Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, April 03, 2003
Democratic Words V. Undemocratic Deeds
The current US-British armed attacks on Iraq by sidestepping the United Nations has caused a great stir worldwide. The anti-war waves whipped up by the people throughout the world have surged to an unprecedented high and have aroused heated discussions and deep thinking among the people over the ongoing war: Where will the international relations go? How can the world get rid of the ��violence for violence�� queer circle and finally move toward peace?
The current US-British armed attacks on Iraq by sidestepping the United Nations has caused a great stir worldwide. The anti-war waves whipped up by the people throughout the world have surged to an unprecedented high and have aroused heated discussions and deep thinking among the people over the ongoing war: Where will the international relations go? How can the world get rid of the "violence for violence" queer circle and finally move toward peace?
According to the viewpoint of the "theory of democracy and peace" prevailing in the West, the use of force usually will not be made between "democratic countries", whereas armed clashes are easily broken out between "democratic and non-democratic countries". According to this logic, only by "transforming" the whole world into "democratic countries", can there be universal and lasting peace. This logic is contained in the current US-UK military strikes on Iraq.
The United States and the United Kingdom have a dual character on the question of democracy. From the perspective of international relations, they are always not so democratic or are very undemocratic, at the same time, they ignore international law and the role of international organizations, and they often resort to the use of force or threat of the use of force against them. One reason behind this phenomenon is the so-called imperial tradition. Since the dawn of the modern times, Britain has not only forcibly occupied numerous colonies, has founded a colossal empire known as the "unsetting sun" and has many times brutally suppressed the struggles for independence waged by the colonial people. Although the United States has basically not established any overseas colonies, it has resorted to the imperial practice of the type of Monroe Doctrine.
Social Darwinism featuring the strong eating up the weak is deeply rooted in the political and cultural traditions of Britain and the United States; in the economic-social field, this is expressed in viewing free competition as standing above social fairness and personal egoism above the doctrine of collective cooperation; in international relations, this is expressed in national egoism and power politics. The base of social Darwinism is that it does not recognize that the relations between persons, and between races are equal, when this is expressed in the field of international relations, it is that it does not recognize that the relations between nations are equal, instead, it holds that the strong ought to control the weak, and the strong nations ought to control the weak ones.
Besides the reasons of social Darwinist tradition and the deeply ingrained conviction of national egoism, the above-mentioned phenomenon is associated with the fact the American society lacks a profound, thorough theoretical and thinking tradition. Tocqueville, a French scholar, pointed out sharply more than a hundred years ago when he said, "in the civilized world there is not a country like the United States that is most inattentive to philosophy", "there is almost not a single person who applies himself to the study of that essentially belonging to theoretical and abstract part of human knowledge". Although this makes it possible to avoid the defect of being misled due to belief in the incorrect official philosophy, it is inevitably subject to ideologically shallow, one-sided and self-contradictory misleading. The prominent features of the American mode of thinking are thinking in a simplified and absolute way characterized by taking things as either this or that, or as white if not black, such as "free world" and "non-free world", "democratic country" and "autocratic country", "Western civilization" and "non-Western civilization", and its differentiation between the enemy and the friend by judging whether one is "opposed to terrorism" after the occurrence of the "9.11" incident. Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, in his book titled "Great Man and Great Country", repeatedly criticized the one-sided concept of morality inclined to call things white if not black as inherent in US isolationism, this concept lures certain Americans to divide all other countries into two kinds: one kind is bad people willingly submitting to Russian leaders, the other kind is good people siding with the United States, such simplified, one-sided and absolute way of summation can only mislead people astray.
Some Americans believe in "the theory of mono-polar stability" and pursue "peace under the rule of America", this actually is a practice of autocracy in international relations. What can really bring the world lasting peace and stability is absolutely not mono-polar hegemony, but rather is the practice of democratization and legalization in international relations. The general trend of human development not only is the gradual implementation of democracy and the legal system within various countries, but also the need to gradually institute democracy and the legal system in international relations.
The majority of countries and people of the world are currently opposed to the practice of the United States and the United Kingdom for ignoring international law and bypassing the United Nations, and they stand for solving the Iraqi crisis within the framework of the United Nations, this demonstrates that the forces worldwide who advocate democratization and legalization in international relations are developing and growing in strength. Of course, the trial of strength between democratic and undemocratic forces will be protracted and tortuous, but democracy and democratic forces will ultimately triumph over unilateralism featuring the undemocratic and despotic practice, those who go against the tide will definitely be mocked and spurned by history.