Friday, September 22, 2006
I was sitting in class one day catching a bit of shut-eye when my (totally inconsiderate) teacher wakes me up with this rant about the United States' responsibility to go out and
spread democracy throughout the world. It was all "freedom" this and "stopping oppressive regimes abroad" that. Yawn.
As a person of Filipino descent, I know first hand the "wonders" of a democracy erected by American military might. Admit it, my fellow countrymen (and I know you're out there, since you make up freaking 25% of the school's population): our people suck at governing even one measly township, to say nothing of the entire country. If you see what goes on in the 400s at lunch, you'd probably jump to the conclusion that it's because Filipino people are just plain dumb. Dumb or not, Filipinos—or any group from a former American territory, for that matter—shouldn't be held accountable for their woefully deficient governments and here's why:
Let's use the analogy of a person and her wardrobe. Throughout the course of a person's life, it's obvious that they aren't going to wear the same kind of clothes in adulthood that they wore when they were ten years old. Even within the relatively short span of six months, fashions change at an alarming rate. The same is true with countries: while some of them are quite okay with wearing that raggedy old constitutional monarchy decade after decade, others wouldn't be caught dead in last fall's democracy, and still others find that they can't squeeze into their totalitarian regimes as easily as they could back during their first coup. Governments, as a product of its surrounding environment, respond to the ebb and flow of cultural ideals and change accordingly. Very rarely do you see in countries without a recent history of colonial occupation a system of government that contradicts the cultural sensibilities of the region. As much as fellow Courier staff writer John Chau would love to disagree with me, ideal Communism fits in quite nicely with the conventional Eastern social mores that stress collectivism over individualism, the importance of the group over the individual. But then Mao Zedong came along and well…the rest is history class.
Frankly, it isn't the United States' responsibility to go around spreading the wonders of democracy like wildfire. Still, Republicans aren't solely to blame for this epidemic of Democracitis. Are you there Democrats? It's me Ray. Now just between you and me, I want you to think of that one country that you really really hate. It could be Sudan with its flagrant human rights abuses or Australia for their backwards censorship laws. Now wouldn't you be happy if instead of "waging unjust wars" on sovereign nations with nothing but bucketfuls of oil, the United States used its combined military strength to go regime toppling?
I KNEW IT!
The fact of the matter is no matter how liberal someone claims to be, in their heart of hearts they wouldn't mind seeing at least one country crushed by the States. That last paragraph wasn't so much about democracies being unfit for certain people as much as it was about pimp-slapping the uppity liberal majority at this school (read: everyone).
To conclude, I want to point out that reckless regime change and war as a means of defense are two different things. I'm not saying that if another Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan sprung up we shouldn't bomb the hell out of them nor am I saying that after we bomb the hell out of them, we should scoot our butts out of the place without helping them out. I suppose what I'm really trying to get at is that in most instances, military force should not be used solely for the purpose of changing a government. They have to do something really bad before we start launching Tomahawks.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the following article are not necessarily those of the supervisor or staff at the James Logan Courier. In fact, I'm willing to
bet that they definitely are not the views of the supervisor or most of the staff.