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View Diary: It's Groundhog Day - and No One Got the Memo (61 comments)

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  •  Something that needs to be understood (7+ / 0-)

    Democratic ideas in European culture were indigenous. They arose the first time in the context of a sort of limited social and philosophical liberalism, and they were resurrected and refined in the context of a broad philosophical and cultural shift toward social liberalism and humanism.

    Democratic ideas in the Arab and greater Muslim culture are partially-isolated transplants. I don't mean that in a condescending way, only in a descriptive way. The ideas of democratic self-government were imported to many Muslim countries, but the philosophies that motivated those ideas were not widely accepted.

    So this is not at all like the Dark Ages in Europe...but it's not like the Renaissance either. In fact, it's not like Europe at all. Our best precedents for this dynamic are Japan and the former Soviet states. And neither helps us much; Japan was confounded by the Marshall Plan, and the Soviet states were royally screwed up in some very specific liberalism-thwarting ways by being Soviet states.

    Basically, we just don't really know yet whether the Renaissance works backwards. We don't know whether democratic self-determination leads to robust social/philosophical liberalism. And we really don't know the effect of social networking/worldwide communication on the process. What's going on in the new Arab democracies is a brand new experiment.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:39:40 AM PDT

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    •  Exactly - we don't know (4+ / 0-)

      That's why we need to bring back the study of history. We need to look at the factors and influences, not just impose models.

      Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

      by breakingranks on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 12:16:44 PM PDT

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      •  I think in many ways the advent of (5+ / 0-)

        international peer to peer communication breaks down a lot of those old examples in terms of usefulness.  I mean, what historical event should we look to in regards to the current conflagration in the middle east?  Really, we need only look at that fact that people don't like being bombed, and we've been bombing a lot of Muslim countries.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 04:09:21 PM PDT

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