On democracy

SL Lee view on democracy and why it is wrong to force it another country. I concur.
Date:   02-26-04 09:32
My view is that democracy, as much variably defined as it exists in the different forms, is a means and not the goal of achieving a better society. The goal is to have a society where people can have a comfortable living, where people can have personal satisfaction of being able to contribute talents and skills for a comparable reward, where the old, young, and underprivileged are taken care of, where people are not discriminated by their belief and faith, or ethnicity , or nationality (when it still exists).
While a family is a basic unit of the society, people extend their concern to other families within the larger community. This is essentially described in the Utopia (Liyun Datong Pian) of the Book of Rites, written some 2500-3000 years ago and summarized by Confucius. Here I have added a bit of the modern ingredients.
Each country has its own cultural background and history that shape the way it is. It is unrealistic to ask all nations to follow one system opr adopt one form of democracy. While democracy is a model and a pathway that might lead to a better society, it might not be practicable, especially not appropriate to be ‘promoted’ by force, which in fact violates the principle of democracy. The achievement of a better society is mostly through evolution, and through the gradual understanding of the people within the community.
How do we look at the quest for independence or separation of a segment of a country? How does democracy apply to such situation? Like divorce of a couple, rights to the properties and custody of children should be agreed upon by both parties. It is illegal for any party to just grab the kids and run away. The same should be true for national affairs.
A country of multiethnic constituents is blessed by the colorful culture of each component. It also has to resolve the inevitable conflicts of the inter-ethnic interests. It would have to consider the interest of the majority without neglecting the rights of the minority. To use inter-ethnic differences as a tool to raise support eventually will backfire.
Modern genetics tells us that we are only different from the chimpanzees by 1% of our genes. Should the fraction of a percentage cause such hatred and incompatibility among people that could lead to global disaster?
I am probably not answering your question, but raising more questions to be considered for all of us living in this complex world.

About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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