Sunday, January 30, 2011

Democracy and Freedom

Following the chaos in Egypt and Tunisia over the last week, I've been thinking about the nature of democracy. Specifically coming to mind is the analogy of if Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what it for dinner.

The national review has a balanced article looking at responses to the question of if Islamists come after Mubarak.

Obsequiousness to dictators might seem a good short-term strategy, but in the long-term, it undercuts our interests and our moral authority tremendously.

I want to agree

We should not expect a pro-American regime should Mubarak flee into the dustbin of history. Egyptians are fiercely nationalistic and, across the region, ordinary peoples’ mindsets have been shaped by decades of anti-American propaganda. The Egyptian people will be angry that they have fallen so far behind the rest of the world.

How will the Islamic world react to HBD? Average Egyption GDP - 6,000 USD per capita.
Average IQ? 85. Seems about right to me.

Ross Douthat's column is especially enlightening:

The United States supported Mubarak for so long because of two interrelated fears: the fear of another Khomeini and the fear of another Nasser. Both anxieties remain entirely legitimate today.

The first fear everyone understands, because we’re still living with the religious tyranny that Ayatollah Khomeini established in Iran in 1979


We take refuge in foreign policy systems: liberal internationalism or realpolitik, neoconservatism or noninterventionism. We have theories, and expect the facts to fall into line behind them. Support democracy, and stability will take care of itself. Don’t meddle, and nobody will meddle with you. International institutions will keep the peace. No, balance-of-power politics will do it.

But history makes fools of us all. We make deals with dictators, and reap the whirlwind of terrorism. We promote democracy, and watch Islamists gain power from Iraq to Palestine. We leap into humanitarian interventions, and get bloodied in Somalia. We stay out, and watch genocide engulf Rwanda. We intervene in Afghanistan and then depart, and watch the Taliban take over. We intervene in Afghanistan and stay, and end up trapped there, with no end in sight.

Sooner or later, the theories always fail. The world is too complicated for them, and too tragic.

Current theories of international relations have not taken the differences in human IQ, nor the problems of Islam into account. Nor have they accounted for the disruption that technology will bring.

For all the hand wringing over what motivates people and human nature, I still stick to my main theme:

Follow the pussy.

Now, given the lack of acceptance that pickup ideology has faced in the current establishment, I doubt that International Relations theory is going to incorporate it's findings into the next trendy ideology.

So, we continue to grasp at straws trying to get a framework for understanding how we govern ourselves.

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