Originally posted by crazychester
I agree democratization is difficult but no, I also meant democracy itself is hard to make work in practice. But I wasn't speaking in terms of how it compares to other political systems but rather how well it works in it's own right.
Here we can see ebbs and flows, but usually that be addressed with the tools made available by the democratic process.
Nor am I referring to the dangers of allowing the great unwashed masses to have a say but rather the corruption of the system by the ruling classes.
The corporatization of democracy (already alluded to by others in this thread) has, IMO, bastardize the political process
(see P.S.) .
Big business can influence the outcome of elections via party donations or even outright threats (if the party we support doesn't win we will close down industries). How is that democratic?
Such form of corruption has been a more common occurence a century ago. Democracy is not safe from plutocratic excesses, but no tycoon today approaches the clout a J. P. Morgan used to have. Nor is one presently getting there.
Such occurences even in the present mild form do contribute to erode the public trust in the democratic process, with symptoms such as low electoral turnout, which do give reason to worry, but not all that much at the present time.
I don't think you need look further than the last US election to see that democracy has it's problems.
Or the last presidential election in France, and a few other established demcoracies I can think of (taking France as example because it is seen as an opposite of the US even though those two are more alike than unlike).
Unlike the other systems you mention, democracy relies on respect for democratic principles being maintained. When members of the US administration (including Bush and Powell) tell my country how we should vote at our next election (for the pro-Bush incumbent and not for the opposition who want to pull our troops out by Christmas), respect for democratic principles is eroded.
It's to be expected of elected officials to ask their public to reelect them rather than their opponents.
Other than the US, few if any members of the Coalition of the Willing enjoyed majority support for going to war with Iraq but did so anyway. And while elected governments do have to make decisions contrary to the majority opinion sometimes, I see nothing in this situation to justify it.
That is a matter of opinion, both stands in the matter of the Iraq war had some reaosnable arguments in their favour (although empty slogans were louder), in any case the governments in question did have a full mnadate to carry out their policy lest we delelgate power via opinion poll or the demonstrations on the estreet.
Hmm the importance of Act 1 is often overshadowed by the melodrama of Act 2.But I was referring to the challenge to the European world view as Yeats saw it rather than how a person in the late 20th/early 21st centuries might see it.
Yeats was part of what fueled the denoument of Act Two, the loss of the confindenc in human progress leading to the ssequenbt fall into barbarism.
Not the least of which was the sheer bloodiness of the war itself. Add in a whole lot of other stuff like the Bolshevik Revolution, the (almost but not quite) German revolution, rapid technological change, the breakdown of empires, and it's not hard to see why Yeats felt the centre cannot hold (and that's before mixing in Ireland).
At the outset of 1918, the technological change instead of being seen as the engine of amlioration becamse perceived here as the engine for destruction and barbaric revolutions, both by those fearing destruction and barbarity as well as those espousiong them. The far-right was to benenfit immensly from this pessimism particularly after the deperession kicked in.
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
The terror attacks of September 2001 were cruel, spectacular, and unusual, but they haven't at all hindered the US' political or economic might, nor are anywhere near the sheer horror of the Second Thirty Year War.
Agreed. I never said it has hindered their political and economic might (yet). That is not something an actual attack on the WTC and the Pentagon could do. Terror sich as we now it can only schock, but not win battles, or welse we'd have an independent Euskadi, a unified Eire, and a planetary califate.
And many countries have been subject to far bloodier terror campaigns than the US has experienced. It's just, as you say, the US copped a particularly cruel and spectacular one. Nevertheless, I would argue that much of the US response has been less than rational.
While I see hysteria taking the front seat from time to time, it's not as bad than I expected, perhaps due to my having been contemporary to the US involvement in South-East Asia, I feared Washington to deliver the same measure of fire and brimstone on whichever Middle-Eastern regime it'd see fit (OK, I hoped it would do so on Saudi, that dynasty deserves it).
Besides, as far as Iraq goes, given that I thought Saddam and his Tikriti clan should not have been allowed to remain in power after 1991 (as many other dictators have been signified to retire, in various ways from Pinochet to Noriega), so while I was perplexed by the sudden US enthsiasm to finally finish the job I could hardly oppose what I was caling for all along.
Of course, terrorism gains much of its strength from the fact it is so difficult to counter.
It has been countered efficaciously in several occurences, requiring both brains and brawn, but it wasn't always as obviosu we might hope.
But, unfortunately, I suspect OBL is delighted with the response he's received. After all, terrorism seeks to achieve its ends through fear and intimidation and, despite what our broken conservatives may argue, the US since 2004 has behaved like a country that is both fearful and intimidated.
It seems to me the USA is more confused than anything else, it undesrstand it has to fight, but lacks familiarity with that particular form of fighting.
But I don't see the US to be intimidated, fearful? Yes, as it should be, but not intimidated, furious and hot-headed is more like it.
I do agree that the Osama gang is satisfied with having gotten the fight it wished for, as is generally the case ith messianic zealots, although History doesn't kindly cast his these zealots, they mostly end up to be the losers.
And apologies for a pretty crappy reply but I'm going away for a few days and time constraints prevent me cobbling anything better together.
No apology needed.
P.S.: I have seen in this board and elsewehre a certain confusion risen from the current use of the word corporation in English (designating commerical and industrial entreprises). That is the confusion equating the excessive loseness of powerful magnated to politcal powers, with the ideologies of corporatismo
of early 20th c. regimes, which means the incorporation of all individuals and groups within the reigning political movement (generally the party) with even the state itself ceasing to exist separately from the movement; sometimes it would allow the existence of privately owned entreprises and even of some associations outside the movement (as was the case in fascist Italy and others) but still fully subordinated to the movement's goals not partnered with it, sometimes it would allow no such things (as in the case of the USSR where there was only the party).
A regime in incest with privately-owned industrial and commercial (often referred to as corporate) interests is generally known as plutocracy and cronyism and while it is a scourge in many countries it hasn't grown all that much lately, and is being put more often under the magnifying glass now and less easily tolerated (which is why it is more talked about, and a good thing it is), in my younger years, the saying what's good for BossCo is good for the homerland found more favour among paying costumers.
The indelicacies of the current US adminstration in that domain BTW are not something to be dismissed as mere peccadilloes, but certainly aren't of unusual scope in the given context (see the example of successive French governments and their ties to companies such as Elf, the motive for the French example being the same as above).
There are in my opinion two distinct phenomena here which should not be equated. I thought it should be made clear.