Western View of Eastern "Democracy"

Submitted to Democracy
Uploaded 5 Aug 2008
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© Ahmer Inam
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Photo Info
UploadedAugust 6, 2008
TakenJuly 21, 2008
MakeFujifilm
ModelFinePix F30
Exposure1/20 sec at f/2.8
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length8 mm
ISO400
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

This image to me is the stereotypical representation of the democratic process in the middle-east; a Burqa-clad suffocated and powerless woman who has finally been given the freedom and the powers to partake in the "democratic process" and let her voice be heard. It is an image of empowerment that has been utilized in mass-media by the government for propaganda to show how successful they are despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary.

In the Western style liberal-democracy, the political system is designed to "serve" the collective body-politic, referred in the US constitution as "We the people". This reference gives the body-politic an abstract form that seems to not possess any material reality in the minds of the political leaders. This view makes the politicians further distanced from the body-politic and the issues impacting them. They

assume that they speak for the silent majority and the decisions they make are truly approved by the people they "serve".

This of course in the recent past has proven to be wrong. When the political leaders coming from this

point-of-view look at the East with the same lens that they look at the West, they once again assume

that they are truly representing the body-politic in those regions as well. This results in fiascos like the Iraq War. The essence of the Western style liberal-democracy is Individualism whereas the Eastern societies are Co-operative. The political system that is being enforced there may not be the right one for the region but it is the ego of the current US administration that is not willing to believe that.

Of course, a totalitarian government that is in play in a number of these middle-eastern countries that quashes the voice of the dissent is not the right solution either. This is the challange that is facing our generation. The solution that is being imposed is not working and the right solution can only be developed if the Western leaders get the Eastern voice on the same table. The likelihood of that happening is low because the politicians and power-players from both sides would rather have the status quo to keep the powers in their hands... instead of "We, the people".

1 response

  • Ben O'Neal

    Ben O'Neal gave props (11 Aug 2008):

    Yowza - those eyes, Got my vote.

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