Hello Fellow Student Philosophers!
The following is something I wrote down a few weeks ago, forgot about, and then, just recently, found on one of my father’s computers in his office. Re-reading this has re-spurred by interest in the topic, so I figured I’d post it here to see what you guys think.
George (“The Meager Weakling”)
Unless you’ve been who-knows-where for the past few weeks, then you most certainly know of the hubbub that’s been going on in Egypt, Libya, and other Middle Eastern countries. One of the interesting things I’ve noted about what’s happened, especially in Egypt and Tunesia, is the people’s demands for Democracy, or Democratic-like processes, in place of the governmental system (or processes) already in place, against which they are protesting.
This brings me to wonder about what exactly, from a philosophical perspective, would account for this. What is so inherently good about a Democracy over other governmental systems such that a people would want to default to that system, and only that system, over any other?
Now, I don’t want to say that what the Egyptian, Libyan, and Tunesian people have (with respect to their governments) is any good. Indeed, I think the opposite is true. But the status quo being bad doesn’t necessarily mean that Democracy is the solution, or that it is ‘good,’ per se.
In fact, it seems to me that Democracies are subject to a heck of a lot of quarrels and problems of its own. Just take a look at what’s going on in Congress if you want a clue at what I mean. And indeed, in any system, there will be some problem with it as long as humans are part of the picture (given that we’re imperfect by nature).
But what makes a Democracy less of a problem-filled solution than another form of government? Again, what is so inherently good about it such that the people would default to it in their demands? (I mean, take a look at Jordan, for instance. Except for the bit of hubbub that was in the news some weeks ago, I haven’t heard much about the people uprising against their monarchy so as to over-throw it in favor of a democracy.)
Could this be a thesis-antithesis-synthesis thing going on here?
What do you guys think?