The Hazards of Imprecision

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

One of the biggest trends internationally has been the head-spinning pace at which freedom has been breaking out in the Middle East and elsewhere. Robert Tracinski of TIA Daily has done an excellent job of commenting on this, and Jack Wakeland's concept of "The Empire of the Pursuit of Happiness" goes a long way in explaining the phenomenon. I refer to this (and other coverage and commentary) here.

But sooner or later, the ideas with the commonest currency will affect the ultimate outcome of any revolution. For example, there is the valid concern that Iraq could end up an Islamic republic or worse. Fortunately, there are some strong secular factions in Iraq, and that outcome is not exactly preordained.

But we may see a preordained bad outcome in Mexico. Contrary to one of my earlier posts, it looks like Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the hard left mayor of Mexico City who wishes to ally Mexico with communist Venezuela, may indeed be a more popular figure than I thought.

[L]ast Thursday in Mexico City, where 300,000 protesters filled the Zocalo, the great plaza in the middle of the city, to show their outrage over the decision of their Chamber of Deputies to keep that nation's opposition leader from running for president next year. [Link below.]
In today's Washington Post, there's an article that I'd like to take with a grain of salt because its author has blatantly leftist sympathies. (We can always hope he's being overly optimistic....) Nevertheless, it shows in two ways the problem with using a term like "democracy" to describe what we have here in America.

First, what if a people (A majority of them will do in democracy.) regards communism -- that is, the looting of their nation and universal slavery -- as "democracy?" Get ready to wince at the author's blatant hatred for capitalism, which by the way has never been tried in Latin America, much less Mexico.

... Lopez Obrador's populist politics and smarts have made him the most popular political leader in Mexico today. The much touted "free-market" economics of President Fox have done nothing to improve the lives of ordinary Mexicans. Lopez Obrador's victory in next year's election would mark a decisive repudiation of that neo-liberal model. Coming after the elections of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Nestor Kirchner in Argentina and Hugo Chavez (repeatedly [and probably rigged]) in Venezuela, it would be one more indication, a huge one, that Latin America has rejected an economics of corporate autonomy, public austerity and no worker rights [sic].

Let's set aside the fact that Fox hasn't done much in the way of reforming the Mexican economy. These people actually believe that communism will improve their lives. Their revolution will come to less than naught. When a people has no inkling about the meaning of individual rights, they will revolt, only to trade one kind of tyranny for another.

Second, what happens when a commentator equates communism with freedom?
So, democracy in Ukraine? We'll be there. Lebanon? Count on us. Kyrgyzstan? With bells on. Mexico? Where's that? Maybe they should move to Central Asia, change their name to Mexistan and promise to privatize the oil. That's the kind of democracy the Bush guys really like.
We get a call to help Mexico become even more of an economic basket case and a security threat than it already is. With Bush rolling the dice on theocracy in Iraq, I'm not too sure he'll do what he should here: Turn a blind eye to whatever is done to quash Lopez Obrador and then pressure Fox and his successor to make real legal and economic reforms.

It is not "democracy" the world needs, but governments that protect individual rights. Democracy is mob rule and can lead to theocracy, communism, and other forms of tyanny. Had our leaders this understanding, we would have ruled Iraq for longer, as we did Japan after World War II. And our leaders would appreciate more the threat gathering south of the border.

-- CAV

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