Thursday, July 27, 2006

Democracy & Liberalism

Posted by Jabawacefti

Jonah has a very interesting take on the comparative importance of Democracy vs. Liberalism.

Very interesting, indeed.

Personally, I think that liberals should be having this discussion too. Or at least participating in this one, which is why I am getting you guys involved. If tangentially.


At 2:53 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

What drives me a little bit crazy about this

"Personally, I think liberals should be having this discussion..."

is that we have been having that discussion. We began that discussion when Bush began altering the reasoning for invading Iraq. Suddenly, we went from the desperate, unavoidable need to grab all the WMD's. When they weren't discovered, we were suddenly there to create democracy.

Many of us wondered out loud, and to friends and family who pretty much told us to shut up, whether removing Saddam from power and installing a democratic form of government would be effective, considering that:

a) terrorists are either non-governmentally sponsored, or tend to be sponsored on the hush-hush.

b) the people of the middle-east have fundamentally different notions of how to live their lives, and creating a democracy might very well result in the installation of leaders we did not agree with.

For those thoughts, we have been labeled anti-America, soft on terror, and unsupportive of our troops.

Now Jonah want to have this discussion. That's fine, but all the intellectualism in the world can't paint over the fact that this is, essentially, the same "evil liberal" discussion many of us have been trying to have with Goldberg for years.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

With respect, it appears to me that there are few on the left seriously considering these issues. Present company excluded.

I would love to see a lefty other than yourself (and please point me to the discussion if you know where one is) discussion the comparative merits of democracy and liberal society.

Instead what we generally get is:
1) There are no weapons of mass destruction;
2) Bush is stupid, therefore anything he wants must be stupid;
3) This war is for Halliburton, Oil Companies & Cheney's friends;
4) North Korea and Iran are worse so they should not have attacked Iraq; etc.

Rarely, if ever, do you hear self avowed liberals talking about the deeper societal implications of democratic governance, liberal institutions, or the apparent lack of a particular group of people to have any interest in the same based in part on a historical (if recent) reliance on tyrannies per the "Strong Man."

If you can point me to a persuasive intelligent argument from another liberal (besides yourself, not to say that you personally are not enough) not merely focused on the ineptness of the present government, I'll eat my hat.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Because I've always wanted to see someone eat their hat I will make a point of locating specific articles on the internet that address your points over the weekend.

In the meanwhile, for a "quick fix," I encourage you to check out virtually any broadcast of the Daily Show from 2002 to the present (many available on, supposedly) for a humorously aghast example of what I'm talking about.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

And another thing!

Is Goldberg essentially saying that sometimes it makes more sense to have a devil you know than a devil you don't? That, in some instances, having a secular dictatorship in place is preferential to the less-controllabel chaos of a self-elected and unfriendly democracy?

Because that's an expensive lesson to have learned, considering that America's foriegn policy has been teaching it for the better part of the last century.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

I ask in a sort of admitted indignation, but with sincerity.


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