The Ambrosini Critique
Sharpening my knife
Or did I go wrong? Is it *still* too early to tell?
Not sure how safely I can apply my own experiences here in Japan to what a typical Iraqi feels, but I’m workin’ with what I have…
As an American (or Canadian, or Australian, or English person… etc.) we understand what it means to live in a democracy. The idea that a government’s powers are limited is so normal to us it falls into the “uff duh” category.
But ask a person living outside of these conditions what “democracy” means, and I think you’ll find a common reaction is “being like America.” Really think about that for a minute. It’s quite sad. Ultimately democracy is about people having the power to govern themselves. But to someone who says it means “being like America” it means something quite different. Some examples:
-Free to be morally corrupt.
-Free to live in sin.
-Free to use drugs.
-Free to disrespect your culture and traditions.
-Free to be uncultured and base.
-Free to undermine one’s family, community, and culture.
You may argue that in American culture you are indeed free to do these things, but that would be missing the point. Further, particularly in cultures deeply rooted in tradition, often “free to” is impossible to differentiate from “expected to.” Thus, acquiring a democracy is synonymous with throwing your culture down the shit-can.
In God We Trust
Look at our American government. The folks who set up our system clearly thought very deeply about how best to keep a government’s power in control. In spite of their best efforts, they STILL couldn’t get religion 100% out of government. And this by people who had the motivation and foresight to do it that way! This goes to show how impossible it is to strip culture out of government. Now we’re just going to waltz in to a country and drag people kicking and screaming into democracy?
Once again, it comes down to education.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
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