Tuesday, May 01, 2007

An Existential Answer!

The question posed yesterday, i.e. is any majority ever justified in abolishing the state of democracy, was not only given in by the constitutional problems presently playing out in Turkey - by which the E.U. blindly sides with fundamentalism over preserving democracy - but also by the remarks made by a Dutch Government Minister that - if such would be the wish of a constitutional majority - it should be possible to impose Sharia Law in The Netherlands. That remark was made some months ago, but frankly - after a storm of protest - I haven't seen him retract the statement!

The consequences of wars and revolutions excepted, it might so come to pass that even a minority government stands before the question. I take that to be insufficient in any case for such existential decisions. Frankly, I think all the world's nations would be well advised to set a few constitutional rules in stone about this matter.

The question might be excused if Dutch Minister Piet Hein Donner is perhaps intellectually challenged or morally impaired. Or is he simply criminally naive? Is he a psychiatric patient on the loose, or is he suicidal to the point that he even wants to take the Dutch welfare state with him to his grave? Alternatively, perhaps he's just a relativist? Or a multiculturalist who ran out of patience to see Islamic rule replace Western ethnocentric hegemony at its natural demographic pace?

Truth is Mr Piet Hein Donner's pedigree is simply above any suspicion: decency is his middle name and he has an above average intellect, at least officially so. He comes from good, solid Calvinist stock, born in a patrician family with a long history in government and the judiciary. Actually, his remarks may have been 'quoted out of context' by the MSM. Mr Donner himself says he meant issuing a warning. Indeed.

I think however that's not the whole story. Black and white Calvinist as he is, I believe he may have been coldly extrapolating future demographics and taking the state of democracy to that ultimate result: a two thirds majority that is required to change the Constitution and vote the rule of law out of existance and with it - de facto - democracy. Mr Donner's no fool, he's a democratic fundamentalist!

As we have concluded in the 'Easter Egg' series of posts, that contrary to multiculturalist tenets that "all faiths are the same", the religion of Islam isn't your any home and garden, bread and butter faith at all. Far from it. We shouldn't confuse our Buddhist ammonium nitrate collectors with our Evangelist disenfranchised bombists, as it were. By Muslim admission, and as the founder of the modern Turkish state, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk well knew, the religion of Islam isn't compatible with democracy: the people would be usurping the power of Allah, it's that simple.

From my part here I'd like to argue that by allowing a government by the people, the rule of law, and the separation of Church and State to be replaced by a theocracy to which either three don't owe one iota, such would be an unnatural and irreversible step backwards that cannot be man's destiny.

By which I mean this: the people can decide to impose an Islamic theocracy, an Islamic theocracy would never freely choose to impose a rule by the people. By the same token - and contrary to any ordinary European Christian Democrat party - a Koran based political party is an anomaly: it's like giving the fox the ballot about raiding the hen house!

Another way yet: while democracy has Greek classical roots, the rule of law is founded on Jewish biblical tradition and Roman law, the separation of Church and State (secularism, laity) is a Christian principle, Islam is bent on replacing all that by the law of 7th century desert raiding.

The ultimate goal of democracy can never be the irreversible end of its own existence. No wonder Ataturk gave it a formidable watch dog to prevent it from committing suicide, boys of Brussels!


KimArar said...

Dear Cassandra,

No-one seems to have answered the question you posed yesterday, even though I would imagine it to be a stock question in political courses the world over.

And I seem to remember that there are two stock answers to this. The first is that, yes, of course, a democracy can vote itself out of existence. This is a simplistic form of democracy, essentially mob rule. The second is, no, of course not, since democracy is not merely the rule of the majority; it is this rule within a constitutional framework. This is constitutional democracy. The fundamental laws of the land act as a check on democracy. Hence ending a democracy cannot be done, because it would conflict with what a democracy can legally do.

I would prefer to look at this problem from a different point of view, that of tolerance.

"Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.

We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant."

Just an average Turk's opnion of course.

Cassandra said...

Thank you for your valuable comments, Kim. Let's hope that average Turks like you in the end will have the day. God bless!