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Democracy Only works when the people create it

Reader comment on item: [The Hamas Electoral Victory:] Democracy's Bitter Fruit

Submitted by Joe (United States), Jan 29, 2006 at 23:10

Here is the problem: America is forcing a democracy on illiterate and ignorant peoples. They have no idea how to work a democracy, have never undergone an enlightenment, and don't have the level of objective education to sustain a fair and working democracy that works on the share and exchange of ideas. People here are not equal, and radical lobyists hold all the power. A stable democracy cannot flourish under these conditions.

In America and elsewhere, with the exception of Japan perhaps, flourishing democracies work because the people themselves had a reasonable experience of republican rule. It was something that they worked for and strived for. In Iraq and Palestine these people do not generally want a democracy, let alone know what it is or what it brings. To work, a democracy needs to be brought about by the people. How can they have pride in their nation and government if it was forced on them by someone else?

A big part of democracy is only possible in coherance with the Lockean freedoms of life, health, liberty, and possessions. None of these freedoms is totally possible. Non-Muslims, women, free-thinkers, apostates, etc. are not free (and definately not able to speak their minds). Life in these places is barely given, along with health, or even the political protection of possessions.

In an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear, a democracy can never work. People cannot exchange ideas freely, if they have the knowledge to come up with ideas in the first place. In America, the electoral college protected the position of the president from the ignorance of the vast majority of uneducated farmers. The electors were usually educated men. In Palestine it is a double edged sword. Those with power, education, or influence are all extremists--while the rest are uneducated. I predict calamities akin to the French Revolution: fallible, quasi-democracy; chaos, and dictatorship (possibly "theocracy").

Furthermore, in a democracy, separation of church and state is absolutely necessary. A extremist church influence will discourage individual ideas. The purpose of a democracy is governement by the people, so that the people can create a better state, not a church that governs them. A religious state will create strife during change and re-interpretation of religions, and will not promote tolerance. What will happen, I ask, to the persecuted Christians and Jews of the Palestinian region? Will their voices be heard in an overwhelmingly Muslim Theocratic Democracy?

These democracies are doomed to failure, because the Palestinian people support a Palestinian government, not necessarily a democracy. Hamas happens to be that government, and with such Islamic tunnel-vision, democracy is impossible.
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