Political lobotomy is so dangerous an operation that it creates only freaks with primary democratic characters
Perhaps all great powers, shooting ahead in the race of history (of course in their own opinion), strove to make happy the rest of the world by sharing the secret of their success.
Some peoples followed a prophet nation voluntarily, imitating studiously even its gait. The rest experienced a forcible political lobotomy, straightening their brain convolutions in the right direction to their own good. Ancient Rome experimented on all known to the Romans barbarians until the patients got finally tired of it. Freedom-loving France imposed stubbornly the Code Napoleon on all Europe until the Russian Cossacks made a visit to Paris. Mercantile London on the top of its might wanted to turn everyone around into tradesmen, grocers and money-changers - even a celestial, dreamer and philosopher Gandhi. Lenin and Trotsky would have liked to see the whole humanity singing enthusiastically the Internationale. Nazi Germany in search of the superman measured skulls and straightened the brain convolutions of the neighbors with tanks.
Alas, but the same sin, the impatient desire to make over every one after their own fashion, inheres in "the Empire of Good", the USA. It was patent in Vietnam, it is overt in Iraq. The undertaking is hopeless as a matter of fact: the convolutions tend to resume their own form even after the hottest ironing.
The explanation of the phenomenon is so obvious that it had already occurred to Herodotus, who noted in his History: "If one should propose to all men a choice, bidding them select the best customs from all the customs that there are, each race of men, after examining them all, would select those of his own people." Maybe it explains why the Turkmen, for example, having rid themselves of the Soviet supervision, didn't go forward but returned to their past, to the customs - which are exploited (not without some talent) by cunning Turkmen-bashi.
In short, the export of democracy is as hopeless as the export of the World Revolution. What is more, this lobotomy is so dangerous an operation that it creates only freaks with primary democratic characters.
It's quite impressing that USA doesn't get it so far. American politicians try hard to compete with Evolution. Color revolutions, supposed to promote democracy, every time entail quite naturally something different from what has been expected by the organizers. Now EU finds that Georgian president has manners of a petty banana dictator, then Kyrgyzstan' revolutionary democrats, after having barely gone to the streets, turn into vulgar pillagers.
As the ancient Romans before them, Americans believe sincerely that they are the people which example should be followed by the rest of humanity. This belief is childlike, but the naivety of the superpower is not that safe. It's good that there are Americans who understand it well and have honesty and humor to poke fun at the narcissism of their compatriots.
It's not easy to grow a viable democracy in the contemporary world. It's not without reason that among hundreds of formally democratic countries less than a dozen can boast of political, social and economic stability. I won't expatiate upon moral health of these well-nourished lucky ones.
So the seeds of democracy should be handled at least prudently. For a start it makes sense to foreknow the soil and the climate of a country where the democracy tree is supposed to sprout up. Americans at first boldly throw a seed over an ocean - as far as to Caucasus - and then, having encountered problems, they try to reanimate it, when a seed has already withered long since and has become natives' totem to which a formally democratic president and a formally democratic parliament solemnly lay flowers on camera. In other words the result is not a democracy but a kind of the plastic turkey with which G.W. Bush once regaled his soldiers in Iraq.
If only to recall how many lives and resources were wasted only in Iraq, it becomes clear that Evolution is more economical, intelligent and, chiefly, humane.
"The Empire of Good" regards its own sins in cold blood, though. And it will in the future. Until it collapses under the weight of the own arrogance; as it happened to other empires in the past.
As long-livers noticed: "Today Caesar, tomorrow nothing".
quinta-feira, junho 16, 2005
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