Bush was partly right. Democracy is important. But I’d argue that if anything capitalism may even be more important.
You see, democracy is only half of the picture. Remember Bush’s vaunted “War on tyranny” everywhere? This is yet another one of the marketing slogans he used, right alongside the “ownership society”. So we are fighting this tyranny everywhere, but helping to overthrow these regimes and installing democracies. (Well, supposedly we were, until Obama came onto the scene). But installing democracy isn’t enough, since it only goes so far.
These countries need a damn good dose of capitalism as well. It’s a proven fact that nothing does a culture more good than a big dose of freedom and money which can be gained through work.
Democracy doesn’t do anything about truly empowering people directly: all that it does it gives you the choice of selecting which tyrant will lord it over you – it gives no real power or influence to the people. You still only have a finite set of choices of “leader” – and most of the time, they are just out for themselves anyways. Remember Election 2008? Was there any real choice between the soft leftism of McCain and the hard leftism of Obama. Same thing, different name.
Capitalism truly gives the power back to the people. In a capitalistic society, the people create their own wealth, they don’t expect it from an overarching government. They go out and make their own luck, their own money. It’s the ultimate in personal responsibility.
Actually, I take back what I said at the top of this section: we don’t really need democracy. We need democracy in order to implement capitalism: democracy lets us implement capitalism without fiat. Trust me, people want to be free. It’s a proven fact.
If we could implement capitalism, then let the democracy flow from the freedom and trust and economic power that capitalism unleashes that might even work better.
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