China pushing Communism to replace failing Democracy

3205545010_28e80765c7_zChina says Western democracy has reached its limits and has started to deteriorate (alluding to Donald Trump’s victory without saying so).  Global Communism will take its place, with China supplying new universal values.

When I have referred to “still-Communist China,” some readers have said, in effect, are you kidding?  China has become capitalist, what with all of their entrepreneurs and wealth-building.  But orthodox Marxism teaches that societies must go through a capitalist phase in order for socialism to emerge.  The problem with the Soviet Union and Mao’s China is that they attempted to go from a feudal economy straight to socialism, which can’t really work.  Capitalism and with it Western democracy will eventually fall from their internal contradictions.

China has come up with a style of Communism that is working, pragmatically.  It is centered on economic growth, but state ownership and, what is just as effective, state control of the means of production continues.

What’s new here is China’s plan to export not just its goods but its ideology around the world.  The Communists still think they will bury us. [Read more…]

Liberalism of the left & liberalism of the right

The well-regarded ethicist Stanley Hauerwas reviews a new book by John Milibank, of “radical orthodoxy” fame.  Entitled The Politics of Virtue, Milibank argues that both today’s liberals and conservatives are essentially liberals.  Both sides are fixated on “freedom,” whether sexual freedom or economic freedom, to the exclusion of other things needed for a good society (such as virtue).  Milibanks goes on to argue for a “post-liberalism.”

Read Hauerwas’s discussion and interaction with the ideas after the jump. [Read more…]

A rigged election?

Donald Trump is re-emphasizing his claim that if he doesn’t get elected, that’s because the election is rigged.  Now 41% of voters are saying that this could happen.  Critics are saying that casting those kinds of doubts undermines the social compact that gives Democracy its legitimacy.

Most people seem to believe that the “establishment” will steal the election from Trump.  But what if Trump’s Russian friends hack into the computerized voting machines and rig the election in his favor? [Read more…]

Pro-democracy coup in Turkey fails

Turkey has a tradition of practicing a more moderate type of Islam with a more secular government than other middle eastern states.  Thus, secular is one of the few Islamic countries with a long-standing democracy.  So not all Turks are happy with the government of President Erdogan, who, though democratically elected has become more and more authoritarian and seeks to impose Sharia law.

Last weekend, parts of the military staged a coup attempt, promising a restoration of democracy, human rights, and freedom.  But Erdogan called for the people to go to the streets, and they did.  With the help of police and the Turkish military that did not support the coup, the insurrection was crushed.  Thousands have been arrested.

Erdogan is blaming the coup on a moderate, pro-Western cleric named Fethullah Gulen, who has many followers–dubbed “Gulenists”–in Turkey.  Gulen, who denies involvement, has been living in Pennsylvania since 1999.  Erdogan is demanding that the United States arrest him and extradite him back to Turkey.

In principle, we might wish for a new  non-Islamist government to take over. Then again, Erdogan was democratically elected and is the lawful President of the country.  President Obama denounced the coup attempt and expressed his support for Erdogan, which I guess the world’s governments are obliged to do.  Even though Turkey might be an example of a democracy voting to end democracy. [Read more…]

Plato on the course of democracy

As Andrew Sullivan reminds us, Plato predicted Donald Trump, down to his personality and lifestyle.  Plato also predicted multiculturalism, feminism, adults imitating children, tolerance for everything, morality giving way to pleasure above all, opposition to all authority, resentment against the rich, teachers controlled by students, and the rise of tyranny.  All of these grow out of democracy, as it runs its course.  Sullivan also shows how our founders tried to prevent these things from happening by designing a republic (not a pure democracy) with constitutional checks and balances, but how those have eroded.  “Tyranny,” said Plato’s Socrates, “is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” [Read more…]

How the Founders tried to prevent a Donald Trump

If Republicans pull some convention maneuvering to prevent the nomination of Donald Trump, wouldn’t that thwart the will of the people?  Well, historian Andrew Trees shows that the Founders of our nation who wrote the Constitution believed that the will of the people often needed to be thwarted, or at least checked and balanced.  The Founders feared that the public would be tempted to vote according to their “passions,” thus allowing themselves to be manipulated by a “demagogue” who would stir up these passions to put himself into power.  (Sound familiar?)  This is why the Founders built non-Democratic safeguards into our Republic, such as having the president be elected not by the public but by the Electoral College.

Many of those safeguards have been gotten rid of, unfortunately.  (Perhaps the coming debacle will encourage us to bring them back:  If political parties are corrupt, something both angry voters today and the original Founders would agree on, let’s remove the presidency from politics.  Let’s vote state-by-state for delegates to the Electoral College, without any of them stating whom they would be voting for.  They would then deliberate on who would be the best person for the job.  That would be returning to what the Founders intended.) [Read more…]