The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel …

I was misread.

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2 thoughts on “The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel …

  1. I am a little bit confused about several statements he made, aside from his critics on the Bush administration, to which I agree:

    “Moreover, the desire to live in a modern liberal democracy does not translate necessarily into an ability to actually do so.” Of course, take Europe. Europeans fought 150 years for democracy and human rights. A lot of blood was wasted in countless wars and revolutions. And also the USA needed one Idependent and one civil war to implement citizien rights (of course, until the 60ies only formally, remember the fight of Martin Luther King). So what his point? So Arabs, please remember, you’re not made to life in a free society. “Democratic transitions need to be driven by societies that want democracy…”

    “Long before you have a liberal democracy, you have to have a functioning state (something that never disappeared in Germany or Japan after they were defeated in World War II). This is something that cannot be taken for granted in countries like Iraq.” Wow! Yeah sure, Germany was a Democracy before WW2 (What about the time from 1933-1939?). And what about Spain and Greece, where Dictators were ruling until the mid of 70ies? And what about Eastern Europe?

    His main point is, that Democracy need a functioning state to develop. A state need a state as base?

    greetz

  2. Well,

    To stick to your points,

    I find it impossible to claim that “Europeans fought 150 years for democracy and human rights.” I dont think this “desire” drove Europe’s many wars. In fact, I would turn this on its head and say the wars created social, political and economic realities that made democracy necessary for the legitimacy of the state to survive. Ditto, on his “take” on US history.

    I would probably agree that you need some state structure for a liberal democracy to develop as it is a formulation of negative rights, and thus there must be some positive state power to begin with.

    And actually, yes I would argue that the demands of modern war and imperialism created enough flotsam in Germany and Japan upon which to build the liberal democracies that grew there. IRaq, while more of a state than many of its neighbors — due mostly to industrialization and the war with Iran — may not be comparable. But this is debatable.

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