Sunday, January 30, 2005

I remember, vaguely, when the Berlin wall fell. It was a big deal to the adults around me, but I didn't really understand the situation, and wasn't really affected by it. I wrote something about being "very happy" in my journal, since that seemed to be what they wanted to hear.

But today I'm grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of a free, democratic Iraq. I acknowledge the difficulties present and future, and I'm happy to argue in the comments. But c'mon, people, this is a great day. Democracy now!


Voracious Reader said...

Isn't it amazing and a blessing too for the Iraqi people and the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

I vaguely remember (vaguely, since I don't pay much attention to that part of poli spectre) various liberal sources predicting election falure because Iraqi people haven't rise to understanding of democratic principles yet...


Odious said...

Hey VR, nice to hear from you! Diggin' the blog. A blessing, yes, especially after a long, long time of troubles which is not yet over. Still, celebrate with the celebrators, and mourn with the mourners. And there were a lot of people celebrating. Most heartening to me was the turnout of women, especially in Sunni-dominated areas, where I wouldn't have expected many to dare. Cheers and awe to those indomitable mothers and daughters.

Tatyana: Yeah, the "unready for democracy" argument has been bandied about some, although, to such pundits' credit, less than one might expect. Oddly, it's the same argument that's been used against every disenfranchised group in history: women in Wyoming, blacks in South Africa, etc. I stand by my conviction in the inherent sensibility of a free people; a sensibility which can only blossom within and into a democracy.

Still, as I said, most major pundits have either been remarkably sensible themselves about the whole thing, viewing it as a hopeful but in itself incomplete event, however joyous (and joyous indeed!), or else, if unable to comment because of a prior ideological engagement, at least being so good as to avoid fabrication of tawdry conspiracy theories.

I exempt Mr. Fisk from any congratulations.

Anonymous said...

No, it was not only my unsure recollection:
Anyway, time to build.


Odious said...

Yikes, that's a nasty quote from Sen. Kerry:

"I think that politically, historically, the one thing that people try to do, that society is structured on as a whole, is an attempt to satisfy their felt needs, and you can satisfy those needs with almost any kind of political structure, giving it one name or the other. In this name it is democratic; in others it is communism; in others it is benevolent dictatorship. As long as those needs are satisfied, that structure will exist."

Thanks, Tatyana, for bringing that to my attention. Clearly I have underestimated the lengths people will go to in order to avoid congratulating an opponent.

The "stability" one is rather unpleasant as well. The cry of "stability" (and, I'd argue, "sustainability") has brought misery to more places than I can easily number. That sort of sur-Realism found its home everywhere from Kissinger to Chamberlain. All sorts of dictators and other filth, propped up or ignored because people can't handle change. At least they had the Cold War twenty years ago, however threadbare that excuse became.

Fundamentally this nation is founded on the proposition that All Men Are Created Equal. We deny Hobbes--the State is not created solely for our protection, but in its existence as a Republic is itself a demonstration of that proposition. To view such a State as merely one among a multitude, even if the "best" or "most efficient", is to miss that point. Certain human needs can never be satisfied outside of a democracy.

I have run off at the keyboard a bit here, but it's late and I feel strongly about this.