Although much of global history has demonstrated a growing desire for democracy, it is not always a well-functioning system. The prevalence of democratic governments today is the result of first-world nations imperializing other lands and, therefore, spreading their chosen system.
These nations might utilize democratic values due to its reputation for being “politically legitimate,” which can indicate that the leaders may not agree with democracy but use its power. We must depart from believing the false notion that democracy is the best form of government and stop imposing it on other countries when it consistently fails the people living there.
For example, in the 1960s, First World influence from the British attempted to transform the Nigerian government into a parliamentary democracy. The people were unhappy with the change, however, and eventually assassinated the Prime Minister and overthrew the democratic government, according to BBC.
With the apparent spread of democracy also comes the threat of illiberal democracies. Although they may seem legitimate, they are often corrupt. For example, the leaders of “democratic” Russia, China and Iran do not follow their constitutions to protect freedom of press and allow their people to vote.
Specifically in Russia, Vladimir Putin has avoided the law in the Constitution that limits the amount of years a person can be president. Although there is a legislative and judicial branch for checks and balances, Putin remained unopposed as Russia’s leader, according to The New York Times.
The philosopher John Locke, who inspired today’s documents and laws, often did not adequately account for human nature and its innate selfishness. Therefore, democratic laws and documents cannot possibly work in keeping society safe and civil.
The most consequential example of this concept is the way the United Nations functions. Since the U.N. is made up of world leaders and not a single unbiased leader, there are no international repercussions and the treaties are non-binding. This structure effectively allows every world leader to pick and choose what laws and documents they wish to obey.
Only a handful of countries hold majority of the power in the U.N., and therefore can choose which global issues matter the most to them. According to The Atlantic, the U.N. has not made any plans to help Myanmar out of their current genocide of the Muslims by the Buddhists.
Broadly speaking, each nation puts their own interests first. This is demonstrated by the issue of the United States’ borders and how they limit the number of immigrants that enter the nation.
The U.S. also chooses not to use their power to help free Yemen from Saudi Arabia, according to The Guardian. Saudi Arabia is currently blocking their ports and creating a humanitarian crisis and the U.S. allows this to continue because they rely on a good relationship with Saudi Arabia to be a great source of oil.
On a smaller scale, nations govern themselves and those in power can rule to their own benefit. Yet another example is how Syria is currently suffering a genocide led by their own leader. Since there are no international laws to police them, the Syrian government can continue to harm their own people.
The push for more democratic societies may seem beneficial, however, in countries that are not as industrialized as the U.S. and other first-world nations, this may result in more political turmoil than success. Therefore, we should implement other political ideologies that may better suit these countries.