How do you decide that a country wants to be a democracy?
There is no easy answer to this as well.
A guy you know has a chronic illness and he will suffer more if he doesn't move more instead of just sitting at home. He doesn't think being more active is necessary. Is it proper that you force him to work out every day? (You also make some money if you force him to work out every day)
You put dangerous trash in front of your house and the neighbor's kids use it to hurt each other and also throw it at your kids and sometimes hurt them. Is it proper to do something about that?
There is no right or wrong but I believe some things are obviously less wrong or more right than others.
That ignore's a whole lot of culture. Democracy is part of western culture. It is a biproduct of individualism, and individual rights... These are not universally agreed concepts and a lot of people don't agree with them.
Essentially the "Democracy is a universal good" is just US propaganda that furthers its own interests.
Democracy does not come before Culture; though Democracy can certainly influence Culture.
Only when the Culture is compatible with Democracy can you have it.
Not only is this logical, but it's also demonstrated over and over in the world.
What worked for America 300 years ago, does not translate to what will work for Iraq or Lybia today.
Even things like georaphy, rivers, and the type of soil you have can influence the type a government or system the country subscribes to. Not even mentioning the big one, Religion.
And when you have a miss-match... Instability replaces a stable structure (even if that structure was based on strong rule, it at least keept things working "better").
You should also refrain from name-calling other people on HN just because you don't agree with their opinions. It doesn't really help you ... unless you're looking to impress the anti-Microsoft or KimDotCom crowd here (just a helpful tip someone once told me).
> Democracy is, more or less, the only way to get human rights for citizens (a little simplified, but not by much).
I'll just correct your line a little, it is one of the most efficient ways to get individual rights.
> So you're saying that rule of law, women's right, etc (see e.g. the UN declarations) are just Western propaganda -- other people don't want it?
No, I wasn't saying that, those were your words. The UN declaration of human rights, is not incompatible with the notion of collective rights. That is, you don't need to have individual rights, to still provide human rights.
> Afaik, everyone and their dogs try to emigrate to where they can get these rights and the good economy that comes in an open, democratic society... (and/or bleed in the streets for them.)
This is simply untrue, who is 'everyone'? The majority of the world's population don't live in the west, and aren't trying to migrate to it.
Those that do migrate, are motivated by security and economy. Though these things can be related to democracy, the motivation is not related.
> Thanks for a good laugh. I'll still assume you're a troll or from the 50 cent army.
Unnecessary to degrade the discussion like that. I am merely providing an alternate point of view. I know that can be confronting, but it's the point of view that is confronting, not the person providing it.
First you wrote: "[Democracy] is a biproduct of individualism, and individual rights... These are not universally agreed concepts and a lot of people don't agree with them."
For individual rights I brought up human rights from UN etc.
You answered: "No, I wasn't saying that, those were your words."
That is wrong.
You did say "individual rights" yourself -- I just answered with the general rights which are (more or less) supported in democracies. But you knew that.
I wonder a bit what you mean with "collective rights"? (Clans? The communist party? Your church/mosque?) Not enough to really care. Your position seem too much like an abstract (sophistic?) defense for oppressing people by claiming rights for groups. Not new in history.
>>You'll see the the above is not incompatible with Human Rights
From your original comment:
>> [Democracy] is a biproduct of individualism, and individual rights... These are not universally agreed concepts and a lot of people don't agree with them.
You claimed there that many people disagreed with individual rights, which I questioned -- using the Human rights from UN as an example.
Again -- you seem to be arguing something else now. Or your point of claiming a contrast is too trivial.
Thanks for the links to "collective rights", they were clearer than Wikipedia.
>>As per my original comment, democracy and the spread of it at the hand of the US is entrenched in its history
American exceptionalism is afaik something you find on the quite extreme US right? Also, the definitions of democracy in western Europe etc is quite accepted in the US so it isn't that extreme even there...
(Re child labour -- we had that in the West, until we could afford not to. It is a stage in economic evolution, which is best left as quickly as possible. Re alternative economic models -- please show me some that work and are tested, there should be better ways of doing economy.)
Well, there is always what happened in Bhutan, which went from an absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy by the King's own initiative (who abdicated after the transition) without any demand for it from the (Bhutanese) people.
Small country though, maybe isn't a good example (they also have lots of ethnic problems with Nepalese that cause disharmony).