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Is Democracy Universally Beneficial?

Does democracy the way it is defined really suit every nation and culture?

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not against democracy. I just see it not working in it's present form when introduced in several Nations. Perhaps, there is need to examine the fact that Nations have different cultures and ways of life which make it difficult for the kind of democracy many seek to practice to actually work.

I attended a conference recently and we struggled to find any Nation which has recently embraced democracy with positive impacts on the lives of the ordinary people.

My belief is that America and the west should stop rushing Nations into their own form of democracy, especially when the proper grounds have not been laid for such a form of government. Cultures differ, so do beliefs and practices.

Does democracy in it's present form as drummed into our brains really make life better for EVERY nation?

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Excellent, you understand this point. Now you'll agree that those same corrupt leaders could very easily be dictators in power with no opposition. Now a dictator will have the ability to rule till he/she is removed by a force of Nature or Man? An example of such a person is Gadaffi. He may not be corrupt. What if he were though. Then the people of Libya are stuck with him till he dies.

What if Obasanjo were to squash all opposition. Outlaw political parties and turn the leadership of the country into a family affair. Basically the current ruling class will stay there until they die. You still think that kind of government is better than a democracy? Give it a sec, it will come to you.

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I will start by thanking Easyy for starting up this thread. Dont know people are thinking what am thinking

Nigeria is practicing Democracy for the sake of it without benefiting any dime from it.

Democracy in itself is not an end but a means to an end.

I will rather live in Libya under Gadafi than in Democratic Nigeria. People are looting the treasuring and parading to be democrats, of what use is it to anybody that we are practicing democracy when they have not eaten.

Our Democracy will only begin to be worthwile when Nigerian leaders no matter their party begin to pursue National interest. Otherwise we can forget it.

I fell in love with Duke the day I read a qoutation by him on wikipedia which says

I saw sincerity in every bit of that statement.

No matter your democratic or political values, the priority should be National interest.

This accounts for why Western Governments no matter the party in power always has the same foreign policy. NATIONAL INTEREST

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@Easyy,

That has been the way I perceive people like this, as long as you agree with their positions whether such positions are right or wrong then you are a good person.

I guess in most cases, they are just victims of their environments, where everything they say becomes law, where they are not used to hearing things not expressly sanctioned by them.

And the moment you are able to present information that is clear, unambiguous and factual, they find it difficult to swallow the fact that they have been wrong and the next thing is to resort to insults and abuses.

The simple question is this - why resort to insults when you have enough information to counter the other person's position? Only a weakling and an insecure being will resort to insults the moment he or she begins to find it difficult to make his or her positions known.

And tomorrow we wonder why Nigeria is in a state of mess, with people finding it difficult to accept responsibility of what they know and what they don't know.

I once stated that I didn't know the meaning of some acronyms here and I was surprised at the number of people that responded as if it was a crime not to know something.

However, what they fail to understand is that it is 100% better for one not to know something and admit it than for one to claim to know what he/she does not know and yet ignorantly prepare to defend the indefensible.

The price to pay for allowing these people bulldoze their way with incorrect or tribal, ethnic or religuous sentiments is too high that I have chosen to respond to such lies and misinformation while being ready to respond to posts in kind.

Posts devoid of insults will be responded to in kind and posts full of insults will equally be responded to in kind.

Enjoy.

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@adconline,

Thanks for the kind words.

I believe the world will be a better place when people realize that they cannot get away with anything they do.

I come from the school of thought that holds the olive branch with the right hand and a gun with the left while allowing people I deal with decide how we interact.

There must be disagreements but in disagreeing with one another there should be mutual and unconditional respect for all the parties involved.

It may also interest those that think the best way to put their points across is to insult or abuse others that those that advocate for peace all the time may actually be the most prepared for war.

I hope this forum gets back to what it used to be where people let common sense, logic, facts guide any form of disagreements.

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I joined this forum because I felt it was for  progressive minded people. I have always wondered why good topics dont generate alot of  responses. Because it must abuse, incite, tribalize, sexualize,insult. I think we need to grow up. Afam has always agreed and disagreed with me, but has not  for once abused or insulted me. I think its Newton's law " for every action there is equal opposite reaction" His posts smirk of brilliance and intelligence. The very fact that one does not agree with you does not make one less educated. Needless to brandish our academic qualifications cos  this is an anonymous forum where you  know nothing about anybody. I read Nlanders everyday and see how people reason and I must admit that  most of their  posts are above average IQ.

back to business,

Is UK  a democracy since house of Lords members serve for life and are not elected?

Hosni Mubaraka of Egypt is a democrat?

Omar Bongo of Gabon is a democrat?

Democracy has nationally benefited Zimbabweans

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In otherwords, you are boasting about your achievements but only giving reasons for boasting about them, still doesn't look good.

Complaining about insults seems plain hypocrisy because the facts on this forum shows that you started the insults but obviously became surprised or humbled by the responses in kind.

Make no mistake about it, it is not everyone you will run your mouth like a ruptured tap on that will tolerate you, some like me will pay you back in kind and in full too.

Empty barrels they say makes the most noise, you still have a lot of years before you hopefully and the time is now for you to shape your future, you may choose to remain a lying hypocrite or you may choose to discuss or argue with people without resorting to insults based on differences in opinions canvassed.

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Take your advice and use it yourself. I never "boast" about achievements until arrogant but unintelligent people come trying to prove they are intellectually superior especially by using insults!

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I'm glad you posted a link cause that shows you at least took the time to do some research. A welcome change.  Now I'm going to assume you know the difference between being elected as chancellor of Germany and being selected/elected (whatever you want to call it) by your party to represent them at the elections. I'm also going to assume you are aware that being selected by your party to run in elections does not automatically give you the right to run a demorcratic country.

Now even if Hitler where demorcratically elected into government by the people of Germany which he was not, I fail to see what point you're trying to put across.

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Ordinarily, the second quote clearly answered the first concern but on NL words like elections, democracy, rule of law all have different meanings depending on who is being discussed or it is sometimes fashionable to agree that something happened only if it fits the expectation of another entity.

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@Mariory

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Are you kidding? Adolf Hitler was democratically elected? Oh dear God, history has been turned upside down. I think you'll find Hitler was appointed. i'm done with this thread. To carry on would be to repeat myself.

The Party was run by an executive committee whose original members considered Hitler to be overbearing and even dictatorial. To weaken Hitler's position they formed an alliance with a group of socialists from Augsburg. Hitler rushed back to Munich and countered them by tendering his resignation from the Party on July 11, 1921. When they realized the loss of Hitler would effectively mean the end of the Party, he seized the moment and announced he would return on the condition that he was made chairman and given dictatorial powers. Infuriated committee members (including founder Anton Drexler) held out at first. Meanwhile an anonymous pamphlet appeared entitled Adolf Hitler: Is he a traitor?, attacking Hitler's lust for power and criticizing the violence-prone men around him. Hitler responded to its publication in a Munich newspaper by suing for libel and later won a small settlement.

The executive committee of the DAP eventually backed down and Hitler's demands were put to a vote of party members. Hitler received 543 votes for and only one against. At the next gathering on July 29, 1921, Adolf Hitler was introduced as Führer of the National Socialist Party, marking the first time this title was publicly used. Hitler changed the name of the party to the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler#Hitler.27s_entry_into_politics

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@David Adenuga,

I may be ignorant but I am not as daft as you are.

The issue here is not about Afam but since you have been unable to sell your lies and hate filled idealogies I guess you are hurt.

By the way, I have learnt to tolerate the views of a 22 yr old that is enjoying scholarship and may have been taking positions on issues that will not make the host country (US) send him out of the States and straight to Ogun State via Lagos, totally understandable.

When you are done with your education, you may have matured to an extent where you can fit well into reasonable discussions.

For now, face your studies and hope for the best in your life because your current style will only lead you to total destruction in the near future.

Meanwhile, if level headed folks like you have quit arguing (in reality you find it difficult to argue intelligently though), then I wonder why you don't just relax and read through the posts of those you think you are better than.

On insults, that was your trade mark until I started responding in kind to your childish insults when you come across opinions that don't fit into your warped sense of reasoning. Those who advocate for peace may actually be the ones that are the most ready for war, think about this.

One more thing, no one on this forum is capable of forcing his/her views or opinions on others. The best one can do is either show to the world how ignorant, silly, knowledgeable, organised etc one is and in this regard you have shown the world more than enough for people to know how your brain works.

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@ Mariory,

You should have quit ages ago, arguing on threads that has ignorant folks like Afam pretending to be intelligent by forcing their oppinions on others via insults is no use! Most level headed folks quit arguing ages ago!

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Are you kidding? Adolf Hitler was democratically elected? Oh dear God, history has been turned upside down. I think you'll find Hitler was appointed. i'm done with this thread. To carry on would be to repeat myself.

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by the way Adolf Hitler was democratically elected

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I expected you to engage your brain but once again it has failed you.

Speaking refers to speaking out against oppression. There was a context upon which the word speak was predicated

you have nothing sensible to write in support of your silly beliefs so you just resort to insults and all.

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Would you please stop typing just for the sake of typing and think. I cannot phantom how anyone with half a brain will actually believe it is better to not have a say in selecting who creates the laws you live your life by. This must be what arguing with a brick wall feels like. Your opinion wrong as it is, is your opinion anyways I guess.

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These people with 'colo mentality' dont like to hear that. They are only interested in whatever their sponsored weblinks feed them.

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@adconline,

Tell them oooo as dem no gree. Dem say facts no dey lie.

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May be we do not know that the best country in Africa is not a democracy- Libya http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/country_profiles/819291.stm.

May be we do not know that the two fastest growing economies in the whole world are not democracy- China and Vietnam.

May be we also recognize that Nigeria is not a democracy but a civilian state. May be we have to know that democracy is all about numbers- 11 fools Vs 9 geniuses. May be we do not know that noble laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh has positively touched more lives than most politicians.

I think wealth creation trumps our own kind of democracy because most Nigerians understand poverty more than democracy.

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It is a human issue.

Do you even know what a kleptomanic is? Abacha and IBB deffinitely weren't/aren't kleptomaniacs.

With demorcracy you have a choice to vote in leaders that work with your idealogy or leaders that don't. Rather than have whatever leaders forced on you. The point in demorcracy is, you at least have a choice.

You really do not have a clue. you really don't. The information Media in general, in Nigeria, have drastically changed compared to what it was during the dictatorships. You really don't have a clue.

I don't want to keep repeating myself but, you really should pull your head and finger out. Start putting the side of your brain that deals with rational/logical thinking to good use. It isin't there for fun.

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To say that a type of government is not practised anywhere else and so should not be practised is to imply that one must follow what some others have done. Is it a semantic issue?

We had Abacha and Babangida who were nothing but kleptomaniacs. Does that mean every other government will be like them? Do you need me to start naming democratically elected heads of governments who have plunged their nations into the abyss or close to it? Maybe as a result of that, we should also jettison the idea of democracy.

It is arrant NONSENSE, mildly put, to suggest that the presence of the internet in Nigeria is a direct product of democracy. For you to suggest such a thing is beginning to make me have doubts about your ability to rationalise. I criticized a few undemocratic governments in Nigeria so to say that criticism is a result of democracy is nonsensical as well. Gani Fawehinmi has criticised every Government in Nigeria: has Nigeria always been democratic then?

How dare you lecture me about living in North Korea! Have you ever lived there? There are many Nigerian girls in Italy who have stories to tell about Nigeria simply because they believe those stories will help them get what they want; there are quite a few in UK too. Do these people necessarily present a true picture of what's happening in Nigeria?

Stop giving me garbage that you have been fed by your right wing media.

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No doubt you understood what you ment there that cause I didn't and could care less.

You obviously have just been replying without reading first. If you had read you would have seen I have already stated Democracy in itself is not perfect. Where did I say all governments should be structured like the American government's? You are putting words in my mouth to support your arguments. The UK government is certainly not structed this way. I have only said democracy is the best form of government.

1. If you don't practice a form of government where people are free to express their basic human rights (democracy) then you will find yourself in trouble.

2.We also had the Abacha and IBB etc regimes. To some people these guys were angels who could/can do no wrong. Does that make such governments ok. Not in my book.

3.Yes indeed look at us. The fact that there is internet in Nigeria today is a consequence of democracy. The fact that you can criticize government is a consequence of democracy. The fact that you can join an opposition movement that has contrary views to that of government is a consequence of democracy. Yes all the freedom you now take for granted is a consequence of democracy. Yes it's cute to live in a free society and criticize democracy. Maybe you should try living in places like North Korea. Then we'll compare notes on which type of government you prefer.

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How do you know that? He may have succeded in cleansing us of the evil of corruption. Or are you one of the beneficiaries of the corruption of that era?

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If you practice a style of Government simply because that is what works elsewhere, you may find yourself in trouble. I think that's one of the main problems with Nigeria.

We had the Idiagbon regime which, in my opinion, was what we needed at that point in Nigeria to stem the tide of rot which was engulfing us but a number of westernised people thought it was a dictatorial regime (my parents also thought so). Look where we are now! The Idiagbon regime may have succeeded in changing our mindset for the better but now the average Nigerian has a corrupt mindset and sees corruption as a necessity to move ahead.

We got a democracy which our mentality was not able to cope with. LOOK AT US NOW

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Now you are coming out with what you really have inside you.

you believe that what should be practised is what is being practised by some other nation. Democracy should be a system where citizens elect those who have the rule over them. So why does one person have the powers to SELECT ministers who take decisions about the way our lives are lived? why dont we get to elect ministers who make policy decisions?

The point is that there is no perfect democracy anywhere in the world.

You would rather want everyone to practise what is practised in the US. That's why you ask 'since when have ministers been elected anywhere?' It should not be about what is done anywhere but about what works for every country.

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Donzman, thanks for clarifying that we have no democracy in Nigeria. Why has George 'war monger' Bush not taken it upon himself to attack Nigeria for having a dictatorial leader?

I hope it's not because many american companies are very free to explore/exploit Nigeria's resources. Discussion for somewhere else.

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There's no instance where democracy will not be beneficial if it is practiced properly. Democracy is only as good as it is practiced, so you cannot say we have democracy in Nigeria because what we are practicing is not democracy. Atleast not democracy as I know it.

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Look no offense but, you starting to sound ridiculous. In China, the people do not decide who leads them. The Communist party does. Nigeria, UK, and US are not one party states. I don't know what they hell ministers have got to do with this. Since when have ministers ever been elected anywhere?

I know the truth is hard to accept for those who love to hate America. Face it, their form of government (Demorcracy) is the best of the bunch and it is spreading. It's only a matter of time before China joins the club.

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Iraqis were told what type of government they were getting and they were just to go and vote. They had no say in what type of government they get. They can only influence the personality make up of the government, not the type of government.

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Are the people of Iraq now free to decide what type of government they want?

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It's not that simple. The people of Iraq were not free to decide on what type of government they wanted. You seem to be forgetting how dictators operate. Anyone making noise about a new government is simply executed.

About China, read this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_protests_of_1989 (a massacre)

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If China is not democratic, Nigeria is not democratic neither is America or even UK for that matter.

In China, the President and Vice President are not directly elected. In Nigeria, no one elects the ministers, same applies to America. Every nation should decide the best way to form it's own government rather than being forced to do things the way America wants it done.

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oh common now. Let's not get carried away. China is not demorcratic. It is a one party state. With a population of 1.3 billion, there are only 7.9 million or so registered voters. None of those voters get to select the president or vice president. There are indeed other political parties in China, but they only participate in the People's Political Consultative Conference, which endorses Communist party of China's (CPC) policies.

China is run by three seats of power. The State Apparatus, the People's Liberation Army, and the CPC.

From the same link you posted.

The President and vice president are elected by the National People's Congress for five-year terms. The people do not get a chance to vote at all. The National People's Congress membership is still largely determined by the Communist Party of China.

If you are a member of the communist party, you can vote for who will represent you in Beijing. Its more of a relationship kind of thing than a real democratic process. No one with truly independent ideas may run, and no one who is not a member of the communist party can be elected. It is a one party state, and it is still largely run by the military.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-party_state (see links at the bottom for more info.)

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There is democracy in Communist China. You can chose to say they are repressive BUT they are still elected by the people and there is the presence of a parliament. I got the follwing information off the net

There is more thn one party, though the communist party is the majority, and so they have all the say

Direct elections in the People's Republic of China take two forms: elections for village leader in selected rural villages and elections for local people congresses. Each people's congress then conducts an election for the next higher level of people's congress, culminating in elections for the national legislature: the National People's Congress (Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui). The NPC has 2,979 members, elected for five year terms. Deputies are elected (over a three month period) by the people's congresses of the country's 23 provinces, five autonomous regions and the four municipalities directly under the Central Government, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau and the armed forces. The size of each college of delegates is related to the number of electors in the constituency. 36 deputies are elected in Hong Kong.

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061009021427AAG6gPk

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Now about the challenge

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In what country? Who elects members of the parliaments?

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A poser!How many countries are still communist apart from the regimes in Beijing, Pyongyang?

What happened to their former comrades?What is on ground now?There's no ideal Government,no Utopia so to say only the best form of governance-democracy

History tell us that Marx, Engles and Lenin had a brilliant plan to make all the workers of the world equal but those 'prodigal sons that took it upon themselves to be missionaries failed woefully- Stalin and his successors,Chairman Mao,the revolutionaries in Africa etc!

China has the fastest growing economy in the world because the Communist party relaxed rules on enterpreneurship and private ownership of property. So Fortune 500 companies, High Street etc have all flocked to China. It's still somewhat communist but not totally!

Not to be mistaken i've said that the US isn't the model of democracyShe is not!Blacks started voting less than 4 decades ago so i don't share the noise about being the bastion of democracy!A nation that invades other nations, topples governments and kidnaps them all in the name of national security!Look towards Europe as i said Denmark, Belgium , Finland, Estonia, Latvia and see the gospel of democracy!

Communism isn't a government you choose!Rather unpopular and the experiment failed after 70 years!

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@Mariory,

Go ahead with you diversionary tactics let those that choose to discuss the real issues continue.

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You have brought me a definition well tailored to mean what some want it to mean. Did you also see it defined as follows?

A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

Nothing there about authoritarianism.

Westerners are very good are twisting definitions to mean what suits them generally.

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Ignoring irrelevant ranting, What was your basis of then saying demorcracy is giving way to things that are immoral? Of course in comparison with other government systems?

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@Mariory,

I never stated that non democratic societies are moral. What are you getting at, manufacturing statements so you can go personal? Won't work now and won't work ever.

Meanwhile, being naive may be better than being silly.

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http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/communism

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And what makes you think non-democratic societies are moral? Don't be so naive. A very immoral person can also seize power (several examples of such people in Africa in the past decade) and do what he likes. The difference with democracy is that you will have a say in whether someone you disagree with stays in power.

You folks are forgetting that no one is saying democracy is perfect. What is being said is that it is the best form of government whatever your ideas or beliefs.

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Afam thank you very much for your wonderful comment, couldnt have butressed it any further

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Democracy certainly is not universally beneficial and a few pointers will attest to this.

Democracy brought about the present leaderships in Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Lebanon, Russia, Afghanistan etc.

In South America (continent) a lot of leftist presidents are springing up and these people are democractically elected, not thorugh coups.

Even in the US, democracy as is practiced today seems to be giving room for a lot of things that are even immoral.

Gays and lesbians are asking for equal rights even when God created Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve.

If democracy is exported to the middle east today, countries like Saudi Arabia will gladly shut their oil taps against the US and we all know what the consequences of such actions will be.

For the simple fact that people are different, democracy as practiced by one country should not be made universal and the recent push for such universal adoption has recorded unexpected scenarios with a free and fair election bringing a Hamas led government that clearly says they do not want Israel to exist, same with Iran where the present president won by basing his campaign on anti western propaganda as against the former president that was leaning towards the West.

In Nigeria today, democracy has destabilized well organised institutions that have survived thousands of years without problems. The Ibos naturally do not believe in kingship whereas the Hausas believe in kingships where a single person has a near total control over the people under him.

The "red indians" were living a happy life before the invaders came, killed, maimed and established themselves on another man's land. Not sure they were practicing democracy then but I assume they were happy and living in peace, at least Columbus recorded that as one of the things that shocked him when he stepped foot on their land.

It is best for countries to develop the best style of governance that suits them, not trying to import another person's way of life.

Democracy is just a game of numbers and has nothing to do with morality just as 90% of a group may decide to pass into law something that is bad and it becomes law because in democracy majority will always have their way while minority their say.

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Just found this,

Historically, the word "communism" may be used to refer to several types of communal social organization and their supporters, but, since the mid-19th century, the dominant school of communism in the world has been Marxism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-communism

It doesn't say it's opposed to democracy

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You may wish to educate me and tell me exactly how communism means a non democratic state.

I await your enlightening definition and explanation

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You said democracy brings economic prosperity. I simply said that was bollocks and gave an example of why. I never said China had happy and free citizens, I was strictly talking about economic prosperity and how it has nothing to do with democracy. You think the UK is a REAL democracy? Yet they are doing well economically as well. Oh, plus people are flocking their from all over the world for job opportunities. Democracy doesnt equal economic prosperity. The fact isnt that hard to understand except you are dim witted.

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people are doing.

Paper prosperity means nothing when you are unhappy. When you have a mind but must not express it.

The people of China are in bondage. The shocking reality behind this "prosperity" will one day be revealed.

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If I was living in China, I would probably be in jail for allowing you to criticize the government.

Would you like to be executed for the beliefs you've expressed on this forum? That is China for you.

How can a government improve when people can be killed for simply criticizing it? We don't need such here.

The idea that someone who has the power to execute anybody will use the power altruistically is silly.

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