DOAJ:Law and Political Science
Economic growth, development, planning
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AbstractWhen it comes to political organisation the western world likes to claim the moral high ground. It touts the benefits of free and fair elections, as if the concept of democracy were a self-evident, eternal truth. For the US State Department, democracy has taken on near-religious significance. It has become a right, just as much as the right to life, liberty and happiness.If the US and many other western countries actually practised what they preached, they would at least be giving their sermons from solid turf. But because they continue to undermine the practice of democracy at home, their pulpits are not very high and the ground they stand on is increasingly squishy.In the nations with the loudest democracy trumpets, big businesses and rich individuals have corrupted the democratic process. They influence elections and laws to their advantage and suppress changes they don't like. At the same time, the poor have become increasingly disenfranchised, either because they are deliberately excluded from the voting process or because they no longer believe it has any value.This is not just a failure of democracy. It is also a failure of communication. Rather than achieving its goals, and promoting an idea with considerable merit, the West is undermining the cause. Democracy has become little more than an ideological weapon, and it is driving the doubters away.