Online Workshop Part 5: The End of History or the End of Democracy?I was planning to shut down the blog by now, but I have a handful of posts that I'd like to finish before leaving the blogosphere, so I'll keep on blogging for a few more days. Online workshop parts 3 and 4 are still going on:
Online Workshop Part 3: What are Islam's Weak Points, and How do We Exploit Them? What are Ours, and How do We Fix Them?
Online Workshop Part 4: Whose 21st Century? The Retreat of the Western Order
But let us introduce another topic. At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama pronounced that we had arrived at "The End of History", and that capitalism and liberal democracy would now be the only global system left. But when I look at Europe today, I see democracies under threat because of an elaborate Eurabian bureaucracy and Islamic fanaticism. I see countries unwilling or unable to defend themselves against massive immigration/colonization, and the possible dawn of neo-barbarism. Has democracy become too soft to function? Have we arrived at "the End of Democracy" instead of "the End of History?" What does it take for a democracy to work? Can you still retain a democracy with massive illegal immigration going on? Is Multiculturalism inherently anti-democratic? Some people claim that the nation state is a redundant concept in a globalized world, but I can't see many democratic societies not based on a nation state. Can you? To me, the EU is the perfect example of how democracy becomes weakened when you try to make an organization above the nation state. And the UN is unacceptable because it allows dictatorships and corrupt non-democratic states to dictate democratic ones. Until we have something better, if ever, the nation state is the best way ever discovered of organizing society to provide the greatest good to the greatest number of people. The problem I think is that people get confused between democracy and human rights. Obviously you can't have pure democracy -- that is just mob rule. As some wag once wrote, "Two wolves voting to eat the sheep." That's why the famous concept of "checks and balances" were built into the US system of government -- to give some protection to the sheep. The framers of the US constitution thought long and hard about pure democracy and recognized its limitations.
The US system, with its separation of executive and legislative powers, isn't nearly as "democratic" as the European parliamentary system. Small parties have no influence there -- that's why special interest groups like feminists are often represented by lobbying organizations like NOW here rather than actual political parties as in Europe. But such a set-up mitigates against extremism -- in a Parliamentary system some extremist small party can exert influence beyond its numbers due to providing the swing vote in coalitions. Within the US system, there is a wide spectrum of political beliefs across the two parties. The Democrats have a liberal, centrist, and rightiest wing. Ditto the Republicans (although the liberal Republicans are a dying breed.) Under our system, Republicans are allowed to vote for Democratic proposals and Democrats are allowed to vote for Republican proposals. And representatives do frequently "cross party lines" to vote on issues that matter to their constituents. There is no such thing as "required vote" where you have to vote the way your party votes or else leave the party. Every vote on every issue to come up in the Congress is a "free vote." I think this is superior because it is voting on issues on an individual basis, not on a "group" basis. Of course the party in power does apply pressure, arm-twisting, etc. to get their members to vote "the Republican agenda" etc., but there is no legal requirement for them to vote so.
Ohmyrus: Bring back that Old Time Religion
Democracy is also a secular ideology and its proponents can be as intolerant as any religious fanatic. Other forms of government are viewed as illegitimate and ought to be converted into democracies. Many democrats cannot tolerate any kind of dictatorship – not the fascist kind nor the communist kind or the Islamist kind like what you see in Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Islamists think that the only legitimate form of government is an Islamic state and therefore oppose Bush's plans with suicide bombers. Thus two intolerant ideologies, one secular and the other religious are fighting it out in the sands of Iraq. However, I believe that democracy is not the end of history. Francis Fukuyama is wrong. Democracy will one day be replaced by something else. Perhaps, in a thousand years' time, people will view democrats of our present era as being intolerant of other forms of governments like people of our era view medieval Christians as intolerant of other religions.
Hugh Fitzgerald: Stop taking the UN seriously
Only a fool nowadays would use a phrase such as "international community," which attempts to treat Syria and Iceland as the same kind of members, or Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia, as similarly situated and behaving. What nonsense. There is no "international community." There is no "community" which contains Iceland and Libya, Italy and Saudi Arabia, the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some of these are our enemies; they wish us ill, they do not wish us well. Infidels and Believers cannot -- according to Islam itself, according to everything about Islam -- form a community. There is only the umma al-islamiyya, the Community of Believers. All others must be kept at bay, inveigled, fooled, undermined, ultimately conquered, and conclusively subjugated. No other possible outcome, according to what is contained in Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, is possible. The phrase "international community" is telling. Those who use it are telling us something about themselves. And what they are telling us isn't flattering.
There are no "united" nations. There is an organization that has been undermined from within. It is now an obstacle to the wellbeing of all those who wish to see clearly what is at stake in the worldwide Jihad, and to preserve themselves, in Europe, in America, in Russia, and in the Middle East, from the imposition of a belief-system -- through being overrun, slowly but surely, by adherents of that belief-system -- that has left every place it has conquered intellectually impoverished, and in every other way as well. Taking the U.N. seriously is by now as absurd as, in September 1939, going to the League of Nations (or as those incurable salon-habitués, the French, liked to call it, la Société des Nations, the "society or community of nations"), to ask it to please, please, please deal with Mr. Hitler -- he is behaving so badly.
Should the EU be Dismantled?
Should the entire European Union simply be dismantled? I've started to wonder whether the whole thing, just like Islam, coincidentally, is simply beyond reform and a threat to democracy. Critics claim that the Council of Ministers, the EU’s supreme law-making body, which decides two thirds of all Britain’s laws, is the only legislature outside the Communist dictatorships of North Korea and Cuba to pass laws in secret.