Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Egypt, Libya and Democracy

Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama (and probably most in Congress) have a very naive view of democracy. They seem to think that the revolts in Egypt and Libya are spurred on by freedom-lovers and that the world would be a better place if countries just adopted democracy.

They just don't get it. Thomas Sowell is one who "gets it." As Sowell points out, "Everyone wants freedom for himself. Even the Nazis wanted to be free to be Nazis. They just didn't want anybody else to be free."

Does anyone seriously believe that all these "freedom-loving" Egyptian and Libyan Muslims want freedom for Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, secularists? Many Egyptians and Libyans probably don't even want freedom for other Muslim sects or for women!

Please take time to read Dr. Sowell's excellent article entitled, "Is Democracy Viable?"


Kevin said...

Here is a somewhat complimentary article to Dr. Sowell's by Prof. Lev Grinberg in that it emphasizes a need to temper any jubilation over the wonders of democracy.

Grinberg's basic thesis is that where cultural identity is divided and there are significant economic differences between groups democracy can unleash violence. He cites the genocide and civil war that occurred in a newly democratized Yugoslavia. A cohesive whole, or one with enough interest in unity to tolerate one another, is essential. Interestingly he cites the early US and it's unity through exclusion, the US' "we the people" was a cohesive whole of mostly white Westerners. There were no native people who ratified the Constitution. Had the early US government been more interested in multi-cultural ism or including every stakeholder democracy may not have taken hold.

Kevin said...

Correction: 'complimentary' is the wrong word. Grinberg's article augments Sowell's general argument. It neither references Sowell's work or complete it.