As images of protesters storming the President’s residence in Sri Lanka circulated around the world, a message spread at one of the many rallies over the past few years resonated. It was crystal clear: “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government; The government should be afraid of its people.”
The events in Colombo over the weekend clearly show what happens when citizens suddenly regain the power they possess. Such uprisings have been the recurring nightmare of every king, emperor, oligarch and dictator throughout history. Interestingly, our entire civilization is designed to keep us from noticing how easy it is to unleash this power.
Lessons from the uprisings that began in Europe in 1848 placed an emphasis on “indoctrination,” or how civilized societies must function within democratic structures. They led to the overthrow of monarchies and the creation of republican states that empowered ordinary citizens and favored democratic systems of government.
The Austro-British philosopher Karl Popper defined democracy, as opposed to dictatorship or tyranny, as a focus on ways for the people to control and oust their leaders without the need for revolution.
As the world strove for peace and stability, democratic processes and systems have become standard in some countries of the Global North. Democratization includes freedom of assembly, association, property, religion and speech, inclusion and equality, citizenship, consent of the governed, voting rights, freedom from unjustified government deprivation of the right to life and liberty, and minority rights, to name but a few .
Armed with what the West sees as a reliable, all-encompassing, rights-based system, Western powers have transferred and imposed their new ideologies on other countries, disregarding all systems of government that existed before colonization.
The direct imposition of Western democracy has had many problems. In many countries, the pursuit of democratic values to liberate the oppressed has led to extremists taking over political leadership, as was the case with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Americans believe that Saudi and Muslim women are oppressed and denied human rights simply because of the clothes they wear, yet all Islamic nations allow abortion to protect mothers’ lives, a right that is respected in over 50 percent is banned or about to be banned in the United States. The arrogance of France, which sends its military to the Sahel to fight al-Qaeda, is another example of nations imposing Western democratic ideologies that create bigger problems.
Iraq, Libya and Somalia are also examples of countries that have been destabilized by Western democracy and have caused severe hardship for ordinary people.
The IMF is a democratization-born institution created to help stabilize exchange rates, finance member countries’ short-term balance of payments deficits, and provide borrowing countries with advice and technical assistance that doesn’t work.
This is because the majority of countries seeking aid are still governed by a colonial production system where food is produced for export but not for internal consumption, making these economies nearly impossible to stabilize. Sri Lanka is the first country to collapse economically after 16 unsuccessful IMF bailouts.
They followed the IMF’s instructions and continued to borrow money that they now cannot repay. They cannot afford to pay for essential imports that keep this country afloat. They are now paying heavily for their strong faith in Western democracy and not sticking to what works for them. African countries unhappy with the IMF have turned to China for financial assistance, but that comes with very punitive terms. For example, the Chinese government confiscated ports and airports in Uganda, Zambia and Sri Lanka because they could not repay their debts.
Autocratization deprives not only the rights of individuals but of entire nations. In Ireland we are all familiar with the November 2010 IMF-EU troika bailout package called for by the government at the time due to the collapse of the domestic property sector and the subsequent fall in national production, with many people unhappy with the terms .
Democracy cannot be brought from outside. For democracy to work, Western powers should support the structures that are already in place, not impose their own rules.
In democracies, the decline of democracy is caused by the state-led weakening of political institutions that support the democratic system, such as the B. peaceful transitions of power or free and fair elections. Although these political elements are believed to lead to the beginning of autocratization, it is the violation of individual rights underlying democracy, particularly freedom of expression, that challenges the health, efficiency, and sustainability of democratic systems over time.
The establishment knows that Western democracy isn’t working, and the people have finally pieced together the pieces of this global web of lies.
The difference between past and present is that today we are all living in the information age and suppressing protests will not be easy. The problem is that such protests are easily hijacked or infiltrated by various interest groups no better than those removed from power, as seen in Zimbabwe.
It is undeniable that people around the world are fed up with representative democratic governments not fulfilling their mandate, as demonstrated by the protests in Albania, Sri Lanka, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain and Japan – all showing great dissatisfaction with their governments.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/sri-lankas-uprising-is-another-reminder-of-why-leaders-should-be-afraid-of-their-people-41831740.html The uprising in Sri Lanka is another reminder why leaders should fear their people