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Too optimistic

Reader comment on item: A Better World[, Explains Michael Mandelbaum]

Submitted by Benjamin Stephenson (Canada), Dec 27, 2002 at 09:10

Global peace is no nearer, I am afraid, than it ever was. Due to trafficking in small arms and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, much of the world is currently a war zone. Wars are simply fought more covertly, and with greater cowardice. Take militant Islamist militias for example. They are no less at war with North America than were the Nazis. However, they restrict themselves to a shadowy war war in which civilians are the primary target.

As for democracy, the optimism is again premature. Democracy is an artificial state of affairs, and must be nurtured by a concerned and active citizenry in order to truly work. However, the interest in the democratic process in many countries ( as expressed in voter turnout ) has dwindled over the past decades. We must remember two things about democracy. First, that it is still, relative to other forms of government, in its infancy. Communism took a few generations to fail. How can we be sure that the democratic experiment will never fail? Also, we should remember that democracy is not something stable, but something which requires the active participation of citizens.
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