I am increasingly skeptical of the Liberalist school of international studies. Democracy is not an absolute: its nature is altered by the cultural, economic, geographic, historical, and theistic framework of a place or group. Put bluntly, democracy changes the structure of a state, but not the nature of the nation that lies beneath.
It is a great and worthy act to make yourself a citizen of the world by accepting all moralities and belief systems as equally valid. It a far greater and more difficult achievement to become a global citizen by cleaving to your values while being tolerant of, respectful to, and friendly toward opposing moral codes and those who live by them.
As a part of a rundown of expert opinions on the situation in Egypt, Tablet Magazine spoke to Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations. Gelb was asked a question about how well the U.S. Foreign Policy establishment was dealing with the crisis. His response:
“The naivete in the foreign policy community here is astonishing. For the moment, they’re intoxicated by democracy, at the total expense of U.S. security.”
The phrase “intoxicated by democracy” is superb. Clearly Gelb doesn’t think much of Tom Freidman’s belief in World Peace Through Local Elections.
The 21st Century is a terrible time to be a control freak.
–Jared Cohen, U.S. Department of State