From the 1960’s until only recently, the masochistic personality of the United States has been beating up ourselves over our support of dictators. In our fight against communism, and in our pursuit of self interest, we were horrified at our immorality in our support of brutal dictators, for example Augusto Pinochet and the Shah of Iran. We neurotically demanded that all countries, such as Chili and Iraq, live up to our moral ideals.
But all of sudden, with the advent of Islam expansionism, dictators don’t seem so bad. It seems that Iraq – and the whole world – would have been better off with Saddam Hussein than it has been been since his overthrow. The same is true with Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. He seems to have been almost enlightened compared to the Muslim Brotherhood who now wants to take over Libya. And what happened when we supported the overthrow of the brutal dictator, Hosni Mubarak, in Egypt? We supported democracy. Hurray for democracy.
The first thing the Egyptian people did was to elect a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, who was intent on driving the Jews in Isreal into the sea and establishing an Islamic society in Egypt. And then onto worldwide jihad. A military dictatorship, led by General Abdel el-Sisi, quickly took over the government with a coup d’edat — with our support. So much for democracy in Egypt.
The same can be said of Generalissimo Francisco Franco in Spain. Although a brutal dictator, he kept Spain out of World War II and he stopped the communists from taking over Spain (and kicking out the Catholic Church).
This brings us to the great fallacy of many Progressives, liberals, and idealists. Although a political/economic situation can be bad, it can always be worse. Revolution doesn’t always make things better.
Perhaps the U.S. policy of working with dictators in a pursuit of a better world is more rational than overthrowing the bastards and establishing something worse. We can’t demand that the whole world conform to the ideals we create out of our imaginations.
This brings us to the second great fallacy of naïve idealists: Not every country is capable of having an authentic democracy. (I know, I’m “deplorable” for having such an idea.) Pushing democracy onto a underdeveloped country, with a neurotic belief that all cultures are equal in their cultural and political development, only often makes things worse………much worse.
Since there is no power or assembling above them so no one can veto any considerations put forth, they have overwhelming power. Since the voices of the all inclusive community are not tuned in, consistently in oppressive regimes there aren’t any choices. Likewise, in light of the fact that in military oppressive regimes they have complete control of the military, they beat any uprising and quiet any supporters of various pioneers.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
It seems like that is a pretty good description of authoritarian governments. But my argument is that recent history has demonstrated that sometimes the alternative is worse.
It turns out that sometimes the vote of an all inclusive electorate isn’t the best for the country and the world. A good vote depends on an informed and well-meaning electorate (which is an argument for not giving the vote to any Tom, Dick, or Harry who knows nothing about current events and doesn’t even have ID).
After all, Hitler won by a vote. And Napoleon was given dictatorial powers by a national vote as well.
Good points. And the strength of democracies is that you can kick the bum out. (Although the next bum might even be worse! But then you can kick her out too.) The dictators stay forever. Like you say, they want power.
tx for your comment,