sexta-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2005

Democracias e militarismo

(1) "[s]ometimes democracies behave more aggressively than oligarchies or dictatorships. For example, in Ancient Greece, after the Athenian fleet failed to take Syracuse, an oligarchic coup occurred in Athens. When democracy was finally restored, Athenian policy again became more bellicose. In fact, democratic Athens was more aggressive than oligarchic Sparta…. As the Athenians assembled a powerful force to conquer Melos, the Melians attempted to make a moral case for peace. The Athenians slaughtered all the men, sold the women and children into slavery, and colonized the island….

"[Since] war and democracies have both been rare… the importance of any wars among democracies – for example, the War of 1812, the U.S. Civil War, and World War I – should be magnified" (p. 40).

Some of the biggest troubles with the theory relate to questions of what constitutes a democracy. According to Eland, "democratic peace theorists frequently and unconvincingly try to tweak the definition of democracy to exclude those cases from the category of ‘wars within the democratic family.’ For example, [they] attempt to exclude Wilhelmine Germany" from the definition. In spite of pre-World War I Germany’s "broadest voting franchise on the continent," "constitutional checks on the executive, parliamentary government, and civil liberties" and its widely perceived status as a "progressive constitutional state," Americans began to see it as more "militaristic and authoritarian" once the war broke out. And "although Germany often gets too much blame for causing World War I… the reckless German behavior prior to the war was caused by Democratic pressures. The German government, threatened from gains by the Social Democratic Party, attempted to unify the country with overly competitive behavior overseas" (41). The Tyrannical State by Michael Gaddy


There are numerous theoretical and empirical problems with the superficially appealing theory of democratic peace. Power kills and democratic states are quite powerful. The most powerful democratic states have been quite bellicose. Naturally, they have killed many, both internally and externally. Many of the pacific elements of democracies are in fact accidents: not essential elements of democracy but rather hangovers from the more republican past. It is mistake to focus on inter-democratic state violence when what really plagues the world is:

violence between democracies and non-democracies that democracies often provoke
violence within democratic states
the symbiotic relationships between dictatorships and democracies
the instability of democracy.

Democracies are implicated in the three main threats to world peace today: terrorism, nuclear war and ethnic/religious conflict. Democratic pacifism truly is a myth. Not only does it fail to explain how we can achieve world peace, but the theory itself has caused and, as explained in Part IV, continues to cause war! It is literally an intellectual dead end.

Year State War

1899 France Chad-France
1899 U.S. Philippine Insurrection
1914-18 U.S., France, U.K. World War I
1916-21 U.K. Anglo-Irish (civil war)
1919 U.K. Afghanistan-British War
1939-45 U.S., France, U.K. World War II
1945 U.S. Chinese Civil War
1946 U.K. Indo-China War
1948 Israel Arab-Israel War
1952 France Algerian revolution
1950-53 U.S. Korean War
1956 Israel Suez or Sinai War
1956-1964 France Vietnam
1962 India China-India
1965-1973 U.S. Vietnam
1965 India India-Pakistan
1967 Israel Six-Day War
1971 India India-Pakistan
1973 Israel Yom Kippur War
1975-1984 U.K. Britain-Ireland
1982 Israel Israel-Lebanon
1982 U.K. The Falkland War
1983 U.S. Grenada
1991 U.S. Gulf War
1999 U.S. Yugoslavia
2001-02 U.S. Afghanistan

Em The Myth of Democratic Peace: Why Democracy Cannot Deliver Peace in the 21st Century by James Ostrowski

Sem comentários:

Enviar um comentário