cowboy me, 2.0: jose nazario beauty and the street

a history of democracy

another picture taken at the meijer gardens. some of those larger than life fridge magnets ...

lately i've been searching for a history of democracies, particularily their early years. as the american government wants to try and bring democracy to the middle east, and as democractic movements are maturing in places like eastern europe, latin america, and southeast asia, i have to wonder how much we as americans really know about democracy in its most fragile form, when it is just beginning.

shooting wars erupted across the newly founded american states as they tried to work on everything from inter-state currencies to legal issues. it took a number of years, and wars big and small, to really achieve a comfortable feel to american democracy. in fact, many outsiders consider the french-indian war to be america's second revolutionary war. we should also look at how democratic reforms have moved across europe, for example in france and germany. i think we'd find that there is a lot of unease that lasts a lot longer than we expect in a newly formed democracy.

as we face emerging democracies in today's political climate, we should also look to those historical lessons as guides to how we as an american people, a democratic people the world over, can support those changes. it's clear to me that the mission to democratize the middle east is myopic and underinformed, albeit a lofty missions. but the obvious underpinnings of a stable democratic society are missing, including a plurality of political experiences and parties, along with a solid middle class. the only really organized people are, sadly, people who are in the relatively opposite direction of what we want to see happen. then again, if a people chose to install a government that doesn't support democratic reform, can we really recall their choice? and is democracy always the best option for a people?

in my readings, i haven't found a cohesive history of democracy, and i'm asking you to point one out to me. it should be worldy and informed, and well written, and, of course, accurate.



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Last modified: Monday, Apr 18, 2005 @ 07:43pm
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