Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Is democracy good for us?

"what is the true definition of democracy".

So, we keep demanding and asking for democracy. Do we really need democracy? Do we like "the rule of the majority"? Or there are certain guidelines or rules that dictates this democracy?

If a company asked it's employees to decide on how much the raise is to be in their sallaries, many will demand 20%. If they did that, will there be any company?

If the majority of the passengers of a cruise ship wanted to go to Argentina through a storm, they maybe no ship few days later. If the majority wanted to install ben laden as the president of Saudi Arabia, there maybe no Saudi Arabia few months later.

So, there must be lines that dictate how much democracy can we have, right?

Here comes the dilemma. What control these lines? Religion? Morals? Common sense? Well, the dilemma is that we don't even agree on these terms.

Who's religion? Islam? I would agree, but lots of seculars and Christians (and even some muslims) wouldn’t.

What morals? My western affected morals or the morals of a conservative Jordanian (or any nationality) that looks at me with a :re: look when I say statements like "$hit happens". Or when they even give me the same look when I claim that it is ok for a man and a woman, strangers, sit in a restaurant, talking about anything.

What common sense? That when I see a man and a woman kissing behind some wall, that I should scream and gather the crowd around them? Or simply make a small noise to let them know I am present so they can either stop or go somewhere else?

Democracy is a failure (I think) because it has to be controlled by guidelines, and because the guidelines are different from one religion, tradition, or race to another.

What do u think? :???:


Abdelstar alslimat said...

Aim out of my mind please leave a message.

jameed said...

I do not believe democracy is a complete "failure", but I have come to realize that a little bit of dictatorship is not bad after all. The inherent problem with this approach is to find the right dictatorship to protect the democracy which requires the implementation of a fully democratic system to elect the dictator.
Wait, I don't understand what I just wrote...Is this another chicken and the egg argument that I am bringing up?

Bo3Bo3 said...


the right dictatorship. LOOL dude, that would be the ultimate, seriously, that would be the ultimate. Yet, dictatorship is the anti-democracy part. Unless they are to preserve the democracy. Sounds like turkey, right? the military says "have ur elections and do your yada yada thing, but if we don't like the outcome, then we ain't accepting it, because we wanna preserve the turkish democracy" A true chicken and egg analogy LOOOL.

Batir Wardam said...

I become nevous when I read such statements that undermine the value and impact of democracy. I think it is only in the Arab world that we are still having headache with this problem. The majority of the world has chosen its path towards democracy. I am not talking about USA and Western Europe but about a country like Bangladesh whose population can elect a women as prime minister in a muslim society, and in countries in latin America that were subjected to military dictatorship for decades but are now enjoying democracy.
The guidelines of democracy are social and political norms, but they need to be developed from within the society itself. Our problem is not religion since we can look at Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and even Iran but the traditional Arab mind belives in the myth of the super leader and the ruler of the mass. If we can change this inherent problem we can develop guidelines for democracy and be able to elect our leaders and vote for our way of life.

Arrabi said...

thoughtful post. I want to write a long post on democracy, and hopefully will do soon. But for now, I'd like to comment on your ideas:

Democracy, as a system, attempts to achieve Acceptence and not Absolute Correctness. The assumption is that the riht solution is usually what the majority agrees upon.

In your post, you judged the Correctness of decisions using democracy. Correctness, or "absolute truth", is not what democracy claims.

In the factory example, you've phraised the problem as "what is the best salary level in a company?" you argue that an employee-democracy will reach a wrong solution of 20%.

But actually, democracy tries to answer a slightly different problem: "what is the salary-level that most people in the factory will accept and will not cause them to go into violent riots?"

Democracy assumes that intelligent people who know the long-term effects of the salary-changes will be able to convince the others of the right solution. Since each person has slightly different needs, the agreed-upon solution will be somewhere in the middle of what most of people want.

At the end of the day, democracy can guarantee one thing: No Violence (or Acceptence). The disagreeing minority will not resort to violence because they know they are out-numbered by the agreeing majority.

On the other hand, the correctness of the decision depends on the average quality of the people involved.

Thus, democracy is not the "silver bullet solution" that will end all problems. It's just the beginning of the long-process of educating and raising the quality of the people to make the right decisions. Increaing the awareness of people to the results of their thinking is what makes democracy works.

Bo3Bo3 said...

Batir and arrabi

I tried to argue against ur comments, but I couldn't. You have strong somments dudes, and I just wanna reflect more on them. Very persuative comments may I add.

Thanks both for ur comments, I wannat reflect on them more.

Batir Wardam said...

By saying that comment Bo3Bo3 you have proved yourself to be a democratic person. Belive me, more than 90% of our population will never even think of "accepting" another argument let alone commending it. Now, this is where democracy is born, in our minds and ability to accept other ideas, and since you have proved to be such a democratic person I urge you to belive in democracy while you are already practicing it. I know most of the political leaders in parties and unions and they call for democrcay day and night but they do not have your courage and honesty.

Anonymous said...

YO ...Democracy = good if you have smart people ..... Dictatorship = good if you havea smart leader that of course is not selfish and wants good for the people.

Over all every country needs to choose there own type of government for the peoples needs....and over time every country will change its government as people change