The Problems of Creating a Democracy
I was recently studying the events of the past few years as Iraq attempts to create a new and stable government. As I read, the discussions and debates in Iraq had similar theories as those we discussed in section with a unique spin on it. There are a variety of opinions as to how the new democracy should be run, but they can generally agree that they desire a democracy. As they began to discuss democratic options for the Iraqi people, new problems began to arise.
First off, I would like to point out that Kant’s idea of speaking out but still obeying has been enacted at points in the process toward a new government. Some groups have voiced their opinion, but done so peacefully, yet there are still other groups who have voiced their opinion as well as taken matters into their own hands through violent demostrations and vigilante actions.It appears that the obedient groups can make little headway and that the more proactive groups create a dangerous and unstable society. After looking at this scenario, I believe that courageously speaking out (or becoming “enlightened” as Kant says) is only advantageous where a stable society and government has already been created. In a stable society, speaking out with obediance can eventually influence the greater government and people as a whole, but if there is instability and disunity, this method cannot be applied.
Another interesting spin that the Iraqi desire for democracy brings is the influence of religion. An overwhelming portion of the population is Muslim, and a good portion of those Muslims desire the government to have a backing of Muslim Law. If a religious law is used as a basis for a democratic government, does this not exclude those in the country who are not part of the Muslim faith? I believe that it is difficult to run a country on a religiously based platform if it is to be truly democratic. On the other hand, there is no ‘true’ democracy in the world. Every democratic government has it’s own adaptations to suit and give a say to the people which it governs. In this sense, I believe that having a democratic government with a religious base is a possibility. Every government created by the people will be different from the others because each group of people has it’s different opinions and desires.
In the recent reading by Hannah More, she brings up a quote by a Parson that says one should “study to be quiet”. I took this to say that one should learn and understand restrictions by the government in order to accept it and not speak out against it. I believe this applies well to the current creation of a stable Iraqi government as well. A variety of groups all want different variations of democracy. Some with checks and balances, some with religious text to back it up, and some with a simple majority. But they can all generally agree that they want a democracy. In this case, I believe the idea of “studying to be quiet” could aid the creation of a stable government in Iraq. Sacrifices must be made to create an effective and stable government, and I believe that each political group would soon find a basis for government if concessions are made. Some must lose their liberty in order to give freedom to all others. Some who break the law will be incarcerated in order to continue the freedom of others. Without compromise and concession, a democratic government based on varying ideas is impossible. The difficult part is now finding who needs to compromise what. Every individual is different, and governments cannot completely represent the desires of each individual, thus, sacrifice is needed for an effective democratic government.