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The anguish of a struggle for democratic government


Forum Editor

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You would think, wouldn't you, that establishing a democratic government in a country would be a fairly straightforward process, once you have removed power from a previous dictatorship?

That it isn't straightforward at all is beautifully illustrated by what's going on in Egypt at the moment.

I can't help the feeling that the situation there is heading towards a series of serious confrontations between the populace and the military.

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lotvic

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Jeepers, that's me outta this thread.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

"I think we in the west tend to assume (naively) that our cultured civilised way of doing things is going to be automatically wanted and embraced by populations some of whom still live a medieval feudal existence."

You don't need to be an expert in international politics to understand that we're right to make that assumption. Of course people want to live their lives inside a democracy, only a fool would think otherwise. Would you like to live in a society where you can be arrested without charge and detained indefinitely without trial? Would you like to be told where you can and cannot go in your own country, or denied the right to take a foreign holiday?

Your inability to understand that democracy is a fundamental aspiration for all peoples is astonishing. Nobody wants to live under a military dictatorship, even a slightly benevolent one.

Take a look at North Korea - are you seriously saying that ordinary North Koreans like being treated as though their lives had no value? Do you really believe that the people who have suffered under Mugabe would rather not vote in free elections?

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Forum Editor

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john bunyan

All countries start out as tribal societies - it's the default system. Some remain tribal longer than others, but that shouldn't be taken as an indication that the people prefer things that way. The problem with countries like Afghanistan is not that the people like living in oppressive tribal societies, it's that educational standards are low, and women are treated badly.

Educated people strive for democracy - it has happened time after time, and it will continue to happen. Look closely at China and you'll see how, as educational standards have risen, so has civil unrest. The Chinese people want what they see in Western countries, and they want the freedoms that their authoritarian government denies them. China will eventually become a truly democratic country; it's inevitable.

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rdave13

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As education rises in the population then religion dies.

Thank God.

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Flak999

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Forum Editor

I won't insult your intelligence by assuming you really believe what you posted at 11.05. Most of the people we are discussing don't understand what a true democracy really is!

Take Egypt for example, the people wanted rid of Mubarak. What do they replace him with? Morsi! leader of the Muslim brotherhood one of whose first actions is to amend the constitution to give him supreme power and his second action is to sack all of the judges!

A fine example of democracy in action!

Muslim countries don't want democracy, they want a Government who will govern under sharia law. they are so indoctrinated into their own particular version of the God delusion that they cannot see any other alternative. The same is true of all Muslim states, their hidebound belief in the ridiculous stymies all progress towards a modern functioning western style democracy.

What does China do to it's people when they ask for democracy? It runs them down with tanks! Unfortunately some countries and some peoples are not yet ready for democracy, they are either to uneducated or to hidebound by religious dogma to be able to make the leap necessary to move beyond their own petty tribal and religious jealousy's to be able to grasp the benefits that democracy can bring.

You cite the plight of the populations of Zimbabwe and North Korea, two basket case repressive dictatorships ruled by megalomaniac dictators, what do you think would happen if they were offered democracy? In Zimbabwe's case we would just exchange one despot for another corrupt elected despot, taking all of our western handouts to feather his own nest.

In the case of North Korea, who knows what kind of Government would take charge, military probably!

I'm afraid, as politically incorrect as I've know doubt this sounds, some people and states are just not "mature" enough to embrace the concept of democratic government

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kad60

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As regard to Egypt,it was 'carrot and stick',the carrot was "free" elections and the stick is Sharia.Sharia is a totalitarian system in which dissent or difference is only allowed within severe constraints,look at Iran,and is anathema to the Westernized concept of democracy.It is as much a battle over the imposition of sharia than one of a fully fledged western democracy.

Turkey is ,ostensibly,a secular state yet under Erdogan the secular has been/is becoming submerged under the 'Islamist' yoke,a model the Muslim Brotherhood will have viewed with satisfaction,they are also the 'backroom'boys there.

Whether Muslims are "mature" or not in their understanding of democracy is not really relevant when the overiding claim of Islam as the ultimate font of authority is more important to them.

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morddwyd

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"Whether Muslims are "mature" or not in their understanding of democracy is not really relevant when the overiding claim of Islam as the ultimate font of authority is more important to them."

That's the way I see it too.

While there are possibly odd exceptions who temper their beliefs to fit their own mindset, just as in the various Christian sects, in the main Islam and democracy are not fellow travellers, and the West must come to understand this.

"The iron fist in the chainmail glove" to quote somebody, I can't remember who.

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john bunyan

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FE

Your views on the aspiration of most peoples to live in a western style democracy may well be true in theory. However if you take the whole of Africa, most states that are theoretically democratic are, in fact, not so and corruption is rife. ( I have investigated it in one of the more "enlightened" ones for my company and the corruption went to the top). As Flak999 and others have stated, democracy is not very evident in Muslim countries. Russia has an appetite, it seems, for a strong leader and is relaxed about true democracy. China is similar. Theoretically democracy is fine, but regrettably cannot be imposed as the US would like to do in Afghanistan, so we have a situation whereby few countries in the world actually enjoy true democracy and we can only hope they find their way in time, without our interference.

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wee eddie

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I think that one can draw a parallel.

The currently followers of Mohammed are living by a set of rules that are similar to those adhered to by the followers of Christ, 1600 years after his life.

As FE says: "Who wouldn't want democracy." ~ but it'll take time. I hope not 400 years, but a couple of decades is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things. Unfortunately, many people will die, as they did in our Middle Ages.

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spuds

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When we start having posts like this, there is often the insistence of democracy,as if its a free spirit, especially in the Western World.

With reference to a dictionary, democracy appears to state "Government by the people", but is this really true, even in the supposed 'civilised world'?.

Can anyone provide sincere and honest examples of true democracy, perhaps as a starting point from dear old UK onwards. Perhaps it might be interesting to find others thoughts and knowledge on this?.

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