Monday, February 06, 2006

Let's move on.

The former war correspondent and author Johanna Hildebrandt writes in her column:

"It's easy to let yourself get outraged by the symbolic pictures of burning embassys and chanting men on television.
They hit me right in the heart, make me furious. Fucking morons! How dare they. Withdraw all aid immediately!
It takes a deep breath to remember that the truth behind those images is far more complex than it seems at first glance. That those who burn embassys are a very small group compared to the great masses. The Swedish film maker Layla Tengroth is in Lebanon and has witnessed several Muslim Imams protecting churches and buildings with their own bodies. That people are sad and ashamed of all that has happened. Syria lies behind it and Tengroth is afraid they will succeed in their efforts to ignite a war between Muslims and Christians.
We should all be."

And a bit down:

"Thanks to those caricatures the extremists in the Middle East got the perfect enemy to gather around and they will continue to aggravate the situation. Back home the extremists got a noble cause to fight for, freedom of speech, the foundation of democracy. Christians claim they indeed have been violated too. The polarization continues."

I'm quite surprised that so many heads of states in western countries still haven't got why Muslims got so upset. If this inability is a sign of their all-around education the world as we know it is in deep shit. But we knew that already, didn't we? With democracy slowly transformed into a political aristrocacy where money decides who's in charge, and the people getting a modern version of bread and circuses so they won't interfere too much with politics, it won't be long before we all wake up to a nightmare. What's really terrifying is that people already have stopped to educate themselves about the basics of democracy.

Just a reminder what democracy is all about, the rules of the game if you will:

  1. Regular elections and the freedom to form political parties. Democracy requires regular elections and at least two political parties to choose from. Anyone who wishes shall be free to form a political party.
  2. General and equal right to vote. At a certain age every citizen shall aquire the right to vote, with no exceptions based on gender, color, religion or income. One citizen, one vote.
  3. Election secrecy. All citizens who are entitled to vote shall be able to do so without having to reveal their choice to anyone.
  4. Freedom to express views and form public opinion. To enable every citizen to form their own opinions, expressing views and forming public opinion has to be free. No one shall be stopped from expressing their opinion.
  5. Majority rules. Democracy requires that the majoritys descision is carried out.
  6. Legal security. To have a democratic society assumes that no citizen (or visitor) is detained or sentenced without the support of legislation. Lawlessness and arbitrary convictions do not belong in a democratic society.
Our great grandfathers layed out the foundation. Our grandfathers and grandmothers put up the walls and the roof. Our fathers and mothers fixed the interior and furniture. And we? Well, in my opinion we're just fucking squatters. We're so freaking spoiled and comfortable in our house we don't even hear the rats gnawing it to pieces.

Who are the rats? Non-democratic organizations using the openess of democracy to try and overthrow it. Media using the freedom of speech to discredit. Politicians with their own agenda. Worst of all, it's us, not educating ourselves about those six basic rules of democracy. Not because we're poor and have to fight for survival every day, but because we're so used not having to fight anymore. We're getting screwed, every single day. Over and over and over again and we don't even notice it anymore.

"It's no use voting, they're all the same." I've heard that phrase a billion times. I've even said it a couple of times myself. But deep down I know it's not true. If I don't vote, politicians don't care but if I do... they sure as hell want me to vote for them.

Why am I writing about democracy? Just to remind you about how damn lucky we are living in democracy. Most Muslims do no not. They live in theocracys with little or no experience of democracy whatsoever. This is something we always have to consider.

As I'm writing this I hear on the news that the Danish embassy in Tehran has been attacked by another mob. The population in Tehran is about 10 millions, the attackers were less than 500. That's 0.005 per cent of the population. That puts the "violent tendencies among Muslims" in a somewhat different perspective.


ScandinavienNova said...

I guess Mr PoP has deserved his name during the past days :)

Virginia Gal said...

Another good post! You must read Fareed Zakaria's editorial in this week's International Newsweek, he hits upon some of the points you are saying.
Yes it does seem a new level of apathy has taken over in America - our democratic rights are being stripped away and we don't care. What is going on?!

Anonymous said...

A little off the subject here, but when PoP makes reference to a democracy, he is not speaking of America. We are a Republic. However, for some reason many people do not even understand the difference. Maybe that is part of the reason that so many Americans sit back and allow their rights to be taken away...ignorance and complacency. Not speaking of anyone posting here though :)

Virginia Gal - ever watch Jay Leno, Jay Walking? Some people cannot even tell us the 3 branches of our government! That might be the answer to your question of what is going on in America! Very SAD.

PissedOffPencil said...

Anonymous: You have to admit your first two lines look quite funny. Isn't your republic a democracy? :)

But yes, you're absolutely right, I'm referring to democracys in general.

Another funny thing I read a couple of days ago: The most stable and developed democracys in the world are... monarchys. The author referred to Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Britain, Japan and some other countries. Maybe the US should get their own king? You're well on your way with Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. :D