Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Poor Thailand

These events remind me of just how lucky I am to live in the United States. For all the flaws in our system, for all the corruption and pork and shortsightedness, we still have one of the most stable and reliable government systems in the world. As Americans, we tend to equate democracy with peace, simply because that's what we've seen in our country. But it doesn't always work that way.

Part of the 'neo-con' philosophy is that any democracy at all is a good thing. Democracy should be spread by any means available because once every nation is democratic, world peace will be possible, the economy of every country will flourish as never before, etc. Any government formed by the votes of the citizenry is bound to be fair and just and accountable for its actions. Unfortunately, the experiences of many countries have shown this to be false. Voters do not always elect the people best suited to running a country. Elected officials are often corrupt and incompetent, and even when they are not, even when they mean well, they often fail to implement the policies that would make their country safe and prosperous. Look at Indonesia, at Thailand, at Iraq for God's sake.

While I'm not knocking democracy as a form of government- it's certainly as good as or better than anything else we've come up with- it's not the cure-all we sometimes pretend it is.

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