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Why does the Western world think democracy is a magical, catch all solution?

There seems to be this sort of prevalent attitude in the Western world that democracy is something of a catch all solution for all the world's political problems.

Now, lets just get this out of the way. This isn't some pro-autocracy/democracy is bad argument, I believe the system has many benefits. I'm not for one second disputing all the good its done in many countries. What I am claiming, is that there are situations where its not the right answer.

Take for example the recent revolution and election in Egypt. Dictator toppled, Muslim Brotherhood elected democratically, uses democratic tools to get rid of democracy, toppled by military. If it wasn't for the military, chances are Egypt would have been going down the road to being a theocracy right now.
The same happens whenever a country with a long standing tradition of politically active religious groups with a wide voting base. Any democratic election will lead to democracy being canceled in short order.

While I dislike using it as an example, it also can't be ignored that Hitler originally rose to power democratically. The same is true for many other dictators, of both religious and secular leanings. That's what happens when a democratic tradition simply isn't there.

Any transition to democracy, needs to be done carefully, and with the bare minimum force of arms. Its not something that can be rammed down people's throats, and there are simply situations where the political climate doesn't allow it work.

I'm trying to get some insight as to why the western world doesn't see that?


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    Sep 10 2013: Here are some thoughts on democracy in general:


    "I used to believe in democracy until my mom gave my sister the biggest chicken in the soup simply because she was bigger."

    And here are some of my thoughts: there is a certain democracy imperialism in the West - let's invade [place country] and bring them democracy, help them abandon their savage political ways as we, the West, who have been victorious in wars against non-democratic systems during WWII, now have/claim to have/usurp the right to say which political system is best. This way of thinking is flawed in its foundation, often shows hubris, disinformation, lack of knowledge and closedmindedness, as mentioned in Eric Li's talk. Why this imperialism? Because of bias? Hubris? Closed-mindedness? Lack of information? This is my humble attempt at answering the last question in your conversation - why doesn't the western world see that democracy isn't necessarily a magical solution to everything.
    Moreover, democracy in a lot of Western countries is nothing more than a popularity contest, a sociopolitical beauty pageant, and not cooperation of the most competent and legitimate representatives of certain groups. There is little room for competence there - the electorate votes with their hopes or non-political convictions, having no time or ability to reasonably assess the candidates, the candidates and apparatus around them focus on how to be elected, whom to convince, often forgeetting the real isues. No overhead should be chosen simply because of that.

    And since the tag is 'should democracy be forced' - Scandinavia has a long democratic tradition, one of the regions to first grant women the right to vote, frequency at the urns is often over 80%, but very few are aware of the fact that it was actually illegal NOT to vote in the first half of the previous century. A citizen had to pay a fine for not showing up. Is that forcing democracy? If so, it was successful.
    • Sep 10 2013: There's quite a difference between forcing democracy on a foreign entity, and forcing your own citizens to vote.
      One is a purely internal process, which honestly doesn't seem that harmful, and may even have some advantages. The other involves war and occupation.
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        Sep 10 2013: I understand and realise that, it was just a thought. Many societies today have become uninterested in elections feeling that nothing changes whoever's in power. That was why I mentioned the fines for voting evasions. And yes, it did have advantages, just as introducing fines for not sorting trash and recycling will have in the long run, it has been introduced in Germany. It made the society more aware of both their duties and the political and socioeconomic situation around them.

        When it comes to forcing democracy on foreign nations - I did address this above, I wonder what you think.
        • Sep 10 2013: What I think? I thought I was being pretty obvious about being against the whole business.
          Its hard enough to set up a proper democratic regime without it being some foreign occupier's idea.

          Attempts to force democracy from without rarely end well. The regime change is, as any regime change, painful, and if it all reverts back after an election or two, its all been for naught. Waste of money and lives of everyone involved.

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