It finally happened. Sooner than I expected, too. Sitting in my Politics lecture, I was finally accused of “being into authoritarianism”, after publicly challenging the concept of Democracy.
Isn’t University a “platform for academic debate”? Well, I thought so too. What I didn’t think is that a few questions would lead to such a statement. Me! I’m all for liberty, human rights, freedom, etc, etc.
Being free is nice. Believing we’re free is even better. However we must be realistic and assess the effectiveness of this Democracy we keep singing about. Countless conflicts have been going on, millions of people have been dying, all in the name of “democratisation”.
I’m not saying countries should bow down to their authoritarian regimes and remain ignorant as to what’s outside the cave, but the concept of “fighting for peace”, “dying for peace”, grinds my gears just a bit.
Let us take Northern Africa for example. The Arab Spring, which has really never ended, aimed to break free from the authoritarian regimes that had been in place thus far. Which I agree with. I do want to see my fellow africans free to exercise their liberty. But I remember sitting through a talk on Africa’s political context, and someone had a good point, “who says Democracy is the best regime for Africa?” Does anyone take the time to consider such a question? Or does it seem too ridiculous that Democracy may simply not be the best solution in a specific case?
I get that Democracy “works” in the USA and why they’d want to spread it all over. Thanks, Captain America, saving the day as always. But Africa is not America. We have a different history, a different way of doing things. There are social, anthropological, you name it, differences. And all these factors should be taken into consideration, before we start invading countries, waving our superhero flags and saving the world from “the conservatives”.
I’m sure the Greeks were genuine when they came up with Direct Democracy and self-government and all those really fancy philosophies, but as I see it, we have not yet proven to be fit enough to govern ourselves. And although giving power to the people sounds beautiful and is very politically correct, the 51% might just happen to be a bunch of people sitting around playing Angry Birds and not caring about what’s happening in Syria!
That said, I’m not into authoritarianism. I just don’t trust the people with the power. (in that case, us)