September 21, 2010

A DECLINE IN THE WEST'S ENTHUSIASM WAS UNAVOIDABLE...:

Democracy Still Matters (ROGER COHEN, 9/20/10, NY Times)

One mystery of the first decade of the 21st century is the decline of democracy. It’s not that nations with democratic systems have dwindled in number but that democracy has lost its luster. It’s an idea without a glow. And that’s worrying.

I said “mystery.” Those who saw something of the blood expended through the 20th century to secure liberal societies must inevitably find democracy’s diminished appeal puzzling. But there are reasons.

The lingering wars waged partly in democracy’s name in Iraq and Afghanistan hurt its reputation, however moving images of inky-fingered voters gripped by the revolutionary notion that they could decide who governs them. Given the bloody mayhem, it was easy to portray “democracy” as a fig leaf for the West’s bellicose designs and casual hypocrisies.


...once we'd democratized the entire West. The bloody mayhem of the 20th Century was primarily aimed at securing democracy for people just like us, those of the 21st must be about liberating "others." Ambivalence is to be expected.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at September 21, 2010 6:18 AM
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