Monday, 25 June 2007


These last years the efforts to preach and spread democracy worldwide has remarkably increased. I cannot help thinking this to be as futile as my vain attempts to make our cat stand up and walk on two legs.

Nowadays, elections are being held in Iraq, in Afghanistan as well as in some other cutthroat countries in Africa, sponsored by the US and the European Union. Wherever these elections are being carried out we are being told here by our faithful media that a great step has been made towards peace and prosperity for everybody.

Ten deaths or less during procedures are considered splendid, kind of collateral damage, not to be fussed about. Same for some little vote rigging here or there or some trouble with the counting.

However, afterwards, business as usual: real changes are being made with the help of the knife, explosives, kidnapping. Anything is possible, but certainly not the idea that by presenting the last voting bulletin you can convince the present head of state or little warlord plus his family, clan or tribe to resign from his lucrative job.

Here in the West, we have had democracy in its primitive form for hundreds of years. The English Magna Carta goes back to the 13th Century and in Germany and the Netherlands the bigger towns - kind of citizen states - had an elected town council who governed.

And furthermore, in all these cities and regions as well as even in many absolute monarchies in Europe there was something like the rule of law. Not perfect, far from it, but there was a written law and it evolved slowly according to the needs.

Maybe not everybody knows this famous story of Frederic II from Prussia - an absolute monarch - who wanted to extend his castle ground by purchasing a nearby mill. Well, he never succeeded, the miller stubbornly didn't want to sell. Finally, after years of judiciary actions Frederic gave in.

All this means that countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or The Congo have no use for western democracy, they simply don't have the background. This non-violent way of government must come by the people there and certainly not from outside. Thus it may well need centuries or might never happen, God knows.

Meanwhile, let's better leave those countries alone to their own devices. At best, those who have the power outside, should sponsor a benevolent homegrown dictator who busies himself with building schools and roads and an efficient health system. That's the very best we all can hope for.