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Should we force democracy?

What I wanted to know is: do you think that democratic countries should force other countries to implement democracy? Don't you think that that is a flaw in the all idea of democracy?

  • Mar 21 2013: There is only one way to lead - by example.
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    Mar 20 2013: I believe it is fatal mistake to force the democracy in the other countries especially those have dictator leadership. As a live example whats happened in Iraq approved that ..
    • Mar 21 2013: Can we afford the time that it will take for some countries to do that?
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        Mar 21 2013: Marco,
        I guess we can afford the time by activating the media in this side much more than we have currently
  • Mar 27 2013: Democracy is a benevolent lie because its function largely depends on Socioeconomics .Capitalism by its nature neutralizes the benefits of Democracy leaving us in what can be called indirect autocracy without anyone actually realizing it because supposedly everyone have equal opportunity and freedom with no corruption whatsoever..

    So to your question: should we force democracy, Absolutely not.
    Democracy is something that should come first from the people. The people must demonstrate that they have enough power,desire and influence (also on an intellectual level) without outside intervention, otherwise they won't make an informed choice and will just choose the dictator. This was proven time and time again by history.
    The French and The Americans for example arrived at their democratic state because their people fought for it.
    • Apr 18 2013: Uri" We fought for it 200 years ago, but we are losing it fast, due to our very poor educational system. Yes, we defeated the British, but now seem to be hypnotized into folllowing their path to Imperial bankruptcy.
      • Apr 19 2013: @Shawn: Nationalism is also a lie, we are all homospaience with negligible differences if any, much of this imperial bankruptcy exist because we turn on each-other to wage wars and kept blind from the bigger picture. It is the same manner that the presidents of various nations insist that there is an external threat to help justify their unjust actions to their people.

        And Nationalism is funny, since as it is, a citizen doesn't have a basic right of owning land in "his/her country", it is all borrowed land at best(with interest of course) and some people do not even have money for that much so in a way you could say the true freedom of autonomy was taken from us at day 1 with no choice in the matter so saying "My Nation" or "My Country" is kind of funny in that respect and you might as well say "My Master's country" or "My Owner's Nation"..

        it doesn't matter if you are British or American or what have you, in the end as Humans the core problem of greed remains.

        Apologies if I sound somewhat radical , I do not pretend to have a perfect solution to that problem.
        • Apr 19 2013: I dont think your being radical, or rather, not nearly radical enough.
      • Apr 19 2013: Shawn, you think that forever you'll be #1?

        "Yes, we defeated the British, but now seem to be hypnotized into following their path to Imperial bankruptcy."

        Lest you forget, they followed... The roman empire, the Persian empire, the Greek empire, the Egyptian empire...etc etc

        seeing a pattern here are we ... lol
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    Mar 26 2013: I think it’s not so much a question of ‘should’ (‘should’ and ‘force’ don’t go well together in pretty much any context, so an immediate response would be: no, of course not.) Rather, it’s a question of ‘can’.

    Two points:

    1. There is this tendency to depart from the various definitions of democracy and say that a political system, however flawed, is a democracy because it does not meet enough criteria to be called an authoritarian regime. When you consider things strictly from the point of view of this dichotomy, of course people will readily agree that democracy, while imperfect, is better. And while ‘forcing’ and ‘democracy’ seem like mutually exclusive terms, what you would be doing in effect is giving people more personal freedom, expanding their rights, encouraging participation and so on. However, the problem is that you can assist them in building democratic institutions, but you cannot ‘export’ a ready-made institutional system without considering the local context (and without exporting said system’s flaws along the way.)

    2. Democracy is not defined by one single thing, or even one single category. It is not simply a collection of rights associated with citizenship (i.e., voting, freedom of expression, political participation etc.) It is an interaction of different categories, such as electoral processes, civil rights, institutional accountability, socio-economic context and the international environment. This is a complex system that involves a lot of variables. As an external agent, you are not bringing (or forcing) democracy on a country, but impacting on 1-2 of these categories.

    I would argue that it’s not possible to force democracy on a country, but not because ‘forcing’ is an uncomfortable term. Instead, because it simply wouldn’t work as expected. You can assist in democracy building, you can offer expertise, involve said country’s citizens in the process or facilitate financial aid. But you cannot give them democracy as a full package.
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    Mar 21 2013: We will not get true democracies , until we take the power out of the hands of "political parties" . As long as political parties hold the upper hand , business will always run government. We should look towards the best run countries and take a little knowledge from each and build a system that works for the betterment of society, not just the 1%.

    As it stands right now , our system here in North America has been hijacked by big money , which use our elected members as lobbyest . Time to get a bottom up system , instead of top down . The only way we can force a chane in the democratic process , is to bring the present system that empowers the 1% , down. and the ballot box has not worked for the 99% todate.
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      Mar 21 2013: Well we are the bottom lets make it the top
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      Mar 29 2013: I just read all the posts above and below and I see that there is a good deal of agreement that we need a better way of managing our affairs. We have the means at our fingertips. We can let our desires be known directly. We can be polled on every decision and take part an any we wish. But can we trust "the masses" to rule? I think so.
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    Apr 18 2013: "Forcing democracy" is close to being an oxymoron.
  • Apr 15 2013: There is no real democracy, here I am in Toronto. The people are always misled in to believing different things. The govt has purposely not developed the mathematical side of their curriculum so that students never learn how to manage money! and the list is very long. Politics shall always be about mis leading the people in to thinking they have the power when they really don't have that.
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    Apr 3 2013: I doubt any of you will read this but it is very apt to this conversation:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2013/04/03/creators-oped-n1554734
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    Apr 1 2013: It's hypocritical, but spreading democracy was never the goal. Spreading democracy is the story. Expanding our hegemony is the goal. The democracy we force upon countries is shallow, and only for the public to accept the occupation or invasion. The people might vote for a leader, but behind the curtain it's planned for a leader that's obedient to the hegemon. The US grants an abundance of rights to its citizens constitutionally, none of these rights have translated to any "democracy" we've created overseas. Power and business run the show.
  • Mar 31 2013: Absolutely we should but we should start with the USA.
  • Mar 27 2013: That wouldn't be very democratic.
  • Mar 26 2013: Yes we should, if the democracy is our religion - we should not look on the history, traditions, habits, religion of the country - we should push democracy (as we call it) of any kind in Egypt, Iraq, Syria etc.,etc... I remember crusaders and don't understand what the difference is - they also brought Christian progress to the nations with sword and fire.
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    Mar 25 2013: Democracy and freedom are not the same. Democracy is oppressive for the minority who have to subject to the will of the majority.

    Democracy is not free of force. When a minority does not submit to the will of majority "voluntarily", that will will be forced on them by democratic government.

    One thing is not up for discussion in a democratic society - it's democratic process itself. It must be accepted overwhelmingly by society, regardless of political differences. If it's not accepted, the process will not work.

    I'd say, in the U.S., democracy is imprinted in people's brains almost religiously. Ideas of democracy are taught in elementary schools and proclaimed on every corner. That's how overwhelming consensus about democratic process is achieved. I'm not sure if there is any other way. So, in a sense, people in the U.S. are not "free" to choose or reject democracy. There is some circularity here.
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      Mar 26 2013: HI Arkady i agree with what you say ,"Democracy is not free of force. When a minority rebels against a law passed democratically, a democratic government will use force against the rebels."

      I would like to ask thinking people , is there an alternative idea for Governace other than democracy.I believe there is always a scope for new ideas .
  • Mar 23 2013: Force and Democracy dont match in the same phrase.
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    Mar 21 2013: The flaw is corruption, not democracy. Our founding fathers did their best to try and get rid of corruption, with the checks and balance system. Problem is the more "checks" you write the less balance
  • Mar 21 2013: Yes,I agree what u said:It is definitely a flaw in the all ideas of democracy.I think democracy belongs to spiritual category more, people will affect practical reality from spiritual ideas.Once people could be democratic in spiritual level completely,that's mean democracy come to us truely
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    Gail .

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    Mar 21 2013: Pure democracy in a culture as insane as our global culture is cannot work. It pits neighbor against neighbor until all are enemies.
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    Mar 21 2013: The Romans and the Nazis did not force their ideologies on countries they sold them on it. Even the U.S. does this.

    My opine is the way to do this is through the economy as with China and Vietnam and the USSR forget the ideology just start trading and the Communism thing will not be as not big a deal.

    Will it be perfect NO. Just aim for improvement and quit being a perfectionist.
  • Mar 21 2013: I strongly suspect that externally forced democracy is weaker than internally grown democracy.

    Rather than forcing democracy we should do whatever encourages the natural growth of democracy, which I think probably revolves around education.

    I think the world would benefit greatly if nations were able to have their embassies double as universities.
    • Mar 21 2013: Well I do think like that to, but what if those countries do not "grow" democracy by there own.
      Are we, the "free west", morally capable of imposing democracy. Even if citizens of those countries do not want democracy?

      Thank you Lewis
      • Mar 21 2013: Unwanted democracy seems to me like a contradiction. Couldn't the citizens just vote in a dictatorship, theocracy, oligarchy, etc if that is what they wanted?
        I think that democracy can only be maintained if a population is ready to embrace it.
  • Apr 20 2013: While it might seem humorous, remember never a truer word was spoken than in jest.

    Monty Python - Dennis The Constitutional Peasant

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOOTKA0aGI0
  • Apr 19 2013: We, whoever "we" is (how accuratley are we represented in our own democracy?), should let the people we wish to have democracy vote on whether or not they already want it. Even if the argument in response to this is "They don't know what they are missing, how would they know to vote yes" the result of forcing democracy would not be giving democracy at all. It would be founded in hypocrisy.
  • Apr 19 2013: First, I think that we should improve the democratic system in the United States before we spread our form of democracy to other countries. There are a multitude of issues within our democratic system, like the Electoral College process. Events like the 2000 presidential election have shown us that our voting process is flawed.
    The power is also shifted unfairly in the United States, because the most wealthy people influence the politicians by lobbying heavily for them.
    Democracy should not be enforced on a country. The citizens of the country need to be aware of the intricacies of democracy, the idea of the majority, and other things that have taken the United States centuries to understand. Countries need to learn how to govern without outside influence, otherwise they will not be able to exert their power as the people. Forcing democracy would not work for countries like Afghanistan or Iraq because the people need to understand their responsibilities to uphold a democratic system if they decide to have a democratic government.
  • Apr 19 2013: What I wanted to know is: do you think that democratic countries should force other countries to implement democracy? Don't you think that that is a flaw in the all idea of democracy?

    Thrasymachus had said that justice is what the powerful decide: might is right. (cough usa), so the answer by his standards is not if your the one forcing it...
  • Apr 18 2013: I don't think so. Afghanistan and Iraq are examples where democracy would have a very difficult time thriving. The people there don't have a sense of individual liberties, but theirs is more of a collective/community based culture. Like a tribe maybe. Democracy probably can only work if a people as individuals possess the right moral foundation. At least in order to thrive, because we need most people willing to obey the law of the land. I'm going to paraphrase here, but John Adams said that our form of government or our constitution was designed for a moral and religious people and inadequate for any other group.
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      Apr 19 2013: I understand what you are saying, however I'm worried about the idea that democracy isn't compatible with a 'community based culture'. Democracy is the result of community; people coming together to voice their opinions on a matter and the party with the most voices wins - simple as that. I think some of us have a tendancy to evoke morality with democracy which isn't the case. I don't understand what law abiding has to do with democracy because people break the law under democracy just like they do under communist or theocratic governments. Also what exactly do you mean by 'the right moral foundation'? If you have the answer to absolute morality I would love to hear it.
    • Apr 19 2013: Morality is subjective.
  • Apr 18 2013: Democracy cannot succeed without the support of the people. No exceptions.
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    Apr 15 2013: We just can't start peace with violence and can't start democracy with dictatorship, internal or external. If we want the rest of the world to go democratic, we should use positive economic incentives (look how well democratic nations do!) rather than the negative threat of force. The same goes for incentivizing the adoption of communications media, from which democracy will follow because the key to democracy is social communication so that the people of the nation in question can make their government into what they want.
    • Apr 19 2013: We just can't start peace with violence ...

      Cant you... how would define world war 2.
  • Apr 14 2013: In a Democratic country, the decision making is 'representative' and is open to criticism and review and in most cases to reversal. This gives the other countries a sense of predictability and comfort when dealing with democratic countries as we tend to view democracy as being executed 'by the book'.

    The reality is however the opposite and democracy has become synonymous with bureaucracy, complacency, politics and corruption. This leaves us all disillusioned with the process in general.

    That being said, Democracy is still the number one option because there is nothing as a 'Benevolent Dictatorship'.
  • Apr 14 2013: No you cannot force a Democracy.. that would defeat the very principles Democracy is built on. Democracys may be influenced into existence. The best way to promote Democracy would be through education. The merit of Democracy cannot easily be measured but i do believe its value is a "Self-Evident Truth."
  • Apr 14 2013: Perhaps a better question is "can we", rather than should we (and also, who is "we")? Democracies require some fundamentals in a society that are often not in evidence, such as universal understanding and a basic understanding of and support for the democratic process.

    With the advent of easily accessible internet via phones and tablets, less and less corners of the world will be isolated from the vast array of data on the internet, and thus more and more places will build their own democracies. The Arab Spring, despite its flaws, is an example of this effect.

    Forced democracy seems to be an oxymoron to me.
  • Apr 10 2013: You can force the instauration of a democratic structure, pretending someday has a democratic sistem, but youll never can force democracybecauses it will the most antidemocratic decision.
  • Apr 10 2013: The rest of the world should force America to be a Democracy and not a Plutocracy / Corpocracy seeing it wants to be the global leader ;-)
  • Apr 9 2013: Lets vote whether we'll take away the right for a country to decide for themselves. ;-)

    I think the response to this question depends on a person's ethical disposition. Whether they lean toward consequentialism or deontology.

    Personally, I believe intervention is only appropriate when a populace requests it. And force should only be used to assure an open and just process (and of course this is a very slippery slope).
  • Apr 9 2013: I would agree to the extent that Democracy should not be forced on a people just for the sake of forcing a Democracy. However, in a situation like Germany and Japan, where it was necessary to take down the existing government, replacing it with a Democratic one is the best way to secure the war and secure the peace. This worked extremely well for already ordered society that had a unified identity.
  • Apr 9 2013: If democratic countries really want oriental governments to transformed into democracies they must stop supporting dictators or communist countries and start respecting the rights and will of others. Democracy can not be forced, it should grow within the society therefore it could work.
  • Apr 5 2013: In a way isn't this tied to the conversation is Western Europe indifferent to Bulgarian agony? Members of the EU though not Euro holders should be a top priority. When it comes to business you don't want to pay to bribes to get to a license, transparency. They want elections so helping them achieve free fair elections, Germany needs a buffer zone for resources and consumers, are there white people's who's population rate is still going up, that's so pre 1950's.
    Comment in the back of my head about displacing middle Eastern royalty like Saudi's, or the Emirates but they run things with the Bush's they good Prince Bandar good besides we still need that oil for a long time.
  • Apr 4 2013: Going to have to see how Burma/ Myanmar transitions got the attacks on minorities.
  • Apr 4 2013: I think there's also a need to study what might be called tribalism, we in the West have bi -lineal descent meaning we trace our family through both mother and father side. This is not the case in much of the world where labor and legal obligation fall to a distinct family unit usually distinguished by uni-lineal descent through the matri-lineal or patri-lineal side. This results in how they produce herding and farming enclaves and even extended agreement some Kurds practice third cousin marriage or cross cousin marrying, some Kurds are very progressive the PKK's import of Communist doctrine brought in a lot of gender equality etc.. Terms like matri-local and patri-local come up for who you move in with after marriage. Sorry my cultural anthropology class was how the Westerners f----- the natural balance 1400-1600 CE. How the Inca Empire produced more grain than the people living there today, then peanuts in Gambia, then cotton in Ethiopia, Rubber in Liberia culminating in Rhodesia modern day Zimbabwe colonized by Cecil Rhodes the founder of De Beer's and all along the way switching taxes from food staples to the elite to the foreign Pound Sterling. Suffice it to say racked with white man's guilt though I'm Jewish and Irish maybe a little Scot so colonized and foreigner in foreign Eastern Europe lands. I feel I inherit what was an international atrocity is that the right word. That those less developed countries develop the most representative, equal and just discriminating between the two when necessary. Anyways maybe a cultural that goes directly from Chieftain to Democracy managing a vast amount of land will develop a better democracy not having to go through the mess of monarchy and dictators like Cromwell so on especially if they integrate new renewable, in my cultural anthropology class we also talked and read on indigenous conservation technique like native Americans and how parks are learning to work with that. Also if we can export banana republics why n
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    Apr 3 2013: i think that democracy is right, but i also feel that there is a flaw. Since people who live in the worlds many countries nowdays are more diverse, we find different people all over. and the establishment of democracy, only allows the rule by the majority, though still not for everyone. What could be a better proposal is a government with equality! where everyone has an equal chance of achieving their goals. Ideal communities may be difficult to obtain as we are constantly changing, but a core set of general rules to lay out equality may be a way forward for us i think.
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      Apr 3 2013: freedom. democracy is a form of ruling. there is a body, a government that can, using force, impose its will on the people. granted, if people elect this ruling class, it prevents many forms of tyranny and actions against the masses. but it is still an oppressive arrangement which minimizes the number of oppressed. the number of oppressed in a democracy is maximized to be 49%. but exactly as you describe, it can still be oppressive to a group smaller than 49%, let it be 1 or 10 or really up to 49. the system with no oppression is a system with no governing body at all, or at least a government that is limited to basic tasks like national defense, is the system with no or minimal oppression.
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        Apr 3 2013: Yes, i get what you say about a place without a governing body, but if you look at a system where we can base rules which discriminate less to the entire audience, then this is a step towards that with a governing body as well. If we consider rules which are based for the good of humanity, and a non corruptible governing system, we should be in the right ball park then.
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          Apr 3 2013: 1, people don't always agree. how do you plan to resolve that?
          2, how do you make sure the government does the "right" thing?
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        Apr 3 2013: The issue about people agreeing is directly related to the part about people knowing what is right. Not everyone know what is right, thus not everyone would be able to do what is right and should be the way to do things. However, not giving them the opportunity to logically fight for it, is what happens when power is given to the majority. People not agreeing is independent to people being discriminated against.

        To answer your second question, you can think about your government like a company which manufacturers cars. How do we know that the company does the right things with relation to cars? these are governed by a set of rule which work. These rules do not discriminate to the people, since they can be use by everyone. For special case, the cars can be adapted to certain types of individuals such as elderly and handicapped.

        How does anyone do the right thing? the set of rules i speak of above need cannot be a of the cuff solution. Itll need to be worked on and determined by a body independent of the place using the rules. real life example could possibly be the united nations and their stances on most issues. They do stuff which are for the good of everyone.
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          Apr 3 2013: you are very right that the way to prosperity is to teach people to abandon bad behavior. but this solution is independent of having governments. if we have a bunch of people not knowing the right ways, they also will be unable to elect the right persons, or anyhow control or even assess the government. if the people are educated enough, they will do the right thing without a government.

          there is a very profound difference between a company and a government. two major differences actually. one is that a success of a manufacturer can be measured very easily. either they make a profit or not. if they make a profit, they grow. if they make a loss, they shrink and finally disappear. however, a government can not be measured that easily. people's opinion will differ. we do not have a proper general theory of what is good. we do not have a set of rules that would satisfy everyone.

          the second difference is that if the car manufacturer fails, the owners lose. the workers only lose temporarily, as they will find another job as soon as the market reorganizes itself. but if the government does wrong things, everyone suffers.
  • Apr 1 2013: What is democracy??

    People of a community are expected to live harmoniously and peacefully. They are not supposed to invade / hurt other communities.

    This can take many forms of govt.

    Unfortunately - rich people used / use democracy to promote their business interests. Guess we have to live with this.
  • Apr 1 2013: You know the closest to that happening is Kenya in Somalia and I kind of support that. However I don't think there's many places that model will work. Mali is like trying to preserve a failing democracy. You know the UN mission to Liberia ends this year.
  • Apr 1 2013: No we should force it if Italy had a government right now special envoys to Tunisia and if there's any luck maybe that envoy would tell them about magnesium harvesting in desalination places to spend the booty from the Ali tyrant on installing solar improve conditions under which they live, otherwise it's all just Harlem shake.
  • Mar 31 2013: One should never force rule upon another. Attempting to force democracy on a people is not appropriate, especially when the United States does not truly practice it.

    Not every country is most successful with democratic rule. And, the high level of involvement required for a true democracy does not exist in most countries. To force something on another is not supporting the very principle you say that are trying to encourage. You can suggest it, encourage it, and support it when it happens, but you must be willing to say that another form of government is appropriate for the country if the leaders take it that way.
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    Mar 30 2013: Democracy is the most difficult principle of government, requiring a high level of understanding and commitment by the citizens. Trying to impose this on nations that are not prepared for it lends itself to abuse and failure. Yet we have examples where a democratic form of government was imposed by force and became a success. The prime example is Japan after WWII. Japan had zero experience with democracy, yet the transition from autocratic rule to democracy went well and has clearly been a success. Germany after WWII is another example. Of course Japan and Germany were extraordinary nations in desperate situations, and their high level of education, their sense of social order and their readiness to change made it work. But this combination rarely exists.
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    Mar 29 2013: The original idea of democracy, which began in Greece, is that the will of the people should rule.
    • Apr 18 2013: David: The Greeks invented and tried just about every form of government imaginable, even one city which chose its leader by random lottery drawing. The idea of the "Will of the People" is very murky and subject to manipulation. To hear him tell it, Stalin was chosen by the W.ofP. On the other hand, Ho Chi Minh, the leader of the Viet Cong, was so popular that the US did not dare allow an election to be held, in 1954. I guess the bottom line is that a fair, popular election is best, not because the result is better, but merely because "they chose it", as long as that is not a fraud.
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        Apr 18 2013: Those past experiments all had the same flaw. They were controlled by people. Electronic Democracy or Direct Democracy has served both Switzerland ansd Denmark well and its efficiency is ever-improving.
        With today's technology, it is possible to poll the populace on any major issue and allow voters to make the decisions. The main problem with that is that they might not agree with what the political supporters want.
        It's easy to imagine a country where everyone has a vote and can vote on it whatever intrests them. That would be the end of the war makers and the other bullies in the schoolyard.
        Maybe the feudal system is coming to an end.
    • Apr 19 2013: David, Greeks = democracy... look up Thrasymachus
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        Apr 20 2013: This is not a compliment. He was a political theorist that was taken a a joke. Direct democracy is proving itself effective and very inexpensive to administer. It will inevitably increase.
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    Mar 27 2013: Forcing a democracy is as farcical as expecting a hooker 'loved' the sex.
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    Mar 26 2013: Instead of framing it as democracy, why not freedom? to me it makes it clearer - there are many cases where the world community should come together to free people from tyranny (iran, n korea). to free them from criminal pursuit of profit (slave trade, sweet shops). Intervene where people do not have control over their lives. The form of government will evolve from that.

    additionally, to frame it as democracy, one must define the form and how it will work - our democracy, in the US, is clearly flawed. Too much influence by corporations and too much influence by the uninformed. having learned that, how can it be corrected? it seems what is badly needed to go along with a free society (to make it truly free) are means to self-correct in a transparent way and avoid being hijacked by those who bring nothing of value to the process.

    you mentioned the notion of being forced as a flaw in democracy. How did you arrive at that? democracy does not imply using force. yes, some democracies use force, but that's no the same.
  • Mar 26 2013: Forcing others to do your bidding is the root of ALL conflicts. Why would anyone presume to have the moral authority to force their will on another?
  • Mar 26 2013: No, i do not believe that democracy should be forced. I think that absolute democracy has many fatal flaws to it, which is why many prosperous democratic nations do not use an absolute democracy. They use democracy, with aspects of socialism mixed in. Also, to impose what we believe is right onto another country would be a violation of its right to sovereignty. Finally, i would like to point out that not all countries that prosperous have a democracy today. For example china.
  • Mar 25 2013: Democracy is a paradox and therefore does not work, so why would you want to force it on others.
    The assumption behind a democracy is that people know what they want and vote for it, but as has already been pointed out, we our sold ideas that are usually accompanied with some sort of profit motive and we end up with lots of bad things happening.
    The type of system we need requires a more philosophical approach, in my humble opinion. We have to decide how we go about living side by side rather than looking to take advantage of or exploit something or someone.
    Once we have concluded the best way forward we can leave it to the experts to crack on with things.
    We cannot trust our current crop of politicians to put things right, because things are ok for them given our current economic/political system.
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    Mar 25 2013: No, because democracy in unworkable on a global scale. It looks as though it should be workable on paper if everybody of every race was the same, but in practice with every human failing, regional diversity and culture, it can't work.

    What passes for democracy can only work on a local, regional scale where there is a common culture, where people are tangibly visible (not virtual) where one can put a face to a voice. On a regional scale it matters a great deal how someone's actions affect other individuals, or the community as a whole. On the global scale it doesn't matter one bit; we can say or do what we like with few or no consequences.

    If one culture forces their version of democracy on another culture, it will be doomed to fail. But still we find that happening globally for several stated reasons - but funnily enough, never the actual reason. The two main ones are the forcing of belief systems on other belief systems and the commandeering of valued natural resources by powerful 'democracies'. These reasons are nothing short of ulterior, and anything but democratic - and mostly to do with the gaining of power.

    Democracy is certainly flawed and can only have a chance of existing where endemic commonality exists.
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    Mar 25 2013: Each country should be allowed to run the form of government that suits the culture and lifestyle of the people.
    An idea that all nations have to adopt democracy because some have, or that the democratic practice of a nation has to be exactly like that of another nation, seems to me like a sophisticated version of religious extremism.
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    Mar 25 2013: No!
    Because the only thing democracy achieves is that the majority can't be prejudiced against. Except for that it is a slightly failing system, which doesn't guarantee happiness. I mean from a Jeremy paxman there is a great bit when Paxman asks a few Chinese people : "Don't you want political freedom?"
    Then the Chinese people respond : "No, we already have freedom (I'm guessing economic freedom) and our definition of freedom must be different from yours!"
    I mean the Chinese are doing perfectly fine without any real "democracy".
    While another problem would be : "The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter".
    As Ted talks like :
    Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice :
    http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html
    Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness :
    http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html
    Hope I have helped and made sense! :)
    While I must admit, forcing democracy does seem like a slight paradox. It is almost like saying (but is quite different) should we let people choose a dictatorship and suppression?
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    Mar 25 2013: "Forcing" and "democracy" are two terms that preclude one another. If you force democracy, you basically deprive people of one of the main tenets of democracy, i.e. freedom of choice.
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      Mar 25 2013: Once the law is passed democratically, there is no freedom of choice. That law will be forced onto people regardless whether they voted for it or not.

      Any government, democratic or not, is a machine of violence.
      • Mar 25 2013: If you think any type of government is a machine of violence, what are you suggesting?
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          Mar 26 2013: Before I suggest anything, I need to understand what things are. That's what I'm trying to do here. It seems to me that once we do understand what things are, we may decide that it's best not to suggest anything.

          Churchill said, "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." I'm happy with democracy, but I would be cautious suggesting or forcing it to other people.
      • Apr 20 2013: Nice Arkady, shame the way "democracy" is taught and what it's believed to be, doesn't always match up with the reality.

        you might enjoy...

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOOTKA0aGI0
  • Mar 24 2013: I just wish they'd *force* Democracy on the United States.

    There is not a single other country on the planet that uses the American version of government; an Electoral based Republic. [Don't kid yourself into thinking we are a democracy.]

    Given a choice, I think Canada has about the best democratic based system going.
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    Mar 22 2013: how is that supposed to work? if we have a population that does not want democracy, if you force it onto them, they can just vote to abolish it next week. now what?

    another issue is a population that do want democracy, but a dictator rules them against their will. in such a case, removing the dictator is a moral act, it is a rightful defense of the citizens from oppression. if they then create a democratic system, it is fine. but in this case, democracy was not forced.

    so i see no way how could we meaningfully force democracy on anyone.
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      Mar 25 2013: Krisztian,

      Do you think, people who are born in the U.S. choose to live in a democracy? Won't it be forced on them if they don't like it? Even if they think they do like it, isn't it simply implanted in their brains by propaganda and public education since elementary school, much like a religious doctrine?

      Perhaps, democracy CAN be forced on individuals or a minority, but not on a whole country. What do you think?

      In any case, it seems to be possible to brainwash the minority so that they appear to like and "choose" democracy voluntarily.

      This question boils down to the good-old discussion of freedom of choice which does not seem to have any meaningful answers.
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        Mar 25 2013: ah, you come from the other direction. i was thinking about the transition from traditional monarchy / religious type of society to democracy. this can not be forced.

        however, you are right that one can force democracy on people that are more advanced, and enjoy freedom.
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    Mar 21 2013: While I would not force democracy per se I would like to force and/or strongly encourage human rights. Countries that allow laws which violate agreed upon human rights should be stopped. If many of these injustices were happening in our own country we would scream out. But, because the rapes, and murders, and ethnic cleansings happen in other countries we tend to allow it. I believe this needs to be addressed more strongly and on a worldwide stage. Not by just a few countries. So if we learned that a country was allowing human rights violations then very strong sanctions should be put on them and in the worse cases the world governments could come together, remove the head of government and replace.

    Now, replaced with "what?" may be a big question. Democracy, Republics, Communism, socialism.... Tough call. Even a dictator has a place. The Roman empire had phases where they actually elected a dictator to get them through very turbulent times. Once elected he had the power to take care of the situation. Granted it was usually war with another country. But, the dictator had its place
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      Mar 22 2013: Just maybe if we had more politicians who could "THINK" outside the party box , which is controlled by big business , we might head towards a democratic system.
      But as long as our elected officials dance to the tune of that top 1% , well we will continue down the road whereby we have no power. The old saying " Government for the people by the people", nolonger stands.

      Now it is " government "bought by big business for big business.
    • Mar 22 2013: Thank You Leo,
      But don't you think democracy is a human right?
      What if people vote for a dictator, should that even be acceptable? Should we exclude automatically that kind of politics, or is it reasonable to elect him.
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        Mar 22 2013: That depends on how you are using democracy. I believe human rights should trump democracy.

        Now as to the form of government.... even in the United States we do not have a democracy. We have a republic. Now, that republic practices democratic ideals but it is not a TRUE democracy. But this can get into serious political theory etc.....

        Take the recent election of the pope. That uses democratic methods whereas the cardinals elect the pope, but once elected then he has the power and outranks the cardinals. Similar methods were used by the Romans to elect the dictators they needed.

        And while I believe democratic principles have their place I also see where other forms have some merit. Republics hold true democracy in check from devolving into anarchy, even china has voting and a semblance of democratic ideas (granted they seem to be superficial) But, then again they have over 1 billion people, a population problem etc...

        So I guess my main point is that if the people have the basic human rights as defined by the united nations then perhaps we can let them govern themselves.

        Now, don't take that as me being soft. I also believe that if a culture cannot change its ways and give those rights to its people (ALL its people) then forceful action may be required.
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        Mar 26 2013: Anything can be declared a human right. Whatever you can claim and defend is your right. In societies that claim to have human rights, they are declared and defended by democracy. If you declare democracy a human right, how are you going to defend it?
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        Mar 26 2013: Re: "What if people vote for a dictator, should that even be acceptable? Should we exclude automatically that kind of politics, or is it reasonable to elect him."

        Who is "we" in your questions? As you think of it, you will realize that your questions are circular and have no answer.

        There is no "we the people" and "them the people". It's just "we". Should we allow ourselves to vote for a dictator? Certainly, not. But who is there to enforce?
  • Mar 21 2013: Thank you everyone for the amazing comments.
    And I would like to ask: what would you think if a population elected a non-democratic party? Should we ever allow that type of parties to run for a election?
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    Mar 21 2013: I thought we called that war
    • Mar 21 2013: Well, yes, but we can actually be talking of a much subtle ways of imposing democracy.

      Thank you Casey
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        Mar 21 2013: I don't think anyone likes anything imposed on them that's kinda the point of democracy. It is the peoples choice that is suppose to make the difference. It's just crazy corrupt right now. Democracy was suppose to give the people the choice. Anything forced would not be their choice.
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    Mar 21 2013: G'day Marco

    Who has a right to force their own ideologies & concepts onto another as all this creates is more animosity in the world; the UN has a lot to answer for in my mind.

    Love
    Mathew
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      Mar 21 2013: Maithew: ideologies & concepts are being forced upon us daily here in North America...they call it marketing. Business pushes its ideologies & concepts on our governing political system and it pushes it upon we. They do it through legislation.
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        Mar 22 2013: G'day Wayne

        Yes we are in the same boat Wayne, freedom that our forefathers fought for is slowly dwindling into a dictatorships I'm afraid.

        Love
        Mathew