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Politics Democracy by Force

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by findingmyway, May 9, 2011.

  1. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    The definition of democracy according to dictionary.com is

    "Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system."

    By definition democracy is the will of the people and what people want for themselves. In many countries there have been uprisings and much discussion about whether outside intervention is appropriate.

    The Sikh in me says it is right to help those who are being downtrodden. However, the realist in me says that democracy cannot be brought to people by outside force due to the nature of it-it has to come from within, from the people themselves. This has been emphasised further by the recent sectarian violence in Egypt after they worked so hard to campaign for change!

    I'd be interested in seeing other people's thoughts on this? Are there any countries where democracy has been brought in for the 1st time successfully with outside force? :confused:
     
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  3. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Yep.

    I have said this all along.

    They talk about Neo-Liberalism in the Economic sense forcing itself upon people whether they like it or not....but the same could be said with regard to democracy as well as other areas such as social behaviour.

    What is the difference between. Neo-Facism and Neo-Liberalism i.e. we will bomb you into accepting our values :(
     
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  4. Archived_Member16

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    FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

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    Can you introduce democracy by force?

    Mainly, I want to pose the question. I have no answers.

    ***
    What is the alternative to introducing democracy by force? To allow democracy to happen? To leave it to fate? To wait till the people are ready for it?

    Such an attitude is to some extent present in Rosa Luxemburg (though she died a revolutionary -- let us not overstate the case). And it's to some extent present in Michel Foucault (who was distrustful of top-down analyses of power, and of the efficacy of top-down programs). Consider Foucault's discussion with Chomsky over utopias and Foucault's initial hope that the Iranian revolution might usher in a better political system, since the Islamists reflected the "perfectly unified collective will'' of the people.

    Ironically, a case could be made that the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the failure of the "August Coup" against Gorbachev, was due in part to the spontaneous will of the people.

    In contrast, here's Martin Luther King from Why we can't wait: "Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills… Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation."

    ***
    Imposing democracy is fairly self-contradictory. "You're going to have representative government, or I'm going to shoot you. You're going to have healthy public discussion, or else." -- No horse will drink this type of water.

    But what is in issue is allowing democracy. Forcibly removing an old regime. Does this work?

    Well, I don't see any prima facie reason why it can't. Post-1945 Germany and Japan are often cited as supporting examples.

    So the hard problem, for me, is not whether it's possible (I think it obviously is). The hard problem is a specification of the conditions under which it works. And the truth is that I just don't know what those conditions are, and whether they are met in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    ***
    One final note.

    Just what the hell is democracy anyway?

    One should distinguish the ideal from the practical instantiation (communism, monarchy, oligarchy, anarchy, representation). But, beyond that, all sorts of subquestions arise.

    For instance, doesn't rule by the people often contradict rule for the people? Do the people have a concrete will at all? Do the people have their own will? Can all of the governed be included in the governing? And even when just speaking in terms of the voting population, has democracy ever been rule by the whole of the people (has any non-Athenian democracy ever been other than the tyranny of the majority)?

    source:
    http://www.philosophyblog.com.au/can-democracy-be-introduced-by-force/


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  5. findingmyway

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    Was listening to an interesting radio discussion about Amnesty International on my way home. One of the points of view was that Amnesty is very dictatorial in their way of working as they expect all places to take on their version of how it should be regardless of history, society, what the people want etc.

    Does human rights have the same meaning everywhere? And should it? Interesting thoughts!
     

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