THE FALLACY OF WESTERN STYLE DEMOCRACY
By Ghassan Kadi 2 November 2015
* This article was updated from the one written on 12 June 2011
Until China takes over the USA as the world’s strongest economic and military power, the West continues to lead the world in many different aspects; least of which is its arrogance.
Despite its failing family values, drug problems, corruption, growing divide between the haves and have nots, the West has the audacity to tell the rest of the world that it should model itself on the West.
The West had great foundations. They go back to ancient Greece and Christianity. Had the West really and truly followed the ancient Greek wisdom and proper Christianity, it would not have succumbed to the level of moral bankruptcy that it has reached now.
But the Western civilization was overtaken by human greed and by ancient royal regimes that regarded its citizens as serfs and property. The glorious French revolution was a great moment in time, when the power of the people stood up against tyranny.
The objective here is not a historic narrative. Rather, it is about today’s Western style democracy.
Democracy in essence means the rule of people. In theory, it is a great concept; if and when applied properly.
The objective here is not to have a philosophical discussion either, but we have to go back to the philosophical background of the concept.
The ancient Greek philosophers promoted the idea of dictatorship of the wise. A dictatorship in which the ruler is one who is not seeking to be the head of the state, and if anything, one who would very reluctantly accept this enormously responsible position.
The concept is well explained in Plato’s Republic, but in fact was put into practice by Plato’s supreme teacher, Pythagoras. The school of Pythagoras was a small group of people headed by the great wise man Pythagoras. He was a just and fair ruler who did not want any personal gain for himself. His ultimate objective was to lead his people to better life and to better philosophical/spiritual understanding of life.
His “political” rivals accused him of totalitarian dictatorship. They were simply unable to understand what he was trying to do, and also jealous of the state of esteem by which he was regarded amongst his people. His school was attacked and demolished. That was one of the saddest moments in human history. Humanity has not yet woken up to the enormity of that moment.
The concept of democracy developed as the anti-thesis of the better known Plato’s Republic model.
Let us jump from ancient Greece to the post-French revolution West. The West regarded democracy as the epitome of civil law. The word became synonymous with freedom, justice, equality, and many virtues that do not necessarily relate to democracy at all.
Once again, in essence, if democracy is practised properly, then it can mean some of those virtues. There is however a big provisor. The majority will have to make the right judgement.
Some would argue that if the majority wants a demon to rule them, then they should get a demon. This is how democracy works. In reality, a demon cannot and will not rule with justice and his/her rule will create many innocent victims.
So even if democracy is practised properly, there is always a major concern about the majority of people choosing the right person for the top job. What if they don’t? What if a country is overtaken by fear goes and elects a ruler who is dangerous? After all, Adolf Hitler was elected. Those who would dispute that Hitler rigged his rise to power can look further West to the USA and remember that George W. Bush was not elected only once, but twice!
Who could imagine that a person with very low intelligence and dogmatic fanatic views of the world would get elected to become the strongest man on earth? But it did happen. Who could guarantee that Sarah Palin will not one day become President? The democratic process allows it. All she needs is enough morons to vote her in.
Furthermore, the good attributes of democracy have been hijacked by the conniving dictators who found a loophole in the system. That biggest loophole is the so-called two-party system.
When a Western voter goes to the polls, he/she is choosing between two people that the party machines have picked for him/her to choose. How is this a representation of the will of the people? This is dictatorship under the guise of freedom.
The sad reality is that in the West one can criticise everything and every one, but democracy cannot be touched. People utter ugly words of blasphemy, they ridicule their political rivals and drag them into the gutters, they make fun of the Queen and Prince Charles’ ears, they make fun of religion and all that is holy and of prominence, but no one would dare say a single word against democracy.
The real difference between the democracy that the West promotes and dictatorship that it fights is that the former is under the rule of one and the latter is under the rule of one of two.
Countries like the UK have a very developed and fair judicial system. It would be great if some rich person who is interested in human justice would sue the major parties for hijacking democracy. There is no reason why donations cannot be collected by some enthusiast to list such a hearing in court and set a precedent. Would it not be great if say the UK bans the two-party system and its monopoly of power?
The East has its own rules of governess. They don’t always work, but they are not archaic and barbaric as the West would like to portray them to be.
Politics in the Middle East is primarily in the hands of tribal leaders and/or community leaders. Those leaders act like a council for the supreme leader (ie president). The president has to liaise with them to make sure that they are happy with his leadership and that their own subjects are not going to revolt against him.
There is a form of democracy in action; not one that is based on Western criteria, but it exists.
No one is claiming that the Middle East system always works effectively. Dictators will always find ways to rise to power. They always manage to find ways to suppress the masses and capitalize on public fortunes. The point to be made here is that in this system, the two-party system has no place at all. And why would the Middle East need to import the two-party system any way?
How often does an elected Western leader keep his/her election promises? When they break them, they become cheats, do they not? If the West brands a Middle Eastern leader as dictator, why does it not brand its own leaders as cheats? What is worse, being a dictator or being a cheat?
Among the spate of weapons used against Bashar Al Assad in the West is that he is allegedly a dictator. This description has the propensity to brand him as an evil un-democratic man, and a guarantee to stir up hatred towards him. This is an easy word to use to incite hatred, just like the use of the word heretic, Jew and communist did in the past of the West.
Assad is not Pythagoras and he may not be the perfect benevolent dictator. But the vicious Western attack on the politics of the Arab world is disgusting and as it attempts to humiliate political systems of other nations.
Not every one in the Middle East wants a Western style democracy. China is developing in leaps and bounds without it. When Bush, the love child of this kind of democracy, was trying to shove it down our throats, he sounded like a prostitute giving sermons about celibacy. The West should realize that it should keep its democracy to itself. Let the people choose what they want.
The gallant Egyptian youths who won against all odds and kicked Mubarak in the guts are seeking democracy in the sense that they are seeking freedom and partnership in the governess of their beloved Egypt. They want to make contributions to nation-building. They want to be counted. They are not at all seeking the two-party western style version. Listen well to this Hillary and do not look to gleeful and victorious. It makes you look rather silly.
Western democracy reeks with the stench of the invasion of Iraq and the Haliburton contracts and has the ugly face of Rumsfeld.
If the USA really cared about justice, it would first and foremost feed and house its own homeless who are the victims of the greed of those in power. Before it sends its fighter jets killing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, it can send food packages to the residents of Central Park in NYC; those thousands who camp there in subfreezing winter temperatures.
When your house is built of glass, you do not throw rocks at people. But the West has learnt this lesson. It throws bombs; not rocks.