My Thoughts about “Was Democracy Just a Moment?” Article Robert Kaplan’s article “Was Democracy Just a Moment?” is an extended critique of the concept of democracy and its attendant practices such as elections and multi-party democracy…
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His arguments go back and forth into time with the objective of providing a resourceful historical analysis of the manifestation of democracy throughout the evolution of government. The inaugural speech by President George W. Bush espouses some of the ideals some of the American ideals that attend to the question of democracy and America’s approaches in spreading the ideology beyond its borders. Basically, the remarks made by President Bush might be considered as representative of the dominant American thought on the question of democracy within and without its borders. The speech is informed by multiple nuances and subtle warnings that give meaning to past, present and future American approaches, methods and intention on the subject of democracy. There are mild threats and incentives throughout the speech, which are meant to highlight America’s intended objective of impressing democratic values in all areas it can spread its influence. One of the weighty assertions made by Kaplan in his essay is that the collapse of communism would not necessarily lead to the thriving of Western democracy (Kaplan 1). This assertion is consistent with most of the central themes that are explored in the entire article. In this article, Kaplan provides several examples to build his argument against the place, relevance, and suitability of democracy in the modern world. His central argument is that unexamined application of democratic processes might lead to the same, or even more, disastrous ends than authoritarian regimes. On the other hand, the speech by former President Bush makes the point that the survival of liberty in the United States depends on the success of liberty in other lands (Bush 1). This assertion may appear straight and plain but it condenses America’s foreign policy and its approach and application on the question of democracy. It is important to consider some of the challenges of democracy in light of the assertions made by the two parties. There seems to be an obvious point of demarcation in the positions adopted by Kaplan and Bush. The tone in Kaplan’s article is essentially critical of the ideals of democracy. Much of the argument is informed by examples and illustrations of the failings of democracy. Kaplan argues how once stable political institutions were wrecked after the imposition of democratic processes. He cites cases in Latin America where seemingly dictatorial or authoritarian regimes appear to be more stable than those that uphold the principles and practices of democracy. An important statement that lies between the lines of Kaplan’s argument is that most of the democratic processes are essentially governed by the other cultural and historical factors. For this reason, Kaplan argues that it would not be very prudent to impose democratic systems of government to countries whose histories and cultures do not resemble those of the west. Kaplan observes that the kind of challenges and historical processes that have taken place in the west are conducive for the thriving of democratic processes. Kaplan’s assertion could be examined in light of the difficulties experienced in imposing democratic processes on institutions that are essentially divided along ethnic lines. This assertion fits into the concern of applying democratic processes to sharply divided societies. The consequence as illustrated by various examples in Kaplan’s argument would be the entrenching of divisions and creating of conflicts. The massacres in Sudan and
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