Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Absolute sovereignty? So, no criticism of what the Bush government is doing except on pure pragmatic power politics principles? (i.e. that it is counterproductive to US interests) Nor do I really understand why convicting rape victims is beyond the pale by your understanding - why should it be an exception?
by MarekNYC on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 01:23:16 AM EST
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The problems of equal opportunity, economic development, human rights, security, and the various freedoms to exercise are goals that can be sought with whatever mechanism of governance a particular state exercises at the moment. That they tend toward a democratic power structure is moot. Right now, it seems to me that democracy as a mechanism of governance is less of a holy grail than those conditions and rights themselves.

I'm not prepared to give up on those liberties that I made certain I mentioned in the earlier comment, and as for sovereignty being absolute and the practice of international power politics, I'm not suggesting that either. As I study more, I come to appreciate the points of view of, say Russians, who've been cursed throughout their history with open borders over which were cultures who believed that raiding Russian settlements was a worthy career. It's not democracy per se, that I'm dissing here, but more American chauvinism about democratic institutions.

John Brady Kiesling, in his Diplomatic Lessons, goes into a little of the psychological basis of what constitutes the legitimacy of a government, as well as how many levels of identity a citizen can hold simultaneously. He's not the only person I've read who touches on this.

Like I said, it's a large subject, one that I'm just now trying to get my head around, and deserves larger treatment. That being said, I can only view American chauvinism with contempt, and now you know a little of where I'm coming from with this. When I mentioned American exceptionalism, I wasn't being clear enough. It's the chauvinism I object to.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:05:42 AM EST
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The US establishment uses 'Democracy' as a stand-in for 'American Business Interests.'

You can see how this works when the press sneers about 'populism' - which in most countries would be considered democratic, especially when there's a strong majority supporting it.

On ET we sometimes call US-style democracy Democracy™ to distinguish it from the real thing.

In practice, Democracy™ usually means fascist dictatorship.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 11:30:13 AM EST
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