Friday, January 27, 2006

Enforcing democracy?

When the Hamas wins democratic elections while at the same time promoting violence as a means to solve geopolitical issues, it is a sign that the time has come to examine whether democracy can be enforced with bombs and wars that violate the very values they are supposed to promote. What is the example we, the Western world, really give? Can we expect the peoples to follow us and adhere to the high principles of democracy when all they see of us is how we coerce them into "being free"? Strange how the world can work like a mirror sometimes...

Fighting poverty and promoting development with programs like the Marshall Plan is more productive than fighting terror and promoting fear.

To quote Sir Winston Churchill "many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

Education, freedom of the press, government uninfluenced by special interests and an open society are necessary for democracy to be the "least worse" of forms of Government. Otherwise casting ballots once every 4 or 5 years becomes a perfunctory exercise devoid of meaning.

And of course, modern "mediacracies" (i.e. perverted democracies where special interest groups manipulate the government by exerting power over the media) are not better than democracy. Now Churchill said something else that I find quite interesting to consider in the Information Age:

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind. - Sir Winston Churchill

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