Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Friday, June 02, 2006

Invade America, and establish democracy there!

A while back I was at a dinner sitting next to Pete Richerson, a lovely guy who is an ornithologist who has written with Robert Boyd (who I haven't met, but I'm sure he's just as nice) some of the most sophisticated and sensible material on cultural evolution - it figures anyone who has to deal with the hyperintelligent Corvidae and other passerine birds would be interested in that. But the talk turned, being mid 2005, to what was going on in Iraq, which had been invaded to bring democracy to Iraqis (or were we still dealing with weapons of mass imagination then? I forget).

In the course of it I happened to elicit a sharp laugh from Pete when I suggested that we should invade the United States - it sorely needed democracy (not having much of it at present) and it certainly had weapons of mass destruction. I was joking, of course. Right?

But today, Leiter Reports link to an article in Rolling Stone that indicates that not only the 2000, but also the 2004 presidential election, was systematically stolen by deliberate fraud and vote rigging. Gore should have won, and Kerry should have won, but the GOP appartchiks made it harder for Democrats to vote, by closing booths, sending voter registration forms too late, or miscounting. Read the article. It's frightening.

Gaining power by vote fraud is a mark of totalitarian regimes subverting democracy. It happened in Russia, in Germany, in Spain and a host of other places. Here's my dilemma - I like America enormously. My visits there have been marked by the richness of the culture, the diversity of places, and the hospitality of the people. I even got to like their accents a bit. But I hate the way its polity is developing and fear not only what will happen when the 200lb gorilla starts throwing its weight around to force its quandam allies to conform to its narrow minded policies (as it has with the previous war on abstract notions, the expensive War on Drugs), but also when likeminded totalitarians in my and other countries start to gain support and comfort from the rise of the totality in the US.

To prevent this, the entire rest of the world needs to invade the US and establish democracy. I'm joking, right?