Monday, October 05, 2009

Democracy and its preachers

Socialism Needs Democracy Like the Human Body Needs Oxygen - Leon Trotsky

The latest blabs on democratizing Iran by ousting its insane president Ahmadinejad had been rotating lately. Of course, as I wrote last year, the president is worthless, while it is the Wali el Faqih, currently Ali Khamanei, pulls all the major strings. This leads to the question: What is the use of throwing Mr. Ahmadinejad in the first place?

Nevertheless, my main interest is not writing about Iran at all currently, but rather on those capitalists who preach democracy, and lead a very normal life in the West. This is of course not to doubt the intentions of some of those who preach democracy, some of them have really the intent, but promoting the "US logic" of democracy in the Arab world yields zero feedback.

Democracy as we know it, took centuries to evolve in Western Europe, and rapidly in the US, with the African Americans hitting the streets to demand for their civil and human rights. Nevertheless, even in the West, where citizens get respect from their police force, democracy rotated around, to quote Karl Marx, electing the oppressors every certain time period.

Those preachers of Democracy of course come through several institutions, mainly through US AID, World Bank sponsored projects/proposals, and other institutions. As far as I know, both political parties of the US, whether Republican or Democrats, have branch parties across the globe, composed of ex-pats, seeking to promote the Western culture of democracy. However, if we consider the West as central and Western Europe (along with the US), then even there democracy is not really accessable for a lot of people. The US proletariat are as confused about the realities of the world due to media monopolation, and of course, they are alienated even from their surroundings due to the hectic business rush lifestyle to survive. Homeless people live in the streets of several US states, and if I remember correctly, there was an accusation between the Republicans and Democrats during Bush Jr's first election, that party representatives were going to the streets bribing the homeless with cigarettes to go and vote. Of course, we expect the preachers of democracy over there to come here. Latin Americans have been facing abuses all the time (even from African Americans), while several Arabs walk in fear due to fact any 'wild cowboy bill' can point at them and yell "terrorists".

Now I need to mention one tiny detail of all those "democratic crusades" that come to the Middle East and elsewhere (North Africa, Eastern Europe, others...), the majority of them come here because they are paid to come here. Their work involves think tanks, associations, organizations, and lectures. The bulk of their work ends up on a nice dry paper that nobody would read except few academics, and probably an official or two. Yet, emancipation on the ground provides fruitless communication. The fact that Ziad Baroud made it as a Minister due to his hard efforts and good reputation proves a victory of the local NGOs against such efforts of "democratization". Although Baroud's supporters in my opinion require a different post. Even Baroud, with the support of all the networks behind him, that include reforms & proposals, vanish into thin air at the first political instability that hits the area (whether local or regional). The main reason is: Democracy cannot begin except by empowering the proletarit to unify across the ethnic and sectarian borders.

The corrupt elites of the third world make sure that the status quo among the proletariat remain divided. It can be seculars, berbers, moderate Muslims, and Islamists in Morroco, or it can be sectarian isolation in Lebanon. The proletariat lack the means to identify their own rights, and their own strength if they are united. Now of course, someone will jump and say: our projects reach out grass root people on the ground and in rural areas. That person who actually jumped in front of me was a diet reformist in Kosovo. Well, the same person would jump anywhere in any country that wants to democratize. The Western preachers of democracy would assume that the people are ignorant of their rights, this can be solved by couple of workshops, some nice donations, and a nice group picture in the end of the event. So far, almost all nations excluding very few (even though those few as mentioned earlier have defective democracy) are still where they are: corrupt leadership at the expense of the people. My question to those crusaders of democracy would stem, why not change from their side of the continent? For example, why the activists won't ask the US administration why it still supports dictators like Moubarak and the Sauds regime. The support to these people thwarts democracy backwards, and bring instead Islamist groups as an option (due to the fact someone smart in the past thought that strengthening the Islamists would weaken the socialist tide in Asia and the MENA region.

In Lebanon at least, all those workshops, and all those conferences ended up in less than 24 hours when 14th of March and the Opposition hit the streets and shot at each other (not to exclude the heavy artillary exchanged between Hezbollah and Junblatt's PSP).

Socialism is the true path to democracy. Those in the West who sit in Lalaland and scream: "let us give them democracy" reminds me of the 16th - 19th century of Europe's colonial powers of taking in charge of "civilizing" the American continents, Asia, and Africa. I do believe the term was called "White Man's Burden". I guess now it transformed to "Western burden". Marxism is the real tool which breaks the grip of the elites on the proletariat over here, for the elites want their people to be divided into tiny ethnic and sectarian groups, that assists the flow of profits into their pockets, or their parties (as the case of Hezbollah benefiting from the funds from Iran, and the donations to the resistance). This is not an easy task, and its path is long; however, all other paths have been tried and they hit the wall. The current democratization processes include to preach a "common" person that they should vote, but democratization doesn't tell the person how he/she should form a unified front with other proletariats to safeguard their rights, for a vote is no longer a right. A vote is a game competition between the elties of the society. Instead, we have fancy conferences within the academic sphere whereby 20 professors travel abroad (to Beirut) to speak in panels, everyone dozes off, and whoever organized the conferences can click "check" next to his budget time plan sent to his donors.

They forgot that we inherited those democratic institutions from the colonial eras that were intended to divide and conquer. The elites kept them to safeguard, acquire, or renew their powers. Those crusaders of democracy should also know that the economic burdens of the proletariat, and how more "extra efforts" they should put to secure democracy (namely to sign a paper that they participated in workshop X or Y) are too much a waste of time.

I am sure more and more examples can be written on this topic
Let me be clear, there is no war but class war, end of story



Renegade Eye said...

The preachers of democracy in the Middle East, weren't pleased ehen the Iranian masses took their fight to the streets. Even a bourgeoise secular government, could have ramifications throughout the Middle East. Some on the left, thought it was a CIA conspiracy. In Minneapolis we were the only active left group, working with Iranians. They can't tell a revolution from a counterrevolution.

The bourgoise preachers of democracy, do so because democracy is less expensive. No bribes needed. Dictators also have a tendency to go into business for themselves as Saddam etc. Even the Stalinist bureaucracy proved top heavy.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

Your words are totally true comrade, very true

Darko said...

"The proletariat lack the means to identify their own rights, and their own strength if they are united."

Exactly, giving people democracy when they lack the capabilities and the means to identify their right and begin to comprehend the power that democracy offers them is like giving a little kid a key to Ferrari, he likes it because its shiny and makes funny sounds but when he has it he wont know what to do with it and he'll prolly end up hurting himself with it(best comparison i can think of atm)

But in Lebanon it seems as if everybody has settled for the illusion of democracy whereas the local war lord will use democracy to assert and legitimize his hegemony over his people(sect)

When Chavez came to power, he started printing the Venezuelan constitution on these little pocket sized books and distributed it to the people for free so that everyone can know their rights and what they should excpect from their government

I dont know about you, but i lost all hope in this land and its people. Here in Lebanon we as leftist have become out numbered and sidelined from the political scene, those who agreed to play the game even though it goes against everything they believe in have settled into a mediocre role(SSNP) and those who dared to voice their opposition were ousted from the equation(LCP).
I'm afraid this country is doomed by the corrupt system and there;s nothing we can do about it anymore
But still, its nice to have u back, i was in need of a some place i can rant in and someone that would hear me ranting

Darko said...

I think George Carlin said it best:
The next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election.

MarxistFromLebanon said...


it is people like you and me and everyone else like us who are final salvation for this part of the region. Believe it, wherever you go, corruption follows.

At least we can do is document these incidents, since we lack the history, for ourselves in the future and in the long-run the next round of activists