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iraq now

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I believe he said he wasn’t going to do this; but Jerry Pournelle has written a very interesting article about what he hopes will happen in Iraq, now that the war has been won and the real work begins: Governing Iraq – What do we do now?

Even if you don’t read the whole thing, I think it’s crucial to start the way he does – by using Aristotle’s definition of democracy: democracy is rule by the middle classes – “those who possess the goods of fortune in moderation”. Not the super-rich, or those who become super-rich by their position – that’s oligarchy or dictatorship. Not the lower-class “proletariat” – it doesn’t work, because they have nothing to lose and tend towards communism or anarchy.

Or, as Jerry puts it: can you afford to lose the election? Will you survive, and go back to work as before? Or, as has been seen in Africa in particular, will losing a vote carry a high personal price, something to avoid at any cost? He suggests keeping the USA involved for at least a generation, as guardians of what should be a natural process, but has been bent out of proportion by the disparities in wealth and status that have existed in the region for thousands of years. “If we are going to build democracy, we have no choice but to be imperial: not in the sense of an emperor, but in the sense of retaining command.” (I’m not sure I see the distinction – those under control might not see it either.)

Not everyone will agree with Jerry Pournelle – he is, after all, an acknowledged “Conservative”, who wrote parts of Reagan’s SDI (“Star Wars”) speech and even managed the Congressional campaign of Barry Goldwater Jr. From what I’ve read, though, he takes positions based on the merits he sees, and doesn’t lean in a particular direction by default; his interests are more scientific and historical, he has little to do with the current political landscape in the USA. Well worth reading, in my opinion.


Written by brian t

April 29, 2003 at 2:31 pm

Posted in america, countries, demographics, politics

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