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Forms of gov't

Reader comment on item: Why Oslo's Hopes Turned to Dust

Submitted by Gene Lambson (United States), Sep 9, 2003 at 12:17

An observation: When I was in the business world, we strove to avoid establishing systems, procedures, etc. that were "personality dependent" since those systems would inevitably fail when that person left the company. History shows the same holds true for cultures and govt's.

Therein lies the basic difference between the Arab/Islamic form of gov't and society, and the western form of democratic govt. especially the U.S. system. The founding fathers of the U.S. deliberately established a form of gov't that is not "personality dependent" in order to ensure that the system would continue regardless of who was currently in charge. The Arab world (and a couple of others) depend on a single individual (Allah in most cases), or as in a monarchy a bloodline to provide continuity of gov't. Once that "personality" is rendered invalid the society will collapse. This is why they percieve us (western culture and values) as a threat. I doubt that this is well understood by either side, but it is true none-the-less.

Of course, the same argument holds for any religion which provides legitimacy to a governing body. The name of the "personality" may be different, but the psychology is the same.
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