Comment: The dark side of liberal democracy
Paper Edition | Page: 8
July 13, p. 6
It has been more than a decade since Indonesia reconstituted its democratic politics. Despite various problems, such as ethno-religious violence, rampant corruption and widening inequality, the country has enjoyed a series of relatively peaceful elections, sound macroeconomic stability and international recognition.
Nevertheless, one big question remains unanswered: Are we sure that our current form of electoral democracy is enough to answer our problems?
Liberal democracy, or more accurately, a functioning electoral democracy has been seen as a “panacea” since the demise of dictatorships — from fascism, Stalinism, and authoritarianism in the East and in the West.
I quote: “The peasantry and rural population were gradually excluded from politics at the same time when [the US and England (sic)] were maturing their democracies.”
If large classes of people were being gradually excluded from politics, in what sense was democracy
Which historical period are you referring too? How do you account for the growing enfranchisement of workers, racial minorities and women, which took place in the 19th and 20th centuries?
What is the connection between “the end of the Cold War” and “resistance struggles in major Western democracies”? The end of the Cold War appears to have more to do with resistance struggles in Eastern European communist states.
How can the “War on Terror” be characterized as a resistance struggle in a Western democracy? The “War on Terror” was undertaken by the government of a Western democracy? Was George W. Bush resisting himself?
According to you, democracy has an inherent tendency toward violence and exclusivism. What violence? What kind of exclusion? And excluding which people?
You “totally understand” the inherent tension between institutional stability and the exclusion of the other in liberal democracy. But I am totally mystified! What are you talking about?
Your insights into “what is happening in Indonesian politics these days” could be more interesting if they were more precise.