Skip to content

Long known democratization folly

May 16, 2012

Long known democratization folly.

Dream of free election instantaneous cure for any nation’s ills persists against all experience.

Leading to debacles in Russia, Albania, Africa, Arab spring, etc.


Jeane Kirkpatrick’s official portrait. 16th United States Ambassador to the United Nations In office 1981–1985

Great scholar and ambassador to the  United Nations did her best to wake us up.

“Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits [for effective democracy]”

“Kirkpatrick concluded that while the United States should encourage liberalization and democracy in autocratic countries, it should not do so when the government is facing violent overthrow, and should expect gradual change rather than immediate transformation”

Jeane Kirkpatrick – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://bit.ly/Ml0v2r

Kirkpatrick published a number of articles in political science journals reflecting her disillusionment with the Democratic Party with specific criticism of the foreign policy of Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Her most well known piece was “Dictatorships and Double Standards,” published in Commentary Magazine in November 1979.[9] In that piece, Kirkpatrick mentioned what she saw as a difference between authoritarian regimes and the totalitarian regimes such as the Soviet Union; sometimes it was necessary to work with authoritarian regimes if it suited American purposes.[4] She wrote: “No idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime and anywhere, under any circumstances… Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits. In Britain, the road [to democratic government] took seven centuries to traverse… The speed with which armies collapse, bureaucracies abdicate, and social structures dissolve once the autocrat is removed frequently surprises American policymakers.”[1]

Rose among thorns. 1981 Reagan Cabinet. Not, one hopes, either “the last rose of summer” or the last summer.

Dictatorships and Double Standards – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“”[Traditional autocrats] do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations. Because the miseries of traditional life are familiar, they are bearable to ordinary people who, growing up in the society, learn to cope . . . .”

“[Revolutionary Communist regimes] claim jurisdiction over the whole life of the society and make demands for change that so violate internalized values and habits that inhabitants flee by the tens of thousands . . . .”

Kirkpatrick concluded that while the United States should encourage liberalization and democracy in autocratic countries, it should not do so when the government is facing violent overthrow, and should expect gradual change rather than immediate transformation.” http://bit.ly/JjRGzF

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: