Democracy or Dictatorship

What the Invasion of Ukraine tells us about Democracy

The world is now divided into TWO camps. Those sovereign states that believe in democracy: government by representatives of the people, universal suffrage where all citizens can vote for whoever they wish to govern them. And those sovereign states which are run despotically with no respect for the citizens’ rights to vote.

While considering this, one must be aware that there are cultural, anthropological, and emotional reasons why Russia regards Ukraine as part of Russia itself and not an independent sovereign state. For balance, one must learn the lessons of history.

Kiev was a city when Moscow was just a village. The most important religious buildings in the Russian Orthodox Church are in Kiev. One can, therefore, understand why the Russians believe their very roots are in Ukraine.

Neither the West nor Russia want a global war. Keeping the two ideologies apart by maintaining a buffer zone between Nato territory and Russian territory might be a solution.

Back to Democracy. Let’s dig a bit deeper. Let’s look at the official titles of the two parts of Korea to illustrate the differences between democracy and despotism.

North Korea is officially called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. South Korea is simply called the Republic of Korea. Ironic, isn’t it, that the part of Korea that is governed by the totalitarian Kim family regime is called a people’s democracy. Since 1948 the Kim family has ruled North Korea for three generations. The people have no choice of which party or person they can vote for. Yes, they can vote but it must be for the totalitarian Kim regime.

Winston Churchill once said that: “democracy is the worst form of government — except for all the others that have been tried”. It’s the “worst” kind of democracy because of the western concept of having a governing party and an opposition party in a county’s parliament. That can result in compromises being taken in order to enact legislation. It’s the old story of whether to breed one-hump camels or two-hump camels. Because no-one can agree, the decision is made to clone a camel with three humps!!!

Also, the two party system can encourage arguing for the sake of arguing. In despotic governments, disagreement is just outlawed. People are forced to obey whatever the government decides to do. In both systems, we see human greed and corruption. Although in totalitarian regimes most of the money from corruption ends up with the dictators, their sycophants make sure they have their share in return for their support of the regime.

How democratic are the West’s political systems? Do lobbying groups have more influence on governments than the electorate? In the UK, the Queen is not party-political and, by unwritten convention, can only encourage, advise, and warn. The House of Lords is only a revising and advising chamber. In practice, how influential are the royal household and the Lords in government decisions and legislation.

Kim Jong Un has said that North Korea and China are defending and advancing socialism, while “frustrating the undisguised hostile policy and military threat of the U.S. and its satellite forces” by strengthening strategic cooperation and unity. Do readers think that his regime really is socialist or communist? Or do his actions show that he does not want his country to be democratic?

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I post stories, not necessarily on the original topic, that I hope are of interest to readers and will encourage a response and a follow-back. That gets a wider audience and benefits all writers.

It’s what I call the “estate agent” concept. Those in real estate tell me that they find customers often respond to details of properties outside their specifications and not what they originally asked for.

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I am a published author on Thai events and how Thais actually live under feudalism. My books are available in eBook and print format. I also publish on Substack