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More gloom: the rollback of liberal democracy
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steki47 wrote:
Cool Teacher wrote:


I think that soudns a bit racialist. Surprised

What was the Jute's contribution to liberal democracy???? Confused

I think Japan used to have some ideas about democracy after the Meiji period but then got taken over by the military. I think Japan can have liberla democracy, and people want it. Cool


I was being historical. Don't see the racism.

The Jante Law (sorry, mistake) had a strong egalitarian code that is more characteristic of hunter-gatherer groups as opposed to the aristocratic Indo-European model.

The Greeks may have created democracy but the Scandinavian Althing was far more democratic in nature.

Yes, I omitted the Taisho Democracy. It was short-lived and I wonder if it was a sign of the Occidental Fever the Japanese developed in the Meiji.

Finally, several Asian thinkers have argued against democracy, including arguing that it is incompatible with Asian culture. Check out Amy Chua, Lee Kwan Yueh or Mahammad Mahathir. Or ask the Chinese. I am undecided myself.


Well, I don't know the Jante Law but when I looked it up it did not look very liberal and democratic to me. Looked more like the whole naitl that stands up gets knocked down idea that many people say the Japanese think. Confused

Amy Chua is American, by the way, and was born there. Confused

Also several Europeans have argued against democracy like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Kaiser Wilhelm and James II, but I think it is wrong to say all Europeans think like that. Cool
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steki47



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry

Last edited by steki47 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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steki47



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry

Last edited by steki47 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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steki47



Joined: 20 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Teacher wrote:
Amy Chua is American, by the way, and was born there. Confused


Sorry, are you familar with the term "Asian-American"?

As I read her Tiger Mother book, I noted that she made a sharp distinction between "Chinese parenting" and "American parenting".
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steki47 wrote:


I view liberal democracy as a product of Northern European society (Angles-Saxons-Jutes) and wonder if it is applicable or feasible in other cultures than lean towards collectivism and authoritarianism.

Certain Western countries pushed democracy on non-Western societies in the past (still do at times). Perhaps as American/Western power fades globally, what we are seeing is a return to more traditional or indigineous societies.

Russia is a good example. Perhaps the new cold war between China and Japan will bring it out as well.

Not my personal ideal, just trying to assess.


I agree. I too feel that democracy is not for all. Many cultures do not seem to have it, nor actually employee it. Heck even southern Europe I feel is more patriarchal than it is Dem.

The Japanese, who are all about not making waves, seem to not be into dem too much. I watched and looked into post WWII Japan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sk5JRd2SWs seems that the present Japan was made in the 60's, and has changed pretty radically from post WWII Japan. Could you imagine riots/crazy protests in Japan now?
I am rambling, but it seems 1970's Japan and on, has become more paternal and corporate/led from above, and is getting more so.
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rxk22



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Teacher wrote:


Well, I don't know the Jante Law but when I looked it up it did not look very liberal and democratic to me. Looked more like the whole naitl that stands up gets knocked down idea that many people say the Japanese think. Confused

Amy Chua is American, by the way, and was born there. Confused

Also several Europeans have argued against democracy like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Kaiser Wilhelm and James II, but I think it is wrong to say all Europeans think like that. Cool


Heck the UK was much like modern Japan til WWI. Most people were not really enfranchised politically.

Really imho NW Europe, the US, Canada, Singapore, Oz/NZ are true democracies. And i think they will shrink as well as the system will become co-opted and will become less and less representative of what society wants/desires
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Teacher wrote:
Pitarou wrote:
So are you optimistic that the people found some kind of voice over the secrecy bill, or despondent that the Diet went ahead and passed it anyway.

I dont know enough abot it I admit but the parliament system is similar to the UK which means that it doens't matter how many people in the public disagree, if parliament passes it it goes through. Interesting will be what the public say at the election polls. Wink

Sure. In a representative democracy, government can, and sometimes must, make unpopular decisions. The obvious example is raising taxes (unpopular) to pay for spending (popular). But I think your comparison with the UK shows just how out-of-whack the passage of the new secrecy law was.

In the UK, a government starts a tax-and-spend program, the people complain about high taxes, and punish the government at election. Then the next regime makes huge cutbacks, the people complain about inadequate public services ... and so on. That's how it should be. Adjustments to the tax rate are a routine function of government, and the public have their say at election time.

In Japan, this system has broken down. Witness the protracted political agonies needed to nudge VAT from 5% to 10%, despite an insane fiscal deficit. You would think the Diet was incapable of making an unpopular decision. But in making a direct attack assault on the democratic processes of scrutiny and accountability*, they had no problem overriding the will of the people. Doesn't that strike you as weird?
---
Footnote:

* My understanding is that the secrecy bill goes far beyond what is necessary to protect the normal functions of state, but I must admit I have not studied this in depth.


Last edited by Pitarou on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:31 am; edited 2 times in total
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steki47



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rxk22 wrote:
I agree. I too feel that democracy is not for all. Many cultures do not seem to have it, nor actually employee it. Heck even southern Europe I feel is more patriarchal than it is Dem.


Many Indian thinkers consider democracy to be a strength of their society (although it was largely introduced through rather democratic means), while Dr. Mahathir Mohammad criticized India's democracy.

You consider Singapore a true democracy? My understanding is that it is/was an authoritarian city-state that is progressing towards a more democratic form. I may have huge information gaps here. Former ruler Lee Kwan Yueh argued that democracy in Singapore (specifically in an ethnically diverse population) would fail. Not entirely convinced myself.

A few thinkers have questioned the value of establishing democratic governments in certain Middle Eastern nations precisely because it is incompatible with their traditional cultures.
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Cool Teacher



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steki47 wrote:
Cool Teacher wrote:
Amy Chua is American, by the way, and was born there. Confused


Sorry, are you familar with the term "Asian-American"?

As I read her Tiger Mother book, I noted that she made a sharp distinction between "Chinese parenting" and "American parenting".


Yes I know but that does not mean she hates democracy. In fact she says she likes it (a big fan) but thinks it can be dangerous in some places, like in Wimar Germany which led to Hitler being voted in...

Quote:
Chua states that she is a "big fan of trying to promote markets and democracy globally," but that it should be accompanied by attempts to "redistribute the wealth, whether it's property title and giving poor people property, land reform .... Redistributive mechanisms are tough to have if you have so much corruption."


It sounds like she is a big fan, but she just warns about people thinking it can happen easily. She sounds liek a smart lady. Cool

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_on_Fire

Also, Francis Fukuyama is Japanese and he was a big supporter of democracy:

Quote:
Fukuyama is best known for his book The End of History and the Last Man (1992), which argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and free market capitalism of the West and its lifestyle may signal the end point of humanity's sociocultural evolution and become the final form of human government.


He even argues that the West is undrmining democracy:

Quote:
Postmodern philosophy had, in Fukuyama's opinion, undermined the ideology behind liberal democracy, leaving the western world in a potentially weaker position.


I agree with that some ways and notice that some French thinking is totally like that. Cool

Anyway, my point is that there is no reason to think Asians can't do democracy. Mayeb the ones you picked Lee Kwang Yu and Mohammed Mahatir are just autocrats like Hitler and Mussolini and Mahatir has said some really horrible thinks about the Chinese and the Jews so I think it is not fair to think of him as some regular Aisan person. Shocked
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:
Cool Teacher wrote:
Pitarou wrote:
So are you optimistic that the people found some kind of voice over the secrecy bill, or despondent that the Diet went ahead and passed it anyway.

I dont know enough abot it I admit but the parliament system is similar to the UK which means that it doens't matter how many people in the public disagree, if parliament passes it it goes through. Interesting will be what the public say at the election polls. Wink

Sure. In a representative democracy, government can, and sometimes must, make unpopular decisions. The obvious example is raising taxes (unpopular) to pay for spending (popular). But I think your comparison with the UK shows just how out-of-whack the passage of the new secrecy law was.

In the UK, a government starts a tax-and-spend program, the people complain about high taxes, and punish the government at election. Then the next regime makes huge cutbacks, the people complain about inadequate public services ... and so on. That's how it should be. Adjustments to the tax rate are a routine function of government, and the public have their say at election time.

In Japan, this system has broken down. Witness the protracted political agonies needed to nudge VAT from 5% to 10%, despite an insane fiscal deficit. You would think the Diet was incapable of making an unpopular decision. But in making a direct attack assault on the democratic processes of scrutiny and accountability*, they had no problem overriding the will of the people. Doesn't that strike you as weird?
---
Footnote:

* My understanding is that the secrecy bill goes far beyond what is necessary to protect the normal functions of state, but I must admit I have not studied this in depth.


I'll try and fins out more about it. Cool At the moment my knowledage on it is as bad as my economics and that is really really bad! Laughing Surprised

Cool
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steki47



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Teacher wrote:
Yes I know but that does not mean she hates democracy. In fact she says she likes it (a big fan) but thinks it can be dangerous in some places, like in Wimar Germany which led to Hitler being voted in...

It sounds like she is a big fan, but she just warns about people thinking it can happen easily. She sounds liek a smart lady. Cool


Yes, I read World on Fire. One of her big concerns is that democracy in the Philippines will allow the locals to further express their hatred of the market-dominant ethnic outsider Chinese. (Her aunt was murdered by a Filpino servant and the local police did very little to investigate.)

I am fan of her work as well.



Cool Teacher wrote:
Also, Francis Fukuyama is Japanese and he was a big supporter of democracy


He is Japanese-American! Sorry, buddy, can you please maintain some consistency?



Cool Teacher wrote:
Anyway, my point is that there is no reason to think Asians can't do democracy. Mayeb the ones you picked Lee Kwang Yu and Mohammed Mahatir are just autocrats like Hitler and Mussolini and Mahatir has said some really horrible thinks about the Chinese and the Jews so I think it is not fair to think of him as some regular Aisan person. Shocked


I never said that democracy would be impossible in Asia. However, it does seem that many Asian nations/leaders/thinkers view democracy as "un-Asian" or perhaps undesirable. I mentioned India as a strong exception, but there are others.

Yes, Lee and Mahathir called themselves "soft authoritarians". And both countries experienced massive growth in economic and quality of life standards.

Mahathir said horrible things about Chinese and Jews? Anti-Chinese sentiment is not rare in SE Asia. (Not defending it, per se.) Mahathir made strong protests against Israel, Zioinism and the treatment of the Palestinian people.

Given you started with linking my statement with "racism", not surprising you wrapped up with more smearing accusations of other people. Nice work, you a journalist? Very Happy
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Cool Teacher



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steki47 wrote:
Cool Teacher wrote:
Yes I know but that does not mean she hates democracy. In fact she says she likes it (a big fan) but thinks it can be dangerous in some places, like in Wimar Germany which led to Hitler being voted in...

It sounds like she is a big fan, but she just warns about people thinking it can happen easily. She sounds liek a smart lady. Cool


Yes, I read World on Fire. One of her big concerns is that democracy in the Philippines will allow the locals to further express their hatred of the market-dominant ethnic outsider Chinese. (Her aunt was murdered by a Filpino servant and the local police did very little to investigate.)

I am fan of her work as well.



Cool Teacher wrote:
Also, Francis Fukuyama is Japanese and he was a big supporter of democracy


He is Japanese-American! Sorry, buddy, can you please maintain some consistency?



Cool Teacher wrote:
Anyway, my point is that there is no reason to think Asians can't do democracy. Mayeb the ones you picked Lee Kwang Yu and Mohammed Mahatir are just autocrats like Hitler and Mussolini and Mahatir has said some really horrible thinks about the Chinese and the Jews so I think it is not fair to think of him as some regular Aisan person. Shocked


I never said that democracy would be impossible in Asia. However, it does seem that many Asian nations/leaders/thinkers view democracy as "un-Asian" or perhaps undesirable. I mentioned India as a strong exception, but there are others.

Yes, Lee and Mahathir called themselves "soft authoritarians". And both countries experienced massive growth in economic and quality of life standards.

Mahathir said horrible things about Chinese and Jews? Anti-Chinese sentiment is not rare in SE Asia. (Not defending it, per se.) Mahathir made strong protests against Israel, Zioinism and the treatment of the Palestinian people.

Given you started with linking my statement with "racism", not surprising you wrapped up with more smearing accusations of other people. Nice work, you a journalist? Very Happy


Ha ha! Wink No Im not a journalist, but thanks! Cool

I am a Cool teacher

<<<<===== Wink

But Mahatir said some pretty crazy things. Look at this. His racist remarks:

http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/55082

And this he said about the Jews:

Quote:
“The Jews had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole Governments to ransom...Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, [Jews] survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world...The Holocaust failed as a final solution.”


Shocked Shocked Shocked

That's well bad! Shocked

Crazy even! Shocked


Anyway, the other point about Asian and Japanese Americans is that they are not born anti-democraccy, it depends on culture and sometimes I think it depends on economics. Liek I think America went wrong trying to put Iraq into democracy after teh war because many people just wanted a living and a home and a job at the time. Being given a vote was secondary. Cool

Anyway, this is a good chat. Thanks. Cool
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steki47



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I am enjoying this give and take as well.

Where is that Mahathir quote from? Your link did not reveal any particularly "crazy" quotes.

EDIT:

My bad. Found links with similar lines from the Dr.:
http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/10/16/oic.mahathir/

Nothing too crazy there. Concerned with protecting his people.

Incidentally, I developed an interest in Dr. Mahathir awhile back. Read a couple of his books (Malay Dilemma has some interesting commentary on Asian vs. Western thinking) and even had a chance to visit his birthplace, Alor Setar. Interesting character, great leader.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Teacher wrote:
steki47 wrote:
Cool Teacher wrote:
Yes I know but that does not mean she hates democracy. In fact she says she likes it (a big fan) but thinks it can be dangerous in some places, like in Wimar Germany which led to Hitler being voted in...

It sounds like she is a big fan, but she just warns about people thinking it can happen easily. She sounds liek a smart lady. Cool


Yes, I read World on Fire. One of her big concerns is that democracy in the Philippines will allow the locals to further express their hatred of the market-dominant ethnic outsider Chinese. (Her aunt was murdered by a Filpino servant and the local police did very little to investigate.)

I am fan of her work as well.



Cool Teacher wrote:
Also, Francis Fukuyama is Japanese and he was a big supporter of democracy


He is Japanese-American! Sorry, buddy, can you please maintain some consistency?



Cool Teacher wrote:
Anyway, my point is that there is no reason to think Asians can't do democracy. Mayeb the ones you picked Lee Kwang Yu and Mohammed Mahatir are just autocrats like Hitler and Mussolini and Mahatir has said some really horrible thinks about the Chinese and the Jews so I think it is not fair to think of him as some regular Aisan person. Shocked


I never said that democracy would be impossible in Asia. However, it does seem that many Asian nations/leaders/thinkers view democracy as "un-Asian" or perhaps undesirable. I mentioned India as a strong exception, but there are others.

Yes, Lee and Mahathir called themselves "soft authoritarians". And both countries experienced massive growth in economic and quality of life standards.

Mahathir said horrible things about Chinese and Jews? Anti-Chinese sentiment is not rare in SE Asia. (Not defending it, per se.) Mahathir made strong protests against Israel, Zioinism and the treatment of the Palestinian people.

Given you started with linking my statement with "racism", not surprising you wrapped up with more smearing accusations of other people. Nice work, you a journalist? Very Happy


Ha ha! Wink No Im not a journalist, but thanks! Cool

I am a Cool teacher

<<<<===== Wink

But Mahatir said some pretty crazy things. Look at this. His racist remarks:

http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/55082

And this he said about the Jews:

Quote:
“The Jews had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole Governments to ransom...Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, [Jews] survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world...The Holocaust failed as a final solution.”


Shocked Shocked Shocked

That's well bad! Shocked

Crazy even! Shocked


Anyway, the other point about Asian and Japanese Americans is that they are not born anti-democraccy, it depends on culture and sometimes I think it depends on economics. Liek I think America went wrong trying to put Iraq into democracy after teh war because many people just wanted a living and a home and a job at the time. Being given a vote was secondary. Cool

Anyway, this is a good chat. Thanks. Cool


Cool Teacher,

By polluting threads with smiley face icons, it takes away some of the pleasure of skimming through discussions.
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=103087&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Japan, I believe, is as nationalistic as it ever was. The powerful Japanese families who run the show here are right wing and xenophobic.
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