Friday, March 10, 2006

17% is not a majority- except for The Empire

Here's a brilliant piece on Belarus from Jonathan Steele in today's Guardian. I have always argued that when the Empire and its propagandists talk of 'democracy'- they mean Henry Ford democracy-i.e. the voters can have any government they like so long as it is neo-liberal and pro-Western. Their petulant response to the victory of Hamas in Palestine, to Hugo Chavez in Venezvuela and to the democratically elected Iranian government- together with their continuing efforts to undermine President Lukashenko in Belarus only bear witness to this. True democracy- when people are free to choose whichever government they like- be it socialist, communist, nationalist or Islamist- really is the last thing the disciples of Henry Jackson want.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,1727954,00.html

5 comments:

BiB said...

"True democracy- when people are free to choose whichever government they like..." Yes, except this precisely isn't the case in Belarus, where Lukashenka has done away with democracy. Small wonder that opposition figures' popularity ratings are low when they have so little exposure. Euronews and the internet, contrary to what Mr. Steele might think, are hardly likely to be most Belarusians' main sources of information. If Lukashenka's economic prowess can create such miracles, why can this not happen in a democratic environment? Are democracy and economic success mutually exclusive? In comparison to Poland and its Baltic neighbours, Belarus is an economic backwater, not an example.

1defender said...

I think the person you are referring to is LukashenkO. How can any of these so called "revolutions" be called democratic if they were brought about by the bribing of the population on the part of the US and EU. In Yugoslavia the money was brought in in suitcases while the people who were going to channel this money to the people and actively work on the dismantling of the country were trained "secretly" in Hungary. The "Orange"revolution in the Ukraine was financed in the same way by the same parties. Bib, your absolutely right. This cannot happen in the present "democratic environment", Judging by the examples of the above mentioned and including Poland, Slovakia and all the other little countries created by the "benevolent" US and EU policies. Belarus can only look forward to the dismantling of their economic infrastructure and a yawning abyss of poverty.

BiB said...

No, he's called Lukashenka. Lukashenko is transliterating from the Russian version of his surname.
I'm not calling for any sort of revolution. Since independence, the Baltic states, for example, have plodded along quite nicely without having to have democracy removed and then restored via any sort of coloured revolution. Lukashenka has extended one of his own mandates and had the constitution changed to allow him to stand as many times as he likes. He should do more than hold sham elections every few years.

Poland and Slovakia are much better off since the end of communism, as a massive majority of people in those countries will tell you, and are utterly delighted not to have every policy decided for them in Moscow, although relations with Moscow are slowly warming up again, and that's fine.

1defender said...

People who I have spoken to from Poland and Slovakia paint a very different picture. Much of the industry in these countries has been destroyed. Factories, plants etc have been closed down. Even the birthplace of Solidarity is now closed. If things were going so well over there I am sure that there wouldn't be so many Poles or Slovaks working as cleaners and doing other menial jobs when they have a university degree. It's all a matter of perspective. The middle class has effectively disappeared in most of these countries. You have the rich minority and the very poor majority. This is fertile ground for crime which these countries didn' know about even 15 years ago.

Lopakhin said...

Interesting to read that the Iranian government is 'democratically elected', given that 1000 liberal candidates were banned by something called the Council of Guardians, and that reformists like Akbar Ganji are in prison for opposing the government.