Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Demokrasi Global: Penjajahan Semula? (Global Democracy equals Recolonisation?)

Dante “Klink” Ang 2nd (left), president and CEO of The Manila Times, talks with former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamed at the Neo-Centennial Keynote Lecture at the University of Santo Tomas on Monday. PHOTO BY RENE DILAN
Menyambung bicara tentang tugas dan tanggungjawab pemerintah, dan juga rakyat, untuk mengekalkan sistem tadbir urus yang teguh dan sihat, saya ingin memetik ucapan Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sewaktu beliau dianugerahkan ijazah kehormat oleh Universiti Santo Tomas di Manila (11/6/2012).
    “We applaud democracy as the best system of governance ever devised by man, but democracy works only when the people understand the limitations of democracy” 
    “When people think only of the freedoms of democracy and know nothing of the implied responsibilities, democracy will not bring the goodness that it promises” 
    “Instead, it will result only in instability, and instability will not permit development to take place and the people to enjoy the benefits of freedom and rights that democracy promises.”
    Ucapan yang disampaikan di ibu kota negara yang berbangga dengan sistem demokrasi meskipun gagal membebaskan majoriti rakyatnya dari perangkap kemiskinan mencetuskan persetujuan dan percanggahan pendapat. 
    Ada yang bersetuju peri pentingnya pemimpin yang tegas dan cekap, namun masih ramai yang serik dengan pemerintahan ala diktator Ferdinand Marcos (1965-1986). Empat belas tahun (1972-1986) di bawah undang-undang tentera telah menjerumuskan Filipina dari kedudukan kedua selepas Jepun dari segi pertumbuhan ekonomi kepada status "sick man of Asia".
    Justeru, di manakah silapnya sistem demokrasi yang gagal memulihkan kedudukan ekonomi Filipina setelah lebih 25 tahun diamalkan?
    Dr M juga mengajukan soalan yang mengingatkan saya kepada kebimbingan Alexis de Tocqueville tentang 'tyranny of the majority' yang kemungkinan jahil tentang batas-batas pemerintahan demokrasi (tafsiran saya):     
    “Why has democracy not delivered the good life we had expected of it?” 
    “Simply put, it is impossible for the people to rule themselves. There are too many of them and they cannot agree on anything.
    “Government of the people, by the people and for the people will result in a stalemate, in no government at all, in anarchy.”
Lantaran, apakah yang perlu dilakukan? 
    “So what do we do?” 
    “Do we accept the failures of democracy, or do we make some adjustments and sacrifice some of the liberalism of democracy so we may extract something from the system?”
    With all due respect to the great statesman, I find that when people talk about democracy, particularly liberal democracy of the American brand, it appears to be a 'given'. As if there are no counter-factuals or viable alternatives. And that's precisely why I tossed in terms such as the Philosopher King and the Caliphate in the previous posting.
    Menurut Plato, ahli falsafah merupakan pemerintah yang terbaik dalam menerajui 'bahtera negara' (the ship of state).
    "[A] true pilot must of necessity pay attention to the seasons, the heavens, the stars, the winds, and everything proper to the craft if he is really to rule a ship" (The Republic, 6.488d).
    Bagaimanapun, gagasan yang dikemukakan Plato itu dikritik oleh Karl Popper kerana dituduh membawa kepada kebangkitan totalitarianisme pada abad ke20, dengan impian 'kejuruteraan sosial' (cth: DEB) dan 'idealisme', yang dikesan terus kepada Stalin dan Hitler. 
    Ayatollah Khomeini juga dikatakan mendapat ilham dari visi Plato tentang Raja Pendita tatkala berada di Qom pada 1920-an bilamana beliau didakwa menyerapkan unsur-unsur Republik Islam pada gagasan Plato itu.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosopher_king#In_Book_VI_of_The_Republic
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bagi mereka yang berminat untuk mengikuti kritikan tentang sistem demokrasi, sila baca makalah berikut:
Why Democracy is Wrong
Definition of democracy:
"What exactly is democracy? We must not identify democracy with majority rule. Democracy has complex demands, which certainly include voting and respect for election results, but it also requires the protection of liberties and freedoms, respect for legal entitlements, and the guaranteeing of free discussion and uncensored distribution of news and fair comment. Even elections can be deeply defective if they occur without the different sides getting an adequate opportunity to present their respective cases, or without the electorate enjoying the freedom to obtain news and to consider the views of the competing protagonists. Democracy is a demanding system, and not just a mechanical condition (like majority rule) taken in isolation."
Democracy as a Universal Value, Amartya Sen, Journal of Democracy. (US Congress publication).

Antara hujah-hujah yang boleh dipertimbangkan ialah seperti disenaraikan di bawah:
1.Inequality and democracy
Testable propositions: inequality
Several testable propositions are available for the hypothesis of structural reinforcement of inequality in democracies:
  • in all democratic states there is inequality of wealth and income
  • inequality of wealth and income has not declined permanently in any democratic state
  • in democracies stable over more than one generation, inequality of wealth increases
  • in democracies stable over more than one generation, inequality of income increases
The first proposition is more or less self-evident: the inequality is there. The fact that democracy is rarely investigated as a causal factor is itself a political choice. Most sociologists are democrats: they are not likely to blame democracy for inequality.

Testable propositions: global inequality
In terms of inequality, it seems that a planet is better off without any democracies. Historically, the rise of democracies coincided with a period of unprecedented global inequality. Supporters of the democratic peace theory imply causal relations from this kind of simple correlation ("if there is no war, then democracy caused the peace"). Similar conclusions can be drawn in connection with these testable propositions, such as these about inequality...
  • absolute global inequality between states, as the gap between the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the poorest and the richest state, is greater since modern democracies emerged
  • relative inequality between states, as the ratio of per capita GDP in the richest and poorest states, is greater since modern democracies emerged
  • statistical measures of 'national-income' inequality will show a greater coefficient of inter-state inequality in the period of democracies (about the last 150 years) than before it
  • inter-state inequalities of this kind are greater between democracies and non-democracies, than within the group of democracies, or the group of non-democracies
Testing some of these would be difficult: historical economic data is limited. But it would be very surprising if they are not true - for the simple reason that the democratic countries are the rich countries.

2. The conservatism of democratic culture
Unless we assume that liberalism represents the final truth about human beings, we cannot indiscriminately condemn societies that do not conform to it.
Bhikhu Parekh (1993). The cultural particularity of liberal democracy, in David Held (ed.) Prospects for Democracy: North, South, East, West Cambridge: Polity. (p. 169).

Testable propositions...The idea of increasing political conformity and uniformity is difficult to operationalise, but these propositions could be investigated...
  • in democracies, the range of political ideas (in the manifestos of parties elected to parliament) shrinks.
  • in democracies, the difference in stated aims between major parties (those with more than 5% of the vote) also shrinks
  • democracy inhibits the formation of major new political parties (fusions of existing parties excepted): the chance that, in any 10-year period, a completely new party will gain more than 5% of the vote, is small.
  • democracy inhibits the formation of major new political-ideological groups of parties (comparable to the green parties in western Europe, the only such example in the last generation)
3.The myth of moral superiority of democracy
Let me sum up the past two hundred years of democratic history. The intertwined histories of democratic legitimations, social movement activism and institutional changes generated, in some of the world's states, a significant democratization of the institutions of government. Despite antidemocratic countertrends, the long run direction of change in some of the states was a democratization of state power.
testable propositions
If democratisation was categorised historically on the analogy with colonial conquests, these hypotheses could be researched...

  • of the states which have made a transition from non-democracy to democracy since 1939, most have done so following a military intervention by democratic powers.
  • past military intervention by a democratic power, rather than any traditional explanation such as economic development, is the best predictor that a country will be a democracy.
  • of the military interventions since 1900 with the stated purpose of imposing a political system on a state, the majority (if not all) were to impose or restore democracy

  • 4. The constitution of the demos
    Testable propositions: fortress democracy
    The combination of the nation state and global inequality has created a historically unique pattern of 'islands' of wealth co-existing with oceans of poverty. The island metaphor is not entirely accurate, since most rich countries border on other rich countries. They are not in fact surrounded by extreme poverty - it is generally further away from their borders. Mexico, for instance, is no longer a poor country: the poorest immigrants at the Rio Grande come from its southern neighbours. Similarly, most illegal immigrants who cross the Strait of Gibraltar come from sub-Saharan Africa, not from Morocco itself. 
        However the island metaphor is accurate at global level: those who are born in a rich society will live in a rich society, those who are born amid extreme poverty will die there also. The outward transfer of wealth is minimal: development aid is less than 0,5% of GDP in rich countries, and the percentage is falling. The inward transfer of population is minimal. Never before has it been cheaper to travel from one continent to another, never before has the gap in incomes been greater, but migration into the rich western democracies is deliberately kept at a low level. This is what is historically unique, and it does seem to be specific to democracies, in the form suggested by these propositions
    • high-income democracies admit less immigrants than the few high-income non-democracies (such as the United Arab Emirates)
    • the countries which have historically spent the highest proportion of GDP on immigration control are democracies
    • most countries which have installed electronic surveillance at their borders, in order to limit immigration, are democracies
    • in democracies, economic growth produces no corresponding rise in development aid
    • the highest absolute gaps in GNP per capita, for pairs of states, are between democracies and non-democracies
    • the 'privilege' of immigration into a rich democracy is granted disproportionately to those who already come from a rich country. For any specific high-income democracy, the poorest countries have the lowest immigration rates into that democracy, taking account of the relative populations of the two countries.
    • high-income non-democracies are more likely than high-income democracies to accept immigrants from poor or very poor countries
    • the more democratic a country is, the lower the percentage of refugees among its population

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