(no subject)

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Wed Sep 26 2001 - 08:27:39 MDT

Mike Lorrey wrote:

We don't have 20+ years to withstand more and more terrorism if suddenly
the muslim world went democratic overnight. We should have to stand for
it, and we wont.

### IMHO, this is a very wrong attitude. Preventative restriction of
freedom, applied to any sane humans over age 5, can only be applied on an
individual basis against persons who proved their willingness to behave
destructively. Otherwise, you have to give children (and underdeveloped
societes) some freedom to let them err, and learn from it, otherwise you
will never see them become responsible adults.

Supporting authoritarianism against democracy to prevent adults from doing
what they want is wrong on a basic moral level. Every innocent adult (in
this context, a person who has not killed another innocent person, or
substantially contributed to such an act) has the right to do what he/she
wants, as long as they don't harm others. Only once they cross that line do
they become a subject to justice. Same applies to groups of adult humans.

What you say is that 800 million people are so twisted, stupid and
degenerate that the only government they deserve is a dictatorship. The
truth is exactly the opposite: tyrannies warp humans, deprive them of access
to knowledge, hurt them and then try to manipulate their resulting hatred to
control them. It can take years of social development in a budding democracy
to cast off the darkness that accumulates on human minds in the dungeon.

If a democratic country makes a mistake, by a majority vote (like in
allowing terrorist training camps on their soil), they can and should be
punished for it (after the fact, not preventatively, by somebody claiming to
"know better", or even be just plainly superior to the poor brutes in the
street). Such punishment, whether defeat in a war, or a reduced bond rating,
teaches all voters to choose better next time. A dictatorship gives no
choice, and no way of learning from mistakes. If Arabs are deprived of the
learning that comes with democracy, they will forever blame others for all
their problems, and be a major destabilizing force. Imagine what would have
happened if the US imposed a dictatorship on Germany after the war? Do you
think they would be US allies? No, they would hate your guts, and with good

Democracy (although imo not the best possible method of governing) is always
in the long run superior to dictatorship. The US should never become
associated with tyrannies (such as the Pahlavi regime), or else the blood of
every victim of their secret police (like the Savak in Iran) will be on your
(US voter) hands, too.

Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD

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