi Arabia, say what you will about the double dealing of the royal princes, S.A. is far more stable and in the main more pro-USA as a result of the House of Saud being in control. If S. Arabia became a democracy tomorrow, there's no doubt in my mind that the majority of Saudi people would vote in a gov't that would be far more dangerous and antagonistic to American interests.

Democracy looks good on paper, but in reality it's not the wonder elixir for world peace that some people think it is. In fact, it can have the opposite effect. In this century, the greatest cost to innocent human lives came as a result of misguided dreamers. Marx and Lenin thought that communism would produce a heaven on earth and yet the communists seizing power in Russia and the gulag created by Lenin killed far more millions of people than the Russian Tsar would ever do.

That's not to say that Sharansky is like Lenin or Marx, but on the otherhand, all three are dreamers and dreamers rarely consider the law of un-intended consequences when they spread their ideas as being so easy, so perfect for mankind.

Or, should the U.S. embargo Chinese exports (imports?), the entire country may well revolt.
The same could be said for Americans "revolting" if they could no longer buy cheap "made in China" lining the shelves of local yokel Wal-Marts.

Posted by 2xstandard 2005-01-23 4:28:46 PM||   2005-01-23 4:28:46 PM|| Front Page Top

#13 local yokel Wal-Marts

ahhhh how some phrases tend to expose the speakers. Dblstd would rather have a "progressive dictatorship" that allows a rise in living standards. Show me where that's happened? No? Then STFU about democracy's chances where it's never been in place.
Posted by Frank G  2005-01-23 4:42:25 PM||   2005-01-23 4:42:25 PM|| Front Page Top

#14  Dblstd would rather have a "progressive dictatorship" that allows a rise in living standards.
My point, lost on you obviously, is that the mainstream Americans benefit from Chinese goods - who do you think purchases the Chinese goods stateside- ghosts? And btw, check the soles of your shoes and the tags on your shirts before you pretend to support only made in America goods.

So in response to tw's comment who claimed that if the US imposed trade sanctions on China there would be a "revolt" I said Americans would be pissed too and might "revolt" at the incumbent politicians if this happened.

With regards to political systems that are in effect around the world, my point is that there is no one size fits all nor is there any guarantee that democracy implemented around the world is a good idea for world peace or for pro-America interests. Some countries now that are stable do not have a democratic government. To force those same countries to embrace democracy might very well cause instability, much bloodshed of innocent people, and the end result might be that the newly democracized countries would be anti-USA.
Posted by 2xstandard 2005-01-23 5:03:08 PM||   2005-01-23 5:03:08 PM|| Front Page Top

#15 Of course timing matters, 2x, but that doesn't invalidate the overarching policy goal of aiding the eventual triumph of democratic forces. Wolfowitz did not urge Reagan to oust Ferdinand Marcos immediately in 1981; he waited until Aquino's forces were strong enough to take power in 1985. The point is that, without a commitment to democracy as a strategic goal, the default option for any great power's foreign policy will be business as usual, and in an age of increased communications and expanding democracy, this will put us behind the curve.

If we did not have global communications and a global community of western-inclined, English-reading elites, then simply playing chess and Kissinger-style realpolitik games would be sufficient to guide our policy. The problem with that approach is that democratic movements in our era have an odd way of springing up spontaneously and quickly gaining overwhelming force, as in Ukraine recently, or Poland in 1980, or the Philippines in 1985, etc etc. Far better to signal in advance where our sympathies lie, and encourage governments to align themselves accordingly, rather than react helplessly when the next People Power wave passes us by.
Posted by lex 2005-01-23 5:10:48 PM||   2005-01-23 5:10:48 PM|| Front Page Top

#16 dbl - my point was only that- yes, we currently have great imports from China in terms of purchasing power. However, in times of conflict, Mexico and Central America would happily provide same at equal or slightly higher costs. The US is wellprepared IMHO to make the cost difference negligible. In other words, China needs us more than we need them.
Posted by Frank G  2005-01-23 5:16:06 PM||   2005-01-23 5:16:06 PM|| Front Page Top

#17 WRT cheap Chinese goods, the much-maligned WalMart's highly computerized inventory and purchasing system has driven significant excess cost out of their domestic as well as international purchases. They have, f'r instance, a direct computer-to-computer connection between daily sales logs and the production managers at the nearest Procter&Gamble factories, covered by pre-negotiated purchase orders. Thus, precise quantities are manufactured and leave the factory floor daily, shipped directly to the stores that needs to replenish their shelves with Crest, Tide, Pampers, etc. Under the circumstances, WalMart could actually more easily switch to non-Chinese suppliers than many higher cost retailers, and with less noticeable cost up charge to the consumer.

Also, it is highly likely that, as is the experience of French winemakers, the changeover would be long-term to permanent. And you mustn't forget that unlike, say, European shoppers, Americans tend to stock up on the one hand, and simply buy more things overall than they need on the other. So its likely that a gap in supply on the store shelves of hairbrushes and Barbie dolls would not cause much in the way of the hardship leading to revolt on the part of American consumers, as compared to a substantial proportion of Chinese workers suddenly, and possibly permanently, idled.

Which is my long-winded way of saying What Frank said. ;-)
Posted by trailing wife 2005-01-23 11:49:56 PM||   2005-01-23 11:49:56 PM|| Front Page Top

21:03 2xstandard
21:03 2xstandard
11:27 Half
11:27 Half
00:02 trailing wife
00:01 Bomb-a-rama
23:54 lex
23:49 trailing wife
23:49 trailing wife
23:31 nada
23:30 trailing wife
23:18 lex
23:16 lex
23:15 Barbara Skolaut
23:13 Barbara Skolaut
23:12 Sherry
23:12 Silentbrick
22:21 Wuzzalib
22:16 Mike Sylwester
22:15 Alaska Paul
22:09 Phil Fraering
22:06 Mark Espinola
22:05 Valentine
22:02 trailing wife

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