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German Lessons

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posted on Feb, 28 2003 @ 11:10 AM
Taken from today's Guardian

When Ameerica defeats its enemies, George Bush said in a speech this week, it leaves no occupying armies but democracy and liberty. "There was a time," he went on, "when many said that the cultures of Germany and Japan were incapable of sustaining democratic values. Well, they wre wrong." In fact it is Mr Bush who is wrong. Japanese men got the vote in 1925, not in 1945, as the president implied. And German men won the vote as far back as 1849, albeit subject to a property qualification, at a time when Mr Bush's country practised legalised slavery. Bearing in mind that America only became a full democracy in 1965, and Germany in 1946, there is a case for saying that the Germans have at least as strong a democratic tradition as Americans. What's more, there is no dispute about who actually won the last German election, which is more than can be said about the means by which Mr Bush came to office. A little historical humility would do the president no harm.

A new brain might be the best option though. It's not like he had a clue either way what he was saying. Monkeys could live on the moon for all he knows.

posted on Feb, 28 2003 @ 12:58 PM
How did we become a full democracy in 1965? I'll accept the slavery arguement, but a) we certainly were not the only slavers, and b) what changed from post Emancipation Proclamation US to 1965 to go from a (partial?) democracy to a full one? Just curious as to the reasoning there...

posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 06:02 AM
Women voting...

posted on Mar, 2 2003 @ 08:19 AM
Agendas, agendas, and half-truths.

Remember, Hitler usurped power, he wasn't elected to the position he took.

Remember, at the end of the war with Japan, the leader had to tell the people that he was not a god. He was not allowed the complete rule over the people he had.

Remember, the only argument over whether Bush is the proper president is by those who ignore the truth and the law, and cannot get over the fact that their crystal-gazing boy is not disgracing the Oval Office and kissing the rear of the U.N. as we speak.

posted on Mar, 3 2003 @ 04:14 AM
We have to be careful about this one: while I doubt that any of us would rush to GB2 for educational assistance; we need to think very carefully about what ìdemocracyî means. Let us not forget that the Athenians invented it and did so on a bedrock of slaves and disenfranchised women.
Few nations can boast a shining record ñat least in the eyes of some ñ on their democratic history. Both the US and Britain have many stains and shadows. On the other hand, at least in the US (despite slavery/disenfrachisement) ìdemocracyî was not subject to the will of the nobility as it often was in the 19th Century in Britain.
The assertions of the first poster also require attention ñ there wasnít a ìGermanyî at the time he suggests ñ that came after the Franco-Prussian war and even then there were states other than Prussia e.g. Bavaria.
He/she is perhaps thinking of Bismarckís Prussia ñrather enlightened by comparison with Britain at that time but largely ineffective given the authority of the Kaiser. Similarly with Japan ñwhich (broadly speaking) took most of its ideas from Germany but laid them on a British model of Parliament- including a powerful nobility.
Anyone rushing, however, to speak of ìJapanese democracyî would do well to research ìkokutaiî or any reasonable history of the Meiji Restoration or the Meiji Constitution of 1889.: something akin to political parties did develop after the restoration of Imperial authority; but nothing any of us would even vaguely recognise as democracy.
As I recollect, they didnít even get a Prime Minister until the 1880ís. Again, this largely farcical structure swore Imperial oaths of allegiance and the Emperor could ñto a large degree ñdo whatever he liked.
So ñyou can have a universal franchise (Communist Russia or modern Iraq are splendid examples); but it does rather depend upon whom and what youíre allowed to vote for.
On balance, Bush was incorrect: but there was a tenable point there: that a US-style democracy was to a high degree unavailable in these countries pre-1945. On the other hand, is ìUS styleî oneís model of democratic perfection.
I think we have to get beyond the weasel words and look more closely at the power of the individual ìvoterî and then, at who these voters actually are/were. For instance, TC is perfectly right to stay Hitler "usurped" power; but he did so under cover of a "democratic" process! We need absolute clarity and accuracy.

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