A Modest Proposal

The time has come for the formation of a new international organization, a Coalition of Democratic States.  It should include all of the democratic states in the world, and exclude all of the undemocratic states.


Democracy is generally defined as a system of majority rule based on periodic free elections, a free press, freedom to demonstrate and form political parties, an independent judiciary and the extension of the right to vote to all adult citizens.  Perhaps half of the countries in the world today could be defined as democratic according to this definition, while the other half would have to be defined as undemocratic.  But in the United Nations, it is the undemocratic states who dominate by virtue of their ability to win over enough democratic states to form a majority on most issues of substance.


As a result, the one item that is not on the agenda of the United Nations in any way, shape or form is the further extension of democracy around the world.  But without the further spread of democracy, there can be no peaceful resolution of the many violent conflicts which presently bedevil the world.  History teaches that democratic states do not make war with one another, whereas undemocratic states constantly seek some pretext to mobilize the population against an alleged external enemy.  Democracy accustoms people to the peaceful resolution of differences, whereas dictatorship accustoms them to seek domination through violence.  If you examine the violent conflicts presently taking place throughout the world, you will find that in each and every case, at least one of the participants is an autocratic, undemocratic state or organization.


It is because it is dominated by undemocratic states that the United Nations has proved incapable of dealing with these violent conflicts.  These states reserve to themselves the right to massacre at will, while at the same time devoting a large proportion of the time and energy of the United Nations to the constant, obsessive denunciation of one of the few democratic states in the Middle East, the state of Israel.  And the other democracies around the world, with the partial exception of the United States, lend themselves to this hue and cry to one extent or another for fear that they too will be targeted by the undemocratic states and have their oil taken away from them.  This state of affairs will never change until the democratic states are able to wield their full strength by banding together in a Coalition of Democratic States.


Anti-Zionism serves the autocratic forces at the United Nations in precisely the same way as anti-Semitism served the autocratic forces led by Hitler and the Nazis – as the cutting edge of a more general assault on democratic institutions and values.  The United Nations was founded by the coalition that defeated Hitler, but over time it has evolved into a mechanism for opposing the further spread of democracy in the world.  Yet the democratic states contain a substantial proportion of the world’s population, have far greater productive capacity than the undemocratic states and are not lacking in the means of self-defense.. If they could only unite, agree on certain strategic goals and refuse to be intimidated by the threat of an oil boycott, they could easily put the undemocratic forces at a disadvantage.  Democracy is a better social system than autocracy, and it will most certainly prevail if only the democratic forces in the world choose to make sure that it prevails.


The basic strategy of a Coalition of Democratic States ought to be to support the democratic forces currently struggling to make their voices heard within the many undemocratic states.  These forces face persecution and death and need all the help they can get from the democratic world.  The countries of the democratic world need not fear the reaction of the undemocratic states to such a strategy.  The democratic world is stronger, both economically and militarily, than the undemocratic world, and the cause of democracy is more just and reasonable than the cause of autocracy.  It is only because the democratic states fail to act as a unified force that the undemocratic states are able to dominate the United Nations.  Instead of fighting among themselves to be first in line when the oil is distributed, the democratic states could purchase oil as a group, secure in the knowledge that the oil producers need to sell their oil at least as much as the oil consumers need to buy it.


There are many ways in which the democratic world could support the democratic forces in the undemocratic states short of military intervention.  What is needed to promote the democratic cause on a world scale is simply faith in democracy as a social system and a realization of the practical advantages to be derived from the further spread of democracy everywhere.  Only in this way can a peaceful world be achieved, and only in this way can the pressing problems of world poverty and environmental degradation be effectively addressed.  Formation of a Coalition of Democratic States ought therefore to be the goal of all lovers of democracy everywhere.


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