Friday, July 30, 2004

The Downside to Democracy

One of the disadvantages of being a democratic society is that whatever the decisions taken by their elected leader, the responsibility befalls on all the members of society. Regardless if the consequences of those decisions turn out to be good or bad. Don't get me wrong, I love democracy as much as the next guy. But the real dilemma arises when homicidal rebel groups from countries like Saudi Arabia, target civilian populations of democratic nations like of the US for supporting oppressive regimes in their land.

If any wrong action taken by the US government results in a loss to the Saudi population, be it economic, political or social, then the rebels in Saudi Arabia are well within their rights to target civilians in the US. Since, the the US government was elected and represented by the people of the US therefore, every American should equally share the consequences of their government's actions. Moreover, the American people pay taxes to the state which, raises their degree of responsibility.

However, on the other hand its not the same as in the case of Saudi Arabia. In an undemocratic country like Saudi Arabia, where the government is not elected by the people. The state and the civilian population to a very significant extent of "responsibility sharing" are independent, even on those very rare occasions when the government does listen to the people. If the Saudi government did something wrong that resulted in a loss to the US or its people then only the Saudi government is responsible to compensate for America's loss and no blame or burden should be put on the Saudi civilian population. And if a group of Saudi civilians did the same then only it should compensate for the loss and no burden or blame should be put on the state. Moreover, the Saudi civilian population don't pay any form of tax to the state which, in turn does not have any degree of responsibility on them.

Being a democratic nation is very advantages within its own political borders and among other democratic nations. But, as a democratic nation with respect to an undemocratic nation, its a major disadvantage because their is no one who can be legitimately held accountable.

1 comment:

  1. asSalaam 'aleykum, Dawud from

    my most recent blogpost, feel free to visit:
    Returning to that Horrible Tuesday...

    Wisdom does not always register when one first hears it; though that arab wiseman Imam Hamza Yusuf quoted in his DeenPort ( interview was right: 'Speak the Truth, though not every truth should be spoken'

    Since I reprobate violence, but have recently been accused of fostering it, I reflected recently on these words from Sh. Nuh Ha Mim Keller, written on September 30, 2001:
    Someone recently informed me that half the terrorist organizations officially listed on some or another “terrorist watch website,” were Muslim. Though Islamic law does not countenance terrorism or suicide of any sort, and I know these organizations represent an extreme splinter of an extreme splinter of Islam, I did not find the statistic particularly shocking. Rather, if in the last fifty years world governments like the United States and Britain have somehow convinced themselves that it is morally acceptable to kill, starve, and maim civilians of other countries in order to persuade their governments to do something, it would be surprising if this conviction did not somehow percolate down to the dispossessed, the hopeless, the aggrieved, and the powerless of every religion and ethnic group in the world. It looks as if it has. Please read, and I hope you find some solace and respite in knowing that Allah's Mercy is Vast, whatever the poor vessels our hearts are...