Monday, August 9, 2010

The American State Department has a Assistant Secretary of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor?

So I just watched the interview of Micheal Posner on Colbert Nation. If you are looking for a place to cut the debt, his department is a good place to start. I do not want my government to be an international idealogue.
Mr. Posner seems like a very nice guy and I am pretty sure that ethically he and I are 90% on the same page.

But.

If we are to take local democracy seriously we must try our best to allow people to choose their own governance systems. In an increasely interconnected world this is a difficult task. But surely the U.S. must be failing in this regard if we have a whole section of the State department commited to spreading our versions of democracy, human rights, and labor standards.

For the vast majority of people around the world local affliations, one's family, tribe, hometown, or at the outside one's nationality, still overwhelmingly dominate how they view the world.

People are not swayed by (supposedly) abstract ideals.
This may change. But we are not there yet, nor is it obvious that moving in such a direction is the right way to go.

One of democracy's greatest insights is that it recognizes that people hate being told what to do or think by those that they percieve to be outside of their group. The U.S. must recognize that although it may be the biggest guy on the block, in the international arena it is an outsider, and if for no other reason than that, people will be doubtful that what it has to say applies to them.
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