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DEMOCRACY: AN INSTRUMENT PAWN USED TO SPREAD AMERICANIZATION (IMPERIALISM) By: Laraib Arshad INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT The

history of human political life has to be traced from the evolution of mankind i.e. the murder committed by Adams son is the prime example showing the true nature of man; for power man can kill his own flesh and blood. Henceforth the history of mankind has been painted with blood and battles, individuals and states have been forging war to attain power and invincibility. This leads to now defining the actual gist of this paper that entails the critical study of the institution of democracy very briefly with United States of America being taken as a case study in the light of USA using the tool of democracy to expand US-Imperialism in the world. SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES The basic scope of this particular write up is to add more detailed and analytical paper to the present literature of American democracy is simply neo-imperialism, with adage of US using democracy as a tool to expand its empire through soft power and making the world acknowledge American unilateralism. Thus the basic aim and scope of this paper is that it analysis the writings priory written on this particular subject. Whereas the basic objectives are: y y y y To address the questions those are detrimental in defining and explaining the crucial and vital issues and key points relevantly. To analyze the prior works and studies and produce them in a manner that reflects the basic aims of this paper. To use a methodology that is clear and instrumental in formulating an effective theoretical framework. To prove the hypothesis.

QUESTIONS

i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii.

Defining what is liberalism and liberal democracy? Along with differentiating between a republic and a democracy. What is ideal democracy and why democracy? Structure of United States of Americas democracy and its characteristics Analyzing the true nature of American democracy Analyzing how USA has become an imperial power with context to democracy being used as a pawn The emergence of unilateral America in the post 9/11 world political scenario Analyzing the changes that has occurred since the arrival of barrack obamma in the white house Evaluation of the research findings.

LITERATURE REVIEW CHAPTER NO.1 1.1 FIRST SECTION The first section of this chapter defines the doctrine of liberalism and the institution of liberal democracy along with the clear cut difference between a Republic and a Democracy. Moreover this section defines the principles of an ideal democracy its requirements and institutions as well as a critique on democracy. DEFINITION OF LIBERALISM:
The state or quality of being liberal i.e. A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.

The liberal doctrine posits that the basic point of analysis is an individual rather than state. The liberals claim that conflict and anarchy is not a prevailing or concluding factor in international politics but that when humans employ their reason they can arrive at mutually beneficial cooperation. They can put an end to war.1 Moreover they strongly believe in the fundamentals of democratic governments and the philosophy of democracy claiming that the best tool to implement peace and liberal doctrine is through democracy. Claiming; that democracies do not o to war against each other that is due to their domestic culture of peaceful conflict resolution, their common moral values and their theory of economic cooperation and interdependence.2

1 2

Robert jackson ibid

DEFINITION OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY:


Liberal democracy is a type of representative democracy. In this government system, representatives who have been elected by the people are given the power to decide on laws and political issues, guided of course by the constitution. The constitution, In turn, tends to center around individual rights and freedoms, equality, and due processwhich is granted to all citizens, including minorities.

This is the basic definition of liberal democracy that explicitly explains that the democratic system deals with protecting the rights of individuals as well as maintaining law and order by ensuring that politics is done according to the constitution with people having the freedom to conduct themselves accordingly but in legal parameters for one has to understand that a state is a legal body and a structure of legitimate obedience. 1.1.1 WHAT IS DEMOCRACY In order to understand the basic fundamentals of democracy it is very important to understand the very origins of the terminology and its historical background. 1.1.2 ORIGINS OF DEMOCRACY To trace the exact time period of the evolution of democracy is quite difficult as readings shows that the road to democracy is very uneven. Moreover it has been observed that the in primitive times democracy existed as in the form of groups and tribes where older and wiser man of the tribe or group used to form a sort of leadership to discuss the issues of their community yet eventually when man started living in settlements forming a large community the popular governments trend diminished replaced by monarchies, despotism, oligarchies, aristocracies etc. however in 500.b.c.e the reinvention of primitive democracy in a modernized manner occurred in Europe, to be specific along the Mediterranean coast as well as in Northern Europe.3 Yet it was the Greeks who deciphered the term democracy and later on Romans who gave their own interpretation of the meaning of democracy by introducing the term Republic. To be specific the term democracy, or demokratia, is derived from the Greek word demos- the people, and kratos- to rule.4 Whereas, the Romans chose to call their system a republic, from res- meaning thing or affair in Latin, and publicus- the people. Therefore a republic was the thing that belonged to the people5. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEMOCRACY AND REPUBLIC

3 4

Robert A. Dahl, On Democracy (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1998), pp.10-11. Ibid; p.11 5 Ibid; p.13

The basic difference between the two terms was very clearly pointed by one of the architects of American constitution James Madison in 1787; he defined the two as6: DEMOCRACY: A pure democracy, by which it means a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person. REPUBLIC: It means a government in which the scheme of representation takes place. States often use these two apparatus to form and run a government and their principals are applied yet the theme of this dissertation is on the concept of democracy therefore another feature that is to be discussed is the basic principles of ideal democracy, the criteria of democracy and the consequences of democracy and a critique on the institution of democracy. 1.1.3 IDEAL DEMOCRACY Democracy is not only a system of governance but also a system of rights, a mechanism that ensures that the rights of people are safeguarded against all odds and tyranny and servitude is removed from a society. Due to this a certain criteria is to be met by states to make themselves ideal democracy. CRITERIA FOR A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS7 The criteria for democratic process are effective participation by members in an equal manner and should have clarity of policies to be adopted. Secondly there has to be voting equality which ensure that every member has an equal right to vote for the policy making process. Thirdly, the enlightened understanding about effective policy making and its alternative needs to be learnt by all members. Then the control of agenda has to be overseen in which members must have the opportunity to decide the contents of the agenda. Lastly; the inclusion of adults meaning that adult permanent residents should have the full rights of citizen. The importance of these criteria is as such that in order to achieve political equality and a fair representation of all members all the elements of the above mentioned criteria needs to fulfill in order to achieve ideal democracy. Moreover these criteria can be used as standards through which the performance of any political institution, organization or entity can be measured; claiming to be practicing democratic ideals. CONSEQUENCES/RESULT OF DEMOCRACY

James Madison, The Federalist: A Commentary on the Constitution of the United States (New York: Modern Library, 1937), No.10, p.59.
7

Robert. Dahl, Democracy and its Critics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989)

It has been propagated and argued that if the true essence of democracy is understood and if democracy is practiced in its true form then it can result into a peaceful, war free and stable political world. Also the consequences of democracy can be having desired outcomes for democracy avoids tyranny, ensure essential rights, paves way for freedom, grants self determination and moral autonomy, also gives protection of personal interests, political equality also does the job of peacekeeping and brings economic prosperity. Hence democratic system embodies all these virtues in its folds; this is the reason for liberals to argue with realists to adopt democratic principle and stop viewing the human nature and activities as conflict ridden. 1.1.4 CRITICIZM ON DEMOCRACY Although democracy is considered the best system of governance and its advocates highlights all the good points of this phenomenon however its critics argue that all the ideals of democracy and its virtues sounds good only in theory and the reality is quite different. They argue that no system is flawless and there is not a single democratic regime which is without a blemish or has not inflicted harm upon its people in some way or the other. Also the concept of freedom and its limitations happens to be ambiguous moreover democracies if not directly then indirectly and subtly manipulate the masses according to the interests of the authorities. Also even democracies are tyrannical although their tactics are different and just because they dont let the aristocracies to impose their oppressive rule upon people doesnt mean that harm inflicted by a democracy is not damaging for a crime or harm is still the same. One has to call a spade a spade. Democracy happens to be a bit chancy; When democracy is discussed the confusion arises as the term refers to both an ideal and an actuality, also even democracies have xenophobia then there is a possibility of tyranny of the majority and Theorizing about democracy is easy yet actual implementation is different as effective enforcement is very difficult thus resulting in only a state having only a smoke screen democracy. Above all even the institution of democracy was criticized by two classical philosophers namely Plato and Aristotle. As Platos thoughts on democracy were that it causes the corruption of people through public opinion and creates rulers who do not actually know how to rule but only know how to influence the beast which is the Demos, the public. Whereas Aristotle's views about democracy hold that democratic office will cause corruption in the people, if the people choose to redistribute the wealth of the rich they will end up destroying the state and since the people have no knowledge about governance when they elect rulers they will err.

1.1.5 SECOND SECTION

This section defines the basic structure and characteristics of the democratic model of United States of America.

STRUCTURE OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICAS REPUBLICAN DEMOCRACY In order to understand the nature of American system it has to be noted that over the years people got confused in identifying whether the system of governance is democratic or republic and the basic difference between the two; as mentioned in the first section of this dissertation the difference between a republic and democracy has been already defined and in light of that the true form of American system of governance is that of a Republic. The reason for claiming this view is that in the Pledge of Allegiance the phrase "and to the republic for which it stands." Holds the crux of the matter. Moreover even the constitution proves that US is a republic by proclaiming that The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government" [Article IV, Section 4] Although it has been advocated that constitutionally USA is a republic yet a new terminology has been coined i.e. US being a republican democracy and that over the years US has developed a strong system of democratic framework. However this is a debate that is not the subject matter of this paper hence the basic characteristics are being presented that of American democratic model. Characteristics of the American Democracy The basic characteristics are8: Platform for instant democracy plus diplomatic democracy: it provides the members of American Society to participate in most important decision making, as well as promote harmony and democracy. American democracy lets its citizens take combined decisions and devise laws. Republican way to the designated government: American democracy is representative in character and therefore a type of 'republic' -'re': representing and 'public' the common man. This feature of the implemented democratic ideology is very distinct from those practiced in self-styled governments. Implementation of a democratic nation: the phrase 'government of the people, for the people and by the people', as asserted by Abraham Lincoln personifies this characteristic.

Mansi Chitranshi, Charecteristics of American Democracy (http://www.articleswave.com/articles/characteristicsof-american-democracy.html) last accessed on 7 June, 2011.

Expansion of a central, nationalized government: This trait of American democracy is intended to widen liberty for every civilian and the right to vote. Elections and democratic requirements by means of state administrations, electoral colleges and straightforwardly by the people are conducted to promote and shield the interests of the citizens. Centralized structure of government: This structure of demonstration and separation of the administrative, judiciary and executive powers guarantees devotion to the values of a democratic nation. Issues like adult male suffrage, slavery and suffrage to women are dealt from a sturdy policy that has all the three sections of government functioning independently and yet, in unanimity. Accurate account of democracy by direct voting: This characteristic of American democracy guarantees that elections at fundamental point are dealt with directly by the voters. This not only makes the administration democratic in structure, but also institutes it as a republic. Legitimate and methodical authorization: the concept of unity in diversity and a conviction in 'power vested in the common man' are the main elements of this characteristic also providing equal rights for non white citizens with severe policies against any act of discrimination. These are the basic characteristics of American republics democratic model along with its structure that elaborate that the constitution grants autonomy to the executive, legislative and judiciary. Although these are the basis of American democratic institution yet there has been a numerous criticism on it which is also one of the questions erected to be answered. 2.1. CHAPTER NO.2 2.1.1 FIRST SECTION: This section gives a detailed account of criticism on American democracy as a means to spread imperialism by imposing its unilateral weight upon other states. A narration of American history till contemporary politics and arrival of Barack Obama in the White House.

2.1.2. CRITICISM ON AMERICAN DEMOCRAY: AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN THE FORM OF AMERICAN IMPERIALISM HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: The American nation came into being after untangling itself from the ties of a colonial power. . American Revolution is considered to be an epic struggle for the rights of man. It was a struggle of the people of thirteen colonies against a world power i.e. the British Empire to free itself from the clutches of subjugation. The Revolution not only freed the people but also bonded them into a stronger bond of a united nation. The gifted leadership and its commitment to their founding principles made America a country which challenged the might of the world powers of the time in due course of time. The founders of American nation constructed the constitution and structure on the foundations of right of self determination, liberty and equality. They pledged to make a nation free of servitude or of imperialistic designs. George Washington the first President of the nation gave the concept of neutrality in Englands war with France. Thomas Jefferson also advocated limited role for United States in world affairs. This policy was in league with the needs of the people as they needed to develop a strong and united nation. The continuous westward movement and the issue of slavery kept Americans busy at home. Even though they fought a war with England in 1812 but they refrained from any expansionism or exploration on other continents. This policy was given a more tangible shape when President Monroe presented his famous Monroe Doctrine in 1823 in his address to the Congress. Monroe Doctrine aimed at keeping European nations out of the affairs of the American continent in return for Americas avoidance of indulgence in European affairs. This did not restrain several American Presidents from interfering in the affairs of Latin American countries on different counts. Hence the rise of the American imperialism surfaced on the horizon also as time progressed and the North South rivalry escalated its resonance started to be felt in other nations as Souths greed for land in order to give strength to their advocacy for slavery in new states plunged America into a war with Mexico which later on led to annexation of Texas in 1840s9. The Civil War fought between the Norths and South finally settled the question of slavery and United States was on the path for glory. However now US was well on the path of economic progress that called for new markets for American products as it was ready to supply its surplus to other countries. The reasons presented for the Spanish-American War in 1898 might have been different but this can be considered the start of American imperialism. US got Philippines and their presence there was applauded in the start but later on as a burden. As a result American power got to be unleashed with the acquirement of Philippines and Hawaii. In the start of the 20th century, US were occupied with world wars. Which both fortunately for US resulted in economic prosperity as in First World War USs arms industry developed whereas after the end of the WWII not only did USA emerged as a super power but also the ravages of war didnt touch USA at all whereas Europe had to suffer the worst, also US entered into an ideological struggle with the Soviet Union called
Abdullah Khan, US Imperialism in the garb of Freedom of the World (http://hubpages.com/hub/US-Imperialism-and-Freedom-of-the-World) last accessed on 7 June, 2011.

as the Cold War. This was the time when both countries fought proxy wars in different regions. This called for US political control of third world countries. US entered into alliances with different countries by offering aid or any other help to third world countries and stop the spread of communism. The Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Hence now the USA emerged as a unilateral power in the world also in order to make its presence felt US embarked upon the mission of NATO expansion. However the 9/11 incident paved way for US to wage a war on terrorism and in its cloak US used the preemptive doctrine and hot pursuit that led to attack on Afghanistan and Iraqi invasion. This did not augur well for the rest of the countries especially the poorer parts of the world. A uni-polar world and war on terror allowed US to maintain hundreds of bases to this day in different parts of the world, compelling its weaker allies like Pakistan to fight a proxy war. 2.1.3. AMERICAN UNILATERALISM AND IMPERIALISM In order to understand the roots of the criticism on American unilateralism and imperialism a historical commentary was needed hence the historical background. The roots of American imperialism were laid down when the American President George Washington defined the new born nation as a rising empire. During the turmoil that the fledging nation faced in initial years he further on cemented the idea by predicting that However unimportant America maybe considered at present, there will assuredly come a day, when this country will have some weight in the scale of Empires. Interestingly when debating about American imperialism it has to be observed that it took eight bitter years for America to get out of the shackles of its imperial ancestor empire The Great Britain. Moreover the European powers fought many bloody battles and wars with occupying huge territories to add into their empires in order to get themselves acknowledged as great powers so just getting independence and becoming economically powerful was not they way to make those European powers acknowledge the American empire, US had to prove its worth had to behave like one of them hence the annexation of Hawaii, conquering Spains colony of Philippines, establishing a protectorate in Cuba and acquiring sovereignty over the Panama Canal Zone in perpetuity.10

10

Richard H. Immerman, Empire for liberty: a history of American imperialism from Benjamin Franklin ... (USA: Princeton University Press, 2010).

Eventually USA did returned to normalcy after the World wars however with the emergence of Cold War USA again embarked upon extending its empire but not territorially but diplomatically, culturally, economically and politically in the form of providing aid benefits to war devastated and financially weak countries, the ideological war made US capitalize on the capitalistic doctrine by compelling its allies to choose to fight against communist bloc but after the fall of communism US went into isolation and the mere word of being and empire or imperial power roused a reaction out of the American as during his campaign in 1999 former President George W. Bush scoffed at the mere idea of tainting America with an imperial brush he expressed America has never been an empire11 yet initially those who rejected the idea of American empire and imperialism changed their stance when the 9/11 incident happened and USA waged the war on terror by attacking the bases of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraqi invasion as well as involving the whole world into this war. An article was published in New York Times Magazine with a caption of The American Empire (Get used to it!). Similar coverage and articles were written across the globe no longer the scholars or writers denied the idea of American imperialism. It can be cited that for some observers the war unleashed after 9/11 has sanctioned the unquestionable right of the planetary policeman (USA) to punish those guilty of hostile and unwelcome attitudes.12 Or the attack on Iraq is an operation of imperial imprint13. Another criticism on American unilateralism and imperialism in context of War on Terror is what we are confronted with is an implicit and substantial declaration of war on the whole world, and of which the whole has been invited to take part in Moreover to sum this criticism it is said that the America wants to create an empire which extends to the entire international society from which no one can even hope to escape. Moreover as stated earlier the thread of US imperialism can be traced in the concept of Christianity as after the discovery of American land and the European settlements missionaries were created to make the natives Christians then also the theory of White mans burden by Rudyard Kipling and Manifest Destiny all had the connotations of imperialism in them which are also evident in USs policies. Hence the nations very essence is created on the ideals and the spread of democracy argument by Woodrow Wilson basically serves as a symbol that by democratization it means Americanization which in turns means imperialism.

11

ibid

12

Sergio Fabbrini, America and its Critics Virtues and Vices of the Democratic Hyperpower (UK: Polity Press, 2008)

13

T.Judt n D.Lacorne (eds), With US or Against US: Studies in Global Anti-Americanism (New York: Palgrave MCmillan, 2005).

Apart from this it has to be observed that flaws that exists in the American democratic system according to Fareed Zakaria one of the critics of American democracy posits that: It is odd that the United States is so often the advocate of unrestrained democracy abroad. What is distinctive about the American system is not how democratic it is but rather how undemocratic it is, placing as it does multiple constraints on electoral majorities. The Bill of Rights, after all, is a list of things that the government may not do, regardless of the wishes of the majority. Of America's three branches of government, The Supreme Court -- arguably the paramount branch -- is headed by nine unelected men and women with life tenure. The U.S. Senate is the most unrepresentative upper house in the world, with the lone exception of the House of Lords, which is powerless and in any event on the verge of transformation. Each state sends two senators to Washington, D.C. regardless of its population. Thus, California's 30 million people have as many votes in the Senate as Arizona's 3.7 million -- hardly one man, one vote. In state legislatures all over the United States, what is striking is not the power of the majority party but the protections accorded to the minority party, often to an individual legislator. Private businesses and other nongovernmental groups -- what Alexis de Tocqueville called "intermediate associations" -- make up yet another crucial stratum within society. This rich fabric of civil society has been instrumental in shaping the character of American democracy14. The author has also explained the tensed and intangible relation between constitutional liberalism and democracy but he mainly focuses on the fact that USA is suffering from over democratization which has resulted into US becoming a hyper imperial power. This point can be further elaborated in the light that the American imperialistic designs and unilateralism is to such extent that it has built agencies like CIA, and National Security Agency that controls world technology and the comes the National Missile Defense Program that is an anti nuclear technology shows not only the paranoia of US but also that it will pull at all stops the remain an invincible unilateral power. Furthermore even the American people those who are not the part of government have been criticized for their naivety and ignorance to acknowledge the very nature of their society. According to Niall Fergusson who captures the national delusion well: The great thing about the American empire is that so many American disbelieve in its existence, they think they are so different that when they have bases in foreign territories, its not an empire. When they invade sovereign territories, its not an empire. Lastly the American transnational activities especially the promotion of globalization in the world along with its intervention for the sake of peace strategy has led to more problems and if today the role of America is seen in a dubious light then US had it
14

Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom (W. W. Norton & Company, 2007)

coming. Thence in the light of above arguments and existing literature the fact remains the same that the United States has been over the last two decades been acting as an imperialist power and using democracy as an instrument to do so. 2.1.4. THE ARRIVAL OF BARACK OBAMA ON THE POLITICAL HORIZON After George W. Bush vacated the White House the world sighed with relief and when Barack Obama became the President the whole world with high hopes waited for a miracle to happen or if not that then the awful War on Terror will some how come to an end. Yet the pragmatists if not sharing such idealistic hopes did hope that a change of effective tactics will occur and the anti terrorism strategy will dropped and counter terrorism startegy will be adopted. However till yet the war on terror continues and the killing of Osama Bin Laden has not ceased the war till yet. Tariq Ali in his book has even called Obama as just another meticulous and effective robotic leader who doesnt deviate from the already defined political map that has been paved. Furthermore he posits that: "From Palestine through Iraq to Iran, Obama has acted as just another steward of the American empire, pursuing the same aims as his predecessors, with the same means but with a more emollient rhetoric.15" Furthermore it has been observed that the tactics and policies are still the same just the deliverance of the policies are different. Where Bush used to apply the steamroller tactics; Obama uses a much more subtle policy. Although as Ali posits by concluding his book that the whole administration can be termed as retarded yet that would be judging the tenure too harshly as Obama still has the scope as well as the time to make some big and effective changes.
2.1.5. SECOND SECTION:

The overall view of the dissertation with concluding the analysis of the research findings and an evaluation of the facts presented in this paper with a sum up as well as few suggestions in context with what possible measures should be adopted or what should be avoided.

3.0. CONCLUSION 3.1. SUMMARY AND EVALUATION The conclusion that can be drawn after data evaluation is that it cannot be disputed that, the United States exhibits imperialistic behavior. This behavior arose from the need to protect interests, namely economic and political ones. Those interests manifest
15

Tariq Ali, Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad (UK: Verso, 2010)

themselves as oil reserves and support for the American cause. However, American foreign policy has little regard to the interests of other nations, and the resulting actions carried out create the regional instability. Indeed, these actions are borne out of a history that is full of insecurity and wars, also the American doctrine of White Man Burdens and Manifest Destiny are the reasons why the American leaders propagates through interviews with the media as the reason for its intervention in all parts of the world: America is going to do this or that because we have a duty to do what is just and right. This causes problems and confusion as what is in the American governments best interests ultimately has the effects of creating regional instability by tampering when not needed, and sitting idle whilst our help is desperately needed. And in respect to democracy although the criticism on it is vital and just yet it has to be realized that there are complications that are faced by virtually every system of governance. However just because a state is democratic doesnt mean its flawless and less tyrannical than non democratic regimes the people can hardly afford to be complacent. Also the appeal of democratic setup is luring yet in 20th Century despotic rulers have been cloaking their aristocratic rule behind the faade of democracy and elections. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE? The question arises that what is the solution on the offering for USA. Well United States policy-makers desperately need to pay more attention to Americas pressing financial and economic needs. Cordell Hull is almost completely forgotten today, but he deserves to be remembered not only for being the longest-serving Secretary of State in history (19331944) but for being the last one to concentrate on promoting U.S. economic interests. Today, U.S. policies seem to be assisting a collapse of the very international financial order created in the aftermath of World War II. Moreover the United States were a minor player on the world stage instead of the major funding source for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, those organizations would be demanding that the U.S. administration make major fiscal and economic policy changes. In sum, the primary need of the United States today is to greatly reduce U.S. commitments worldwide. The existing U.S. decision making and intelligence structures are no more capable of running a global than the centralized Soviet system was of controlling a far less complicated global equation. Hence In the 21st century, there is no reason for Americans to play the Great Game in the mode of 19th century European elites particularly when no vital U.S. interests are at stake. Therefore the Americans needs to realize that with no imminent threat to their nation and the war on terror simply posing as an obstacle along with financial disturbances the need to stop being a threat to the rest of the world as well as the process of imperialism needs to be halted along with US stop using the institution of democracy as a pawn to further their interests and also to stop imposing it on other states.