Saturday, November 30, 2013

Democracy not for Everyone

Unpublished letter to the Toronto Star:

The clamour about Justin Trudeau's comment of Chinese success is misplaced (Rookie mistakes still hamper Trudeau's chances, Nov. 14). The complaint is based on the belief that democracy is the best form of government for all people everywhere and at all times.

Does anyone believe that, if China were a democracy, so many millions of its citizens would have been pulled out of poverty, and so quickly? To achieve such success in so short a time, those in charge had to be ruthless. (Thomas Hobbes would agree.) China is the envy of Western democracies because it is a tyranny, a tyranny with which those same defenders of democracy are most anxious to do business.

The noise extends to Trudeau’s admiration for Cuba’s American-inflicted struggling to get out of its economic and political past. Complainers object to the torture perpetrated on that island. Yes there is torture, but it is done by the American military in Guantanamo naval base. Does that mean one cannot express admiration for the United States?

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