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Can "American-type democracy" be made universal?
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13:58, February 05, 2008

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More and more international affairs experts opt to describe the future world with uni-polarity and multi-polarity with an outlook of uni-polar trend, and some people also worry that the rise of multi-polarity will lose balance. In fact, the future multi-polarity is not a simple repetition of history.

Fresh and new troubles and contradictions will undoubtedly emerge in this world, and a world aimed to seek new orders would always throw us into a state of alarm but one point can be affirmed – That is, it is not suffice or adequate to leave the entire world to the United States alone, as noted British scholar Robert Cooper said.

In his new book "the Second Opportunity", the US strategist Zbigniew Brzenzinski quoted what a Bush Administration aide had said four years ago: "We are history's actors … You, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." To Brzenzinski, these amazing words imply that the United States would first take Iraq, then Syria, then Iran, and then Saudi Arabia … this is simply tantamount to shattering of a daydream, which many American scholars conclude as the error of the US foreign policy. The true question, however, is that the rise of a sole superpower in the post-cold war era gave rise to an absolute faith in the American-type democracy among some people, who regard that permanent peace will be brought to the world only when the "American system" has been turned into a "global system".

What a blunder in cognition! With the progress of globalization, some Americans naively hold that the mode of democracy would turn increasingly identical. New York Times Columnist Thomas Freidman, an ardent advocate of the so-called "democratic globalization", has frequently used such "democratic terms" as technological democracy, capital democracy and information democracy. A novel theory he established has drawn the attention of many people, because according to his Golden Arches theory (the famous symbol of MacDold's outlets)), "No two countries that both had Macdonald"s had fought against each other.

His new theory was shattered by the US bombers' attacks against Belgrade nevertheless and some American scholars said, jeering that MacDold's in Belgrade topped the rest of the entire Europe in term of their number. As a matter of fact, the world under the rule of the only superpower can not have democracy and it is also hard and very difficult to safeguard peace in a sustained way.

Western democracy has originated from Western religions and cultural traditions and turned more and more mature in the steady evolution of the process of Western history. This process is definitely composed of not only the enlightenment movement but of the ruthless colonial plunder and bloody wars. In judging this very process, people will come to see that the future new emerging countries would not repeat beaten tracks taken by the West and this point has also been seen crystal-clear even in the Western world.

Moving from uni-polarity to multi-polarity, the world is meant to include a group of newly emerging nations into the ranks of relatively strong powers, such as the four "gold brick nations" of Brazil, Russia, India and China and the five "forward-looking countries, namely, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey and Argentina.

In view of either their present international environment or their current domestic situation, these nations cannot duplicate or reproduce the growth modes of developed countries. So in the course of development in the years ahead, they have to seek their mode of development that best suits themselves, including democratic systems that are able to represent the interests of the vast majority of their nationals.

Globalization has created opportunities for the diversity of democratic forms, and a still more democratic world cannot be a chaotic world without any order. Moreover, a new type of moral basis and "rules of play" will take shape gradually at the time when a mechanism is formed to rein in hegemony. Furthermore, the pluralistic democratic forms pose a kind of democracy, and such pluralism is also capable of bring forth a still more democratic world.

By People's Daily Online and its author is Ding Gang, an ace PD desk editor

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