Thursday, February 09, 2006

Doing the Math

Recent world events have led me to believe that the Bush Administration needs a little math refresher.

So, here we go:

Equation 1:

     free elections ≠ democracy

Fact: Ensuring free elections does not in any way guarantee the implementation of a democracy. There are more fundamental social and political requirements that must be met.

Equation 2:

     democracy ≠ freedom

Fact: Having a democracy, or a democratically elected body, does not guarantee that any freedoms will exist.

Equation 3:

     freedom = tolerance

Fact: Freedom is centered around the principle of tolerance of differences. Differences of opinion, differences of religion, differences of race and culture. Without tolerance, freedom cannot exist.

So, that leads us to our final equation for the day:

     freedom + democracy ≠ forced free elections

In other words... you can't force democracy on a country, or a people, who do not already have a culture of tolerance - and just making elections available doesn't accomplish anything towards the goal of freedom. And you cannot reject a tolerant society as "unjust" simply because its leaders weren't democratically elected.

End of lesson. That's all for today class.



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