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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 19 2013: Some reasons we believe in democracy:
    1. It is the system in which our social selves develop. We correctly realise that it would be traumatic for us to adapt to a different political system, and incorrectly extrapolate this to think that all people should feel most comfortable with it.
    2. In the evolution of political systems, democracy is one of the most recent. Since western society has gone through feudal systems and dictatorship, we see democracy as more modern and therefore a better replacement.
    3. In the evolution of society and technology, democracy coincided with the technological revolution that brought material wealth to the masses. Although this is no necessary association, we perceive it as a causal relationship.
    4. Democracy appeals to our desire to consider ourselves as being in control of our own lives. Putting a cross on a ballot sheet once every 4 years appeases our unease with other people making decisions that determine our fate.
    5. Media coverage highlights bad things happening. Within our own lives this is balanced by positive personal experiences. We lack such information about other cultures so the total information at our disposal is skewed in favour of our own culture..
    6. Because this system it influences our daily lives, our attention goes to specific policies. This distracts us from critically considering the system itself. The details of other political systems have little impact on us, which allows us to critically view them at a higher level.
    7. We adopt the opinion of people we respect or are in a position of authority. Most of these people within our culture are in favour of democracy (often because their job is based on it).
    8. We realize that we are powerless to change the political system we live in, but believe that other systems can be changed. Since differences in political system often lead to problems the conclusion that it would be better if the whole world were to adopt democracy is justified, if unrealistic.
    • Sep 19 2013: So, in short, a collection of bias and logical fallacies have more to do with the "magical solution" attitude than actual logical argument.
      Actually a pretty good answer, if a disturbing one.

      Reminds you just how completely irrational people tend to get, concerning even the most important of issues. Most of them grow less rational even, because important issues tend to flare up their emotions and gut reactions even more than the mundane.
      Just one of those problems that's deeply and thoroughly imbedded into the heart of human nature.
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        Sep 21 2013: Exactly. Of course, none of this means that democracy is not a pretty reasonable system, only that the reasons why we support it may not be rationally justified.

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