Iraq shows it still has problems. As I said in my ENO TRAP FODNE blog Iraq has a problem with the idea of real democracy. Though the US armed forces have left the cities, retreating to the rural areas ready for for deployment out of Iraq, and the PM of Iraq declared a national holiday to mark the withdrawal of troops, there was still violence as a car bomb exploded, killing 25 and injuring 40 more. I guess, sadly, there will be more of the same as religious/political sects use weapons rather than words and debate and democracy, to get their own way.
This kind of anti-democratic behaviour is also to be seen in Iran, with the peoples riots in Iran after the election being quashed violently by the government. I guess they learnt from the Chinese government. It seems that violence and oppression is the only way they know how to govern; so my thoughts that reality of democracy is an alien concept to the hard lined fundamentalists of religious orientated countries and egocentric despots has, sadly, been confirmed.
The hardliners are people want power for themselves and their consorts. They have no concept of civil, religious or human rights. This is not new. Power is a addiction and with addiction comes abuse, either of ones own body, or in the case of governments abuse of civic and civil activities of others as the addict tries to maintain that high – the power control – that drives the addict to not only abuse his body but also to abuse others who might stop him from being addicted. Like an addict who mugs and murders someone for the means to continue with his addiction, power addicts do the same to their people, even to those people who are addicts with them and to all intensive purposes are on their side. Addicts don’t reason (not in the normal understanding of the meaning of the word reason), negotiate, or consult. Addicts just act for their own benefit. The only way an addict can be helped is when he admits he is wrong!
And of course not all power addicts are Asian, Balkan, Middle-Eastern or African (Idi Amin and Robert Mugabe come to mind). You only have to look at Blair and Brown and dear old G W Bush and Margaret Thatcher to see how power corrupts and arrogance and conceit creep in; even something as ‘low’ on the addiction list as expense fraud is a power addiction – addicts hope they do not get caught or found out. Thatcher, Blair, G W Bush and now Brown have never admitted that they are, or were, wrong. Their addiction blinded them to reason, they failed to negotiate and consult with others of a different view, because it took away some of their addictive power. They held on and are holding on to the addiction of power.
Nor are power addicts just of a fundamentalist religious bent, as we saw above, past despots of the world were not all religiously orientated, slavishly egocentric yes, but their religion was not their power base, but religion does add to to power addicts fever and addiction. Does that make all religious people power addicts or dangerous (see Dawkins, Dennett and Hitchen for atheistic views)? And would Christians be any different? History says look back to the Papal despots and the murderous Crusades and Inquisition. Look back at the Oliver Cromwell’s and the Bloody Mary’s - Queen Mary was known as ‘Bloody Mary’ (see UK history). Power was their addiction. Power was their “raison d'être”.
Power to those given through or by so called heredity assent or so called democratic election with out checks and balances leads to power addiction. Would you or I be any different? It depends I guess on how addicted we became.