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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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