Elections Do Not Equal Democracy Time to Stop Pretending

All this talk of democracy in the wake of the Arab Spring is annoying me.

It’s not just the Arab Spring either, the Americans and Brits found it politically expedient to pretend that democracy was flourishing in Iraq and Afghanistan when all they had done was press gang people into ticking a box on a piece of paper.

For some reason in the 21st century it has become fashionable for people to believe that the mere appearance of democracy is enough to make it so. It is not. In Japan and Germany it took years of benevolent dictatorship before democracy began to flourish. They didn’t hold elections as soon as possible and they didn’t pretend that there was anything other than a government ruling from thousands of miles away. Whilst they were doing this they were introducing the foundations of true democracy; a free press, an efficient police force, an education system that raised an entirely new generation with the understanding of democratic principles.

Until these essential elements were in place there wasn’t even the pretence of democracy. Once these elements were in place there was no need to pretend a democracy was in place because it really was. Now look at the ‘wonderful’ democracies here in the Middle East. Elections aplenty yet still no freedom of the press, no freedom from arbitrary arrest, no educational reform, in short absolutely nothing that will result in any fundamental changes to the societies that have done so much to get rid of their tyrants.

What may happen is that the minuscule amount of freedom that the people living in these countries currently enjoy will be taken away from them. It is entirely possible that religious intolerance will be imposed on entire populations and when that happens the wonderful people of the West will simply shrug their shoulders, “well we tried” they might argue, those in the Left won’t even go that far, “finally we left them alone” will be their line as the very values of freedom they claim to love so much are utterly destroyed by despots that they back, Ken Livingstone working for the Iranian regime’s Press TV is an excellent case in point.

I was happy when Mubarak fell, I thought to myself that maybe now there is a chance that my brothers and sisters over the border will know life where they aren’t spoon fed anti-Semitism by the media and will know life in a country where they can be truly free. But I was wrong, Israel is the only beacon of freedom in a part of the world that point blank refuses to let anything resembling it through the door. The Arabs of the Middle East are doomed to live in a perpetual darkness of their own making and should Assad fall the only thing that will change is the name of the dictator ruling over Syria.

About the Author
Marc Goldberg is a copywriter and avid blogger, author of Beyond the Green Line the story of fighting through the al Aqsa Intifada in the IDF Paratroopers https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Green-Line-volunteer-Intifada-ebook/dp/B075HBGS21/