Saturday, January 28, 2006

Subjective Democracy and Indoctrination

Looking back at the past few months since the last blog entry, the world has gone through many pivotal changes. Falsified science in Stem Cell Research, the pending avian flu epidemic, the continuing presence of US forces in the quagmires of Afghanistan, Iraq, and what soon looks to be Iran. The list of monumental events directly applicable to our lives is as boundless as the length and breadth of the Universe itself. Unfortunately, the filters that authority (whether it be the educational system, goverment, culture, religion, politics, etc.) have indoctrinated upon us has become so burdonesome that our understanding, and analysis of the current world is skewed near permanently.

One of the largest filters that has been instilled upon those of us in the "free world" is the philosophical concept known as Democracy. As with other broad philsophical concepts in today's world, the idea of democracy has been oversimplified into language that even three legged lemurs can understand. We have been indoctrinated to believe in one monolithic form of Democracy, without accepting the possibility that there are multiple sub-categories and branches. The Electoral College, for example, as faulted as it can be, is only one fundamental category of Democracy. There are various systems that operate to allow the individual some small immesurable quantity of control over those they elect.

Subjective Democracy then, is the perceptional perspective of an individual based on their indoctrinated concept of Democracy. In other words, the brand of one's own Democracy, being thought of as superior to any other form. The Palestinian election of Hamas for example, being feared and villified in the Western Media. Given democratically elected government in Palestine, the people opted, legally, and under democratical elections to give the Majority of seats to Hamas. Of course, the outrcry from the Western world was predictable and fierce, but those rabid critics never paused to consider the multiple ramifications as a result of democracy upon a people who's culture and ideology is vastly different. Most so called "think tanks", pundits, critics, politicians, and especially the neoconservatives, setting the agenda these days, are at the very least too naive, and at worst, highly manipulative in leading the population into thinking that any country embracing democracy will automatically lean towards the West. The will of the people is rarely taken into account when attempting to forecast elections. Without understanding the subtle nuances of a culture, it is impossible to determine the will of the constituency. Those who are at rush to assume that embracing Democracy is the same as embracing the West, have little regard for understanding the subtle intricacies of a given culture; which can in turn, determine the psyche of the people. The invasion of Iraq is another example of this near universal myopia. Without attempting to fully understand the possible outcomes in Iraq, the US "coalition" (if coalition means 2 major countries, with a handfull of handout seekers) decided to invade, expecting the dissatisfied factions to jump on the bandwagon. As we have come to realize now, simple thought, once again, lost out to thorough understanding. Shiites, it turns out, are no less likely than Iran to Embrace the US forces as liberators. The Kurds, having been manipulated for decades by the US State Dept have now become rightfully distrustful of their so called "ally". Of course, in Iraq's special case, no developing civil war is as intriguing without the final Sunni glitch in the mechanism.

Looking at the criticism from the outcome of the Palestinian Elections more closely, it's not difficult to laugh at the hysterics and overreaction of so many. From discussion of cutting 700 million dollars in funding, to a possible military option by (who else) conservative pundits, it becomes apparent that Democracy is an Old Men's club. As soon as someone young and brash decides to attempt to reformulate it, to their own perceptions and experiences, the old men decide to kick and scream, throw their dentures, swing their canes, and rattle their sabres. It's easy to forget that Europe had hundreds of years of warfare to achieve the current state of Democracy (Yes, even European Socialism is still under the umbrella of a Democracy). The United States, long renouned for spearheading the modern movement, considered African Americans as second class citizens until the middle of the last century.

Iran, no less a stranger to criticism from the West, can also be included in the villification and hysterics of so many critics. Just because a population, unabashed in its dislike for globally dominant entities, decides to freely and democratically elect a president openly hostile to a Subjective Democratic movement (a movement predicated on conditional terms), does not render the election any less valid then those of the Western World. Many can argue that both elections of George W. Bush were also frought with so many voting irregularities, that under certain conservative criteria, it can be deemed invalid as well.

Beyond just Indoctrination, a Subjective Democracy works on people's naivity and especially fearfulness. Through certain xenophobic tendencies, the authorities inprint terror and fear among the population. For further and much thorough analysis of these phobic tendencies, Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" documentary can highlight the manipulation through fear that American especially are indoctrinated towards. As an example of the current Phobia trend, one need not look further then Iran and it's advancement towards a nuclear economy. Given Iran's polarizing nature in the West, some apprehension in Iran's development of Nuclear Power is warranted. However, the modern economy requires a movement away from the dependence on fossil fuels. Iran's attempt at Modernization, is frought with multiple challenges. Not the least of which is the increased energy output expected in the economy as the populace reaches a level of industrialization and progress. To compete with wealthier nations, one cannot disregard nuclear power as a cleaner and more efficient energy option. Naturally, Iran's motives will be distrusted in the Western world, and spun in so many negative ways by the media, that some measure of truth will be overshadowed by hyperbole and rhetoric. Just as scores of people were mislead about the presence of WMD's in Iraq, the same is currently occuring with regards to Iran. We are all being mislead about Iran's intentions and motives. Somehow, within the next few years, the situation will be manipulated into a new war front in Iran, and as usual, WMD's, or even the possible future intentional use of them will be used as a pre-emptive motive for war.

Through filters both of our own doing, and those externally implanted, our whole population at large is indoctrinated into certain core beliefs, that on the surface, appears to allow society to function at an optimal level, but deeper probed, reveals the possibility of abuse and manipulation through the same institutions that have installed and maintained our perceptions of reality. Filters are meant as a protective mechanism, but when used incorrectly, and corrupted with so much useless (dis) information, become a burdon. Like most concepts in life, when analyzed deeply, Democracy cannot be considered a singular entity. Even a concrete concept like a Tree is not just a singular entity. There are many different types of trees, all categorized under a broad label, but inherently associated with certain similar characteristics. Thus, Democracy cannot be Subjective, but must be looked at objectively. There are many different forms, dependent upon culture, and social perception, yet no form is superior to another. True democracy can only occur when people break the bonds of imposed indoctrination and embrace true free thought. As it's often said, Democracy is not just in the head, but in the heart. We all know what freedom means, but one person's freedom is not necessarily the same as someone elses. If one is willing to allow all people, from various backgrounds and cultures to have the same rights as those of us in the West, me must respect their decision to exercise the rights which we hold so sacred. On who's terms should Democracy be utilised is a valid question that should always be on the mind. However, this when the truth of the matter is realized, the question is baseless because there is no certain term, but many different ones. Just as a Maple is no less a tree then an Oak, one Democracy is no less a Democracy then another.

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