Front Page
NMJ Search
Editorials
Commentary
Archive
NMJ Radio
Constitutional Literacy
Islamofascism
Progressivism
Books
NMJ Shop
Links, Etc...
Facebook
Twitter
Site Information
About Us
Contact Us
  US Senate
  US House
  Anti-Google






Archive Email Author

About Walter E. Williams
Born in Philadelphia in 1936, Walter E. Williams holds a bachelor's degree in economics from California State University (1965) and a Master's degree (1967) and doctorate (1972) in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1980, he joined the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and is currently the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics. From 1995 to 2001, he served as department chairman. He has also served on the faculties of Los Angeles City College (1967-69), California State University (1967-1971) and Temple University (1973-1980). From 1963 to 1967, he was a group supervisor of juvenile delinquents for the Los Angeles County Probation Department. More than 150 of his publications have appeared in scholarly journals such as Economic Inquiry, American Economic Review and Social Science Quarterly and popular publications such as Reader's Digest, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. He has made many TV and radio appearances on such programs as Milton Friedman's Free to Choose, William F. Buckley's Firing Line, Face The Nation, Nightline and Crossfire, and is an occasional substitute host for The Rush Limbaugh Show. He is also the author of several books. Among these are The State Against Blacks, later made into a television documentary, America: A Minority Viewpoint, All It Takes Is Guts, South Africa's War Against Capitalism, More Liberty Means Less Government, Liberty Versus The Tyranny of Socialism, and recently his autobiography, Up From The Projects. He is syndicated by Creators.com. http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/wew/
Social Bookmarking
Print this page.
Middle East Democracy
Walter E. Williams
December 26, 2012
Here's the first paragraph of my last year's column "Democracy Is Impossible":

"After Moammar Gadhafi's downfall as Libya's tyrannical ruler, politicians and 'experts' in the U.S. and elsewhere, including French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, are saying that his death marked the end of 42 years of tyranny and the beginning of democracy in Libya. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), said Gadhafi's death represented an opportunity for Libya to make a peaceful and responsible transition to democracy. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), said, 'Now it is time for Libya's Transitional National Council to show the world that it will respect the rights of all Libyans (and) guide the nation to democracy.' German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that 'Libya must now quickly make further determined steps in the direction of democracy.'"

It's good to have hope, but if we're going to be realistic, there's little chance for Middle East emergence of what we in the West call democracy.

Almost a year ago, both Egyptians and Westerners welcomed and celebrated the downfall of three decades of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak's tyrannical rule. It was called an "Arab Spring." A year later, Egyptians are once again taking to the streets, this time protesting the tyrannical acts of President Mohamed Morsi, who represents the vision and ideological orientation of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood's goal has always been to impose Shariah law. Egyptian tyranny hasn't been eliminated; its form has changed.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship is now being challenged by a hodgepodge of armed resistance groups nominally united as the Free Syrian Army. Speaking for our nation, last year President Obama said, "The United States has been inspired by the Syrian peoples' pursuit of a peaceful transition to democracy. They have braved ferocious brutality at the hands of their government." Is al-Assad's downfall in any way more likely to produce democracy than Gadhafi's downfall or Mubarak's downfall? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is optimistic in saying the rebel protest shows "the strong desire of the Syrian people...for a Syria that is democratic, just and inclusive."

The human experience should have taught us that just getting rid of a particular dictatorship is only half the struggle. We must always ask what's going to replace it. The 1917 Russian revolution got rid of the Czars only to be replaced by the far greater brutality of the Bolsheviks under Joseph Stalin and his successors. In China, Chiang Kai-shek's dictatorial rule was replaced by Mao Tse-tung's unprecedented barbarity, which became responsible for the deaths of 76 million Chinese. Cuba's Fulgencio Batista's dictatorship was replaced with that of Fidel Castro. The injustices of Western colonialism in Africa were replaced with homegrown brutal dictators who murdered their citizens.

In most countries in the Middle East, the collection of human rights that Westerners know as personal liberty is nonexistent. According to Freedom House's 2011 "Freedom in the World" survey, as well as Amnesty International's annual report for 2011, most North African and Middle Eastern countries are ranked either "repressive" or "not free." Moreover, I believe there's little prospect for liberty and whatever the West tries to promote in terms of liberty is doomed to failure and disappointment. The fact of the matter is that nations in the Middle East do not share the cultural and philosophical foundations of the West that created its respect for the rule of law and private property rights.

What should the West do about the gross violations of human rights so prevalent in North Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere? My short answer is: mind our own business and only intervene when there are direct threats to our national defense or economic interests. Otherwise, what they want to do to one another is none of our business.








The BasicsProject.org informational and educational pamphlet series is now available for Kindle and iPad. Click here to find out more...

The New Media Journal and BasicsProject.org are not funded by outside sources. We exist exclusively on donations from our readers and contributors.
Please make a sustaining donation today.







Opinions expressed by contributing writers are expressly their own and may or may not represent the opinions of NewMediaJournal.us, its editorial staff, board or organization.  Reprint inquiries should be directed to the author of the article. Contact the editor for a link request to NewMediaJournal.us.  NewMediaJournal.us is not affiliated with any mainstream media organizations.  NewMediaJournal.us is not supported by any political organization.  Responsibility for the accuracy of cited content is expressly that of the contributing author. All original content offered by NewMediaJournal.us is copyrighted. NewMediaJournal.us supports BasicsProject.org and its goal: the liberation of the American voter from partisan politics and special interests in government through the primary-source, fact-based education of the American people.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The Media Journal.us © 1998-2014    Content Copyright © Individual authors
Powered by ExpressionEngine 1.70 and M3Server