Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Salon, Aug 1

Sue Blom's Salon convened on Friday the first after a month off. The topic under discussion was "Can Democracy be Imposed from Without?" We had a good debate on this subject. The reflexive answer "not for long," was refuted by the historical example of Germany and Japan. After World War II, we managed to incubate stable democracies in former enemy nations that had not had a long history of democratic institutions. We queried why those efforts worked, but Iraq doesn't seem like a likely prospect. We speculated that the utter defeat of the Axis nations had demonstrated the superiority of the democratic system convincingly. We considered it possible that the fact that Germany and Japan were both industrialized modern nations before the war may have made them ripe for democritization. We considered it possible that the tribal nature of society in both Iraq and Afghanistan made it less likely that Western styles of governance would take root. Of course, we meandered through a lot of digressions, including whether or not our own society can truly be said to be democratic, and how long it can endure.

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