This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Human Rights Watch – You are Disgusting!

foundationist's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by foundationist

Comment 9 by susanlatimer :

You can't build democracy on a swamp or it crumbles. It's fragile enough as it is.

Strangely enough, that doesn't really seem to be the case. At the risk of godwyning: Look at my native country of Germany. After being ruled by what is generally agreed to be the worst form of totalitarianism and fascism in human history by a movement that enjoyed overwhelming support in the population they started a democracy by a series of shady deals and keeping all the second-row criminals in office. Our first parliament consisted to 2/3 of former members of the NSDAP, all the leaders of the economy - like the Quandt family kept their money and power, the secret service consisted almost entirely of former SS-members and was heavily involved in assistinng the escape of the worst mass murderers of history.

And yet, somehow, in virtually no time at all, something that is in many respects an excemplary democracy arose out of all this muck. It has of course many flaws, and many of them are directly linked to the fact that the country was built largely on the myth that in between 1933 and 1945 a small band of devious criminals somehow oppressed a reluctant - or at worst seduced and lied to - population. But it is a working democracy nontheless, and back in 1945 nobody suggested that the germans would "need time to form a civil society" and "learn the values of democracy" as it is always patronizingly said about the Arabs, or even the posty-Soviet Russians.

What do we learn from this for the future? I'm blowed if I know.

Sadly, "democratic" societies have often violated human rights but in a healthy democracy, the means to correct that is available (the women's rights movement or the civil rights movement in the U.S.).

Yes but to this day nobody has renounced the Military Commisions act that basically removed pretty much all fundamental human rights from any person the executive branch of the government labeled 'Terrorist'. To the contrary, Obama just signed a law that specifically included US citizend into this category.

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 11:53:54 UTC | #910885