Thursday, October 30, 2014

Freedom? You Can't Handle Freedom!

Do some people need a dictator?  Do some situations call for a temporary dictatorship?

Der Spiegel published two essays, each taking opposing views on the subject of dictatorships, anarchy and stability.

Christiane Hoffmann asks, Are Dictatorships better than Anarchy?

She lets us know where she stands with her opening sentences...
Although there is always reason to celebrate the toppling of an autocrat, the outcome of the Iraq war and the rise of Islamic State have demonstrated in horrific terms that the alternative can be even worse.
The last decade has shown that there is something worse than dictatorship, worse than the absence of freedom, worse than oppression: civil war and chaos.
Mathieu von Rohr steps up for the defense of liberty and boldly states Dictatorships and Chaos go Hand in Hand
The mistake lies in even describing a dictatorship as stable: If the dictatorships of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Moammar Gadhafi in Libya or Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia had been stable, they wouldn't have collapsed.
Although his basic premise is self-evident, I think Rohr's is the weaker argument.  Sometimes dictatorships are stable, then something changes:  It drifts from benignity to cruelty, or more often people and society end up growing beyond the need for such paternalism.  Many experts point to Egypt's economy, not iron-fisted military rule, as the ultimate reason for Mubarak's downfall. 

One of the many ironies of our Iraq invasion is contained in the conjecture posited by many Iraqis that if we has imposed order immediately and shot all looters and criminals in the street, the whole project may have ended up a success.

Were I an Iraqi father and husband just trying to get myself and my family through the day, I would probably agree.

Were I a Christian, I would want Saddam back in Iraq, and I would be helping Assad's regime in Syria.  "Freedom" has resulted in more danger, death and persecution for the Levant's religious minorities.

They Say it Can't Happen Here...

Liberals, Conservatives and Progressives of all parties all have their own ideas about right living and community standards, and they have the all-too-human dictatorial itch enforce it all.  Besides the money, why else are they fighting over the levers of power?  Power.

After all the cajoling, nudging and jollying along, at some point, ideas of right living and community standards will be enforced at the point of a government gun.

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