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Monday, June 18, 2007 

The Hidden Golan (UPDATED AGAIN)

In the original post, yesterday, I said:

"Second - how close Syria's Ambassador came to justifying dictatorship. Of course, he wasn't referring to Syria. It was in the abstract. Of course. The argument is that democratically elected leaders aren't held accountable for four or five years (we were talking about the Iraq war - 2 million people marching in the streets of London couldn't change Blair's mind). In a dictatorship, his argument went, leaders have to be much quicker in reacting to public opinion to maintain the frail mandate they cling on to.

It's a valid claim and an interesting critique of democracy. I'm not sure if that justifies dictatorship though."

I completely forgot to mention this excellent post by Yaman, which came to my mind as the argument was going on at SOAS.

Thanks for the link sasa. Actually that post also came to my mind when I read yours =) I guess in some respect I share his criticism of democracy as we know it--but I think his attempt to say that a dictatorship must react more quickly, while interesting to think about, is so ridiculous at face value. In any case, my post was not a call for dictatorship. It was a call for more democracy.

Yes, I understand Yaman.

Actually, it is interesting how far democracy is from the people. It really is one day of democracy every five years. In our lifetimes, we get less than 20 democratic days, but that reckoning.

Gaddafy's Jumahiriyah was an interesting concept - the idea being that society is made up of a pyramid of committees, with everyone able to participate in day to day decision making if they want.

Democracy is a daily thing, with every participant making decisions relevant to their lives, and having an impact on things higher up the chain.

Of course, it didn't work in practise. But direct democracy always gets rationalised down into representative democracy.

In my opinion, representative democracy is no democracy. It shares more in common with dictatorship than it does with direct democracy. At least in a dictatorship, we know what we are fighting against.

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What is the deffrence between a democracy and a republic .?.


I can't answer that! Good question. Anyone else got any ideas?


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  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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