May 08, 2008

Correcting Richard

In his response to an article on the supposed, mystifying limits of spreading democracy by Lawrence Kaplan in The New Republic, Richard Spencer seems bothered by Kaplan?s examples that ?all peoples are capable of democracy.? When Kaplan mentions the Germans, Japanese, and Catholics of South America as those who managed to practice democracy, contrary to onetime misconceptions, Richard offers what is intended as a refutation of the misrepresentation of the Germans. He notes that Germans had a constitutional monarchy in the nineteenth century. Moreover, German cities and towns are dotted with Rath?user, where presumably since the Middle Ages local councils had met under the direction of an elected mayor. The neocon response would be that none of this constitutes self-government, since neocons had not given it their stamp of approval. In fact every German elected body up until the postwar reeducation of the defeated Germans was pseudo-democratic and probably a preliminary stage leading to Hitler?s Final Solution. Therefore what would normally constitute sufficient proof of a constitutional, Western society would not apply to the Germans. Indeed the fact that Germany in 1900 or even 1850 had far more intellectual freedom than it does right now, under government-enforced ?antifascist? rules for expressing opinions or research findings, proves exactly the opposite of what we might think. It means that societies in the past were ?less democratic? because they did not act with sufficient vigor against German nationalists. In Germany?s case being ?democratic? has nothing to do with self-government. It refers to indoctrination and intimidation carried out by German and EU courts and public administration, in which what is practiced is the opposite of freedom and self-government.

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