Democracy: Tool or Goal?

Stephen M Walts, in International relations: One World, Many Theories (Foreign Policy Spring 1998) introduces the idea that democracies are thought to be better because they bring peace, liberty, and prosperity. Other National Security writing also refer to this accepted idea. This is one of the central tenants American uses to expand democratic ideas according to its strategic liberal predilection.

Why doesn’t democracy take root elsewhere in the world? America hasn’t figured out how to respond when other nation’s democratic elections don’t fix their problems (e.g. Egypt recently).

Rob Slane publishes some observations, evidence, and discussion documenting the failure of plug-n-play democracy.  The author’s conclusions take an abrupt and strong turn toward Fundamentalist Christian overtones, so be ready for the change toward the end.

I am thinking of democracy as an analogy of a crescent wrench and a car mechanic. The crescent wrench is nothing. Only in the hands of a skilled mechanic does the crescent wrench help fix cars. In the hands of someone else, it can become a weapon.

About Brian

Engineer. Aviator. Educator. Scientist.
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