Democracy, or something like it

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that the people of Egypt, in just two weeks of protests, have overthrown a leader who’d been in power 30 years and been a major force in stabilizing middle eastern eastern conflicts.

As news of this has traveled the world, its convinced others to rise up and demand the same in their own countries. There have been political movements in Jordan, Iran, and Bahrain in recent days to drive those country’s governments to hold free elections in each of those countries.

Would I love to see every nasty government in the world fall to democracy? Of course. Is it realistic? No. Lets not forget that although these people are all rising up for the right causes, what eventually takes hold isn’t what they wanted, and its often worse than what they had.

It was only 94 years ago that the people of modern-day Russia took power from Nicolas II and replaced him with a democratic government. Just a few months later, that government gave way to something much worse — a communist government that’s driven many of the world’s problems to this day.

I applaud the people of all of these countries who are rising up and demanding accountability from their leaders. But I also fear for what will actually take power as a result of all of this. The modern world is never more than a single rogue ruler from a serious catastrophe, and I fear these people may end up with something far worse than what they started with. When one country decides to pursue democracy, they have the support of every democratic nation in the world. When an entire region does it, there are too many opportunities for one of them to fail.

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02 2011

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