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