Democracy is not a Cactus

There’s this misconception going around that you can insert democracy where’er there's need and — hey presto! — it’ll succeed, but isn’t that like trying to patch up a ruptured spleen with a band-aid?

Stand in the middle of a desert, drop a seed in the ground, stomp on it and exclaim «now, grow!» with thunderous enthusiasm. The soil is infertile, there’s no rain and it’s a damn hostile enviroment for anything but the most hardy of vegetation.

Democracy is not a staunch cactus (it does however have thorns). It is a delicate flower that refuses to bloom unless its environment is just right.

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

You can’t package and sell democracy. It’s not a five minute microwave dinner. It took hundreds of years, tremendous bloodshed, toil, tears and trial & error. The modern western democracies that exist today didn’t get the democratic ideal shoved down their throats by a third party. It happened naturally. This is how it has to happen in the future as well. In almost all cases where democracy grew forth the people decided it was needed. If you don’t have the people with you, you can’t do shit.

Tuesday, 7. October, 2008 · , , &