Freedom and democracy. How I have come to loathe this phrase. Two-lofty-words-and-a-conjunction bandied around by handmaidens of Empire: verbal grenades that can gut entire nations. When I hear “free
|Scooped by mcc43|
[...]The first words uttered by you as you rose up against your US-backed dictators were “honor and dignity” – not “freedom and democracy.” How did that fact get lost in the mayhem to follow?
And why on earth would this distinction make any difference?
For one, ‘freedom and democracy’ has always suggested western-style standards for governance and social liberties alien to the Mideast. We’re just not there yet – not on those terms anyway - and we’re not likely to be. Many regional states are just entering the nascent phase of what will undoubtedly be a rocky political evolutionary process – with each nation creating wholly indigenous models of governance, as unique as their individual cultures and histories. What if some towns would like their political process determined by an old-fashioned cockfight? What if a strongman is the only way to prevent the disintegration of a nation-state or the outbreak of ethnic and sectarian carnage? What if people genuinely don’t give a toss about gay and lesbian rights, preferring – imagine that – to find employment and feed their kids first? Women’s suffrage? Gender-integrated football stadiums? Childcare in the workplace? Worker’s rights? Important stuff, but... Feed. Child. First.
And then there’s that other unfortunate association: freedom and democracy brings with it a cornucopia of weapons, military bases, bombs hailing from skies heaving with US-made drones, financial assistance tied to all shades of silliness.