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Hinich and History ...or on warlike democracies

Reader comment on item: [The Hamas Electoral Victory:] Democracy's Bitter Fruit
in response to reader comment: Democracies do make war on each other

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jan 27, 2006 at 16:28

Dear Walter, you wrote :

> Prof. Hinich asserts that democracies sometimes war against one another, citing two wars with Canada and another with Mexico as examples. It is praiseworthy to back assertions with evidence - so long as the evidence cited is pertinent. The United States conducted military operations in Canada during the War of 1812. At that time it was a British colony. What he had in mind as the second war eludes me, unless it was the French and Indian War. Then France ruled Canada and what is now the United States was a British colony. Mexico was not an independent nation, much less a democracy, in the 1840s.

If I missed something, I'd be chastened and enlightened to find out what it was.

Not willing to go into details of Prof. Hinich's statement which seems to me quite accurate(democracies can be as aggressive and warlike as non democracies) let me draw your attention to Eastern and South Estearn Europe. After 1918 almost all of those countries were democracies ... with a bloody record of wars between each other (Poland spent c. 1/3 (!!!)of its budget for the military and waged war or had armed conflicts with almost all its 6 neighbours states including Czechoslovakia and Lithuania), anitsemitism and intolerance.

The first democracy of this world Athens was one of the most bellicose states of Greece. In a democracy every citizen had equal share in war booty. So the incentive for war demagoguery was self-evident. In a kingdom it wasn't the case so kingdoms were thought to be more restrained , especially as in case of a disaster it was the king or tyrant who was to blame and who had most to lose. In a democracy it was hard to blame anyone in particular as war was voted for "democratically".

Jan
Submitting....

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