Democratic Peace

For a while, the theory of Democratic Peace was popular, widely believed, and widely argued.  Supposedly democracies do not go to war with each other.

On the basis of this theory, Osama Obama and Bush have been promoting democracy in the middle east.  Supposedly, if Muslims get to vote, they will vote against making war on us.

Of course, one could look at much the same evidence and conclude that countries that are capitalist and predominantly free market do not go to war with each other, and that countries with McDonald’s franchises do not go to war with each other.

The last theory, in addition to being better supported by the evidence, also has  more plausible theory behind it:  If two countries both have McDonald’s franchises, they have business connections to the world, and thus to each other, so you have vested interests in both countries in favor of peace.

The democratic peace theory was always based on wishful thinking and torturing the evidence till it confesses.  The three most dreadful recent wars were the American civil war, between democracies, the first world war, mostly between democracies, in the sense that the Kaiser’s war budget had to voted by democratically elected legislators, and World War II, which was primarily caused by a democracy, the Weimar Republic,  suicidally voting for totalitarians.  Proponents of the Democratic Peace theory argue that does not count, because Nazi Germany certainly was not democratic, but the notorious propensity of democracies to commit suicide in a messy fashion certainly ought to count.  The Nazi party came to power in accordance with the Weimar Republic rules, because they got more votes than any other party in the Weimar Republic ever did in any election.  The only reason that they did not get an outright majority is that lots of people were voting for the communists, so though there was no clear majority for any one party, there was clear majority in favor war, terror, and bringing democracy to an end.

Now, the US has successfully exported democracy to Egypt. And how shall we be rewarded?

The most likely winner of the election proposes to end the peace treaty with Israel, confront Israel, and allow terrorists to operate from Egypt. None of the candidates are saying “war”, but they are proposing to act in a way that makes war likely, and perhaps unavoidable.

2 Responses to “Democratic Peace”

  1. Alrenous says:

    I figured it was an outright lie. Good to know that’s indeed the case.

    Though one can also assume it’s an equivocation. When someone says ‘democracy’ in this context, they don’t appear to mean voting etc, but rather ‘formal allies of USG.’ It at first seems to be something akin to no true Scotsman, but once you realize what, exactly, they are referring to with ‘democracy’ it becomes simply circular. If they attacked USG or one of their allies, they wouldn’t BE a formal ally, now would they?

    How’s that for a strategy: equivocation into circular argument.

    • jim says:

      Another version, not quite so fallacious, is that no two well behaved states go to war with each other. (Which version can equally be described as capitalist peace or McDonald’s peace.) Obviously, to have a war, one or both must aggress, but, as President Adams observed, there is no strong correlation between democratic and well behaved.

      In the latter days of Weimar, those voters voting for totalitarianism outnumbered those voting against totalitarianism, and those voting for war outnumbered those voting for peace. The Nazis only had a plurality, not an outright majority, because the anti capitalist totalitarian vote was split between nazis and commies, but they had a large plurality, which is more than most postwar German governments have had, and each of their major policies had majority support, which is a lot more than most postwar German governments have had.

      And in the recent democratic Palestinian elections, the two major parties were terrorist and even more terrorist, with the peace-with-Israel faction as invisible in Palestine as the monarchist faction in the US elections.

Leave a Reply