But for many places the only choice is between bad dictators and slightly better ones. The currency has substantially declined, educated people continue to flee, and international drug cartels have made the country a new transshipment center. Learning Objectives: 1.) Rather, I refer to the increasingly dense ganglia of international corporations and markets that are becoming the unseen arbiters of power in many countries. Recent elections brought Sharif, the Punjabi, back to power. Under its authoritarian system China has dramatically improved the quality of life for hundreds of millions of its people. Just as Cambodia was never really democratic, despite what the State Department and the UN told us, in the future we may not be democratic, despite what the government and media increasingly dominated by corporations tell us. And as communities become liberated from geography, as well as more specialized culturally and electronically, they will increasingly fall outside the realm of traditional governance. The tendency both toward compromise and toward trusting institutions within a given community will be high, as in small and moderately sized European countries today, or as in ancient Greek city-states. Many of you were inspired by the hopeful message of our expert panel — that we can join together with common purpose and reform our government so it is responsive to the … "It's a sports team, a symphony orchestra, and a church rolled into one." True, there are strong similarities between now and a century ago. The government was neither democratic nor authoritarian but a cross between the two. Just as religion was replaced by nationalism at the end of the Middle Ages, at the end of modern times nationalism might gradually be replaced by a combination of traditional religion, spiritualism, patriotism directed toward the planet rather than a specific country, and assorted other organized emotions. Democracy, which is now overtaking the world as Christianity once did, may do the same. Combining boxing, karate, and wrestling, it has nothing fake about it—blood really flows. The days in Hong Kong have recently been bookended by two numbers, neither of them comforting. Greece, for instance, is a stable democracy partly because earlier in the century it carried out a relatively benign form of ethnic cleansing—in the form of refugee transfers—which created a monoethnic society. The classicist Sir Moses Finley has noted that what really separated the rulers from the ruled in the ancient world was literacy: the illiterate masses were subject to the elite's interpretation of documents. Chile has become a stable middle-class society whose economic growth rate compares to those of the Pacific Rim. This concept went untested, because a cohesive American identity and culture did take root. Asked why they came, they said that they wanted to "see blood." President Carlos Menem's second term has raised questions about democracy's sustainability—questions that the success of his first term seemed to have laid to rest. Well, a world government has been emerging—quietly and organically, the way vast developments in history take place. The Example of the Americans Does Not Prove That a Democratic People Can Have No Aptitude and No Taste for Science, Literature, or Art in Alexis de Toqueville's Democracy in America? Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. The philosopher James Harrington observed that the very indifference of most people allows for a calm and healthy political climate. City and state courts have tried, often unsuccessfully, to stop it. "This is the future," said the chancellor of the Omaha campus, Del Weber. We have always put up with restrictions inside a corporation which we would never put up with in the public sphere. People have freedom and power of voting and choosing what they want. The rich thrive in any form of government, the people need a document to assure their well-being. The world's most efficient peacemaking force belongs not to the UN or even to the great powers but to a South African corporate mercenary force called Executive Outcomes, which restored relative stability to Sierra Leone in late 1995. 1 among the fifty-three most advanced countries appearing on an index of global competitiveness. Resident expatriatism, or something resembling it, could become the new secular religion of the upper-middle and upper classes, fostered by communications technology. A place like the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), where the per capita gross national product is less than $200 a year and the average person is either a rural peasant or an urban peasant; where there is little infrastructure of roads, sewers, and so on; and where reliable bureaucratic institutions are lacking, needs a leader like Bismarck or Jerry Rawlings—the Ghanaian ruler who stabilized his country through dictatorship and then had himself elected democratically—in place for years before he is safe from an undisciplined soldiery. The author referred to an explicit range of databases and periodicals. Yet the stadium was jammed, and three groups of cheerleaders performed. Even J. P. Morgan was limited by the borders of the nation-state. But its ability to affect our lives is limited. In case of interest to anyone, I share here notes on highlights of an article, Was Democracy Just a Moment? "There may be so little holding these southwestern communities together that a basketball team is all there is," a Tucson newspaper editor told me. "Decentralization goes hand in hand with central monitoring," Barnevik says. Take the new kind of professional fighting, called "extreme fighting," that has been drawing sellout crowds across the country. "Gadgets" like the light bulb and the automobile brought an array of new choices and stresses. When Qureshi handed the country back to "the people," elections returned Bhutto to power, and chaos resumed. By "poor" Aristotle meant laborers, landowning peasants, artisans, and so on—essentially, the middle class and below. Democracy often weakens states by necessitating ineffectual compromises and fragile coalition governments in societies where bureaucratic institutions never functioned well to begin with. Because both a middle class and civil institutions are required for successful democracy, democratic Russia, which inherited neither from the Soviet regime, remains violent, unstable, and miserably poor despite its 99 percent literacy rate. Gladiators in Rome were almost always of racial or ethnic groups different from the Romans. Democracy isn't just a procedural word for casting ballots. This rise of corporate power occurs more readily as the masses become more indifferent and the elite less accountable. Wow! Bhutto's government was essentially an ethnic-Sindhi mafia based in the south; Sharif's was an ethnic-Punjabi mafia from the geographic center. While the 200 largest corporations employ less than three fourths of one percent of the world's work force, they account for 28 percent of world economic activity. Indeed, our often moralistic attempts to impose Western parliamentary systems on other countries are not dissimilar to the attempts of nineteenth-century Western colonialists—many of whom were equally idealistic—to replace well-functioning chieftaincy and tribal patronage systems with foreign administrative practices. Indeed, a number of American cities are re-emerging as Singapores, with corporate enclaves that are dedicated to global business and defended by private security firms adjacent to heavily zoned suburbs. Those overseers will manage an elite volunteer military armed with information-age weapons, in a world made chaotic by the spread of democracy and its attendant neo-authoritarian heresies. Even in Latin America, the Third World's most successful venue for democracy, the record is murky. Only in this century has Sparta been seen as the forerunner of a totalitarian state. Fujimori's use of deception and corporate-style cost-benefit analyses allowed him to finesse brilliantly the crisis caused by the terrorist seizure of the Japanese embassy in Lima. Venezuela has enjoyed elected civilian governments since 1959, whereas for most of the 1970s and 1980s Chile was effectively under military rule. Modern democracy exists within a thin band of social and economic conditions, which include flexible hierarchies that allow people to move up and down the ladder. Democracies do not always make societies more civil—but they do always mercilessly expose the health of the societies in which they operate. In a sense, just as we cannot seem to figure out which day we can stop announcing that Biden won the election, we are also having a hard time settling on the day we … We prevented the worst excesses of a "military-industrial complex" by openly fearing it, as President Dwight Eisenhower told us to do. Their discontent is a reason for the multifold increases in crime in many Latin American cities over the past decade. And they will easily find acceptance in a world driven increasingly by financial markets that know no borders. Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of international trade at Harvard, writes that "good government" means relative safety from corruption, from breach of contract, from property expropriation, and from bureaucratic inefficiency. Look at Armenia and Azerbaijan, where democratic processes brought nationalists to power upon the demise of the Soviet Union: each leader furthered his country's slide into war. Even in an authentically democratic nation like Argentina, institutions are weak and both corruption and unemployment are high. Certainly, moral arguments in support of democracy were aired at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, but they were tempered by the kind of historical and social analysis we now abjure. One can have Oriental rugs, foreign cuisines, eclectic tastes, exposure to foreign languages, friends overseas with whom one's life increasingly intertwines, and special schools for the kids—all at home. One, the day’s COVID-19 infections, is announced at a … Eisner and those like him are not just representatives of the "free" market. History has demonstrated that there is no final triumph of reason, whether it goes by the name of Christianity, the Enlightenment, or, now, democracy. He is governing better than the first time, but communal violence has returned to Pakistan's largest city, Karachi. Jobs cannot be created without the cooperation of foreign investors, but assuaging their fear could require the kind of union-busting and police actions that democracy will not permit. This year's election was not a fraud or a failure. But as Americans enter a global community, and as class and racial divisions solidify, Madison's concept is relevant anew. One day in 1996 Kabul, the Afghan capital, was ruled essentially by no one; the next day it was ruled by Taliban, an austere religious movement.). TheAtlantic.com Copyright (c) 2021 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. . Of the world's hundred largest economies, fifty-one are not countries but corporations. From Dictatorship to Democracy — summary TL; DR: Competent strategic planning of political defiance is necessary in order to take down a dictatorship. They stood in lines for hours. Not democracies but authoritarian systems, including monarchies, create middle classes—which, having achieved a certain size and self-confidence, revolt against the very dictators who generated their prosperity. In Mali, which Africa-watchers have christened a democratic success story, recent elections were boycotted by the opposition and were marred by killings and riots. "The city was so big, now, that people disappeared into it unnoticed," Booth Tarkington lamented in The Magnificent Ambersons. Democracy is not a tally to determine who was right; it is the right to implement an untested path to a brighter future. Already, barely literate Mexicans on the U.S. border, working in dangerous, Dickensian conditions to produce our VCRs, jeans, and toasters, earn less than 50 cents an hour, with no rights or benefits. Since neither Tucson nor any other southwestern city with a big state university can find enough talent locally, he pointed out, community self-esteem becomes a matter of which city can find the largest number of talented blacks from far away to represent it. Then there are malls, with their own rules and security forces, as opposed to public streets; private health clubs as opposed to public playgrounds; incorporated suburbs with strict zoning; and other mundane aspects of daily existence in which—perhaps without realizing it, because the changes have been so gradual—we opt out of the public sphere and the "social contract" for the sake of a protected setting. Doesn't liberation from filth and privation count as a human right? Hobbes suggested that even if human beings are nobler than apes, they are nevertheless governed by biology and environment. But they operated within a fatally flawed system, which our own ethnocentric hubris helped to construct. As an unemployed Tunisian student once told me, "In Tunisia we have a twenty-five percent unemployment rate. The tinder was Donald Trump’s refusal to accept his November defeat. There even ensues a brief scene of physical violence between the two, but at the very last moment Ratcliffe, whose career would be ruined otherwise, is able to keep his wrath in check. Sign in Sign up for FREE Prices and download plans If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. Post-Cold War Era Are democracies value-neutral? Corporations are like the feudal domains that evolved into nation-states; they are nothing less than the vanguard of a new Darwinian organization of politics. The growing piles of our material possessions make personal life more complex and leave less time for communal matters. Obviously, democracy in the abstract encompasses undeniably good things such as civil society and a respect for human rights. You probably agree with what Trump said and what he asked for in that call instead of seeing it for what it really is — an attack on our American democracy. Foreign correspondents in sub-Saharan Africa who equate democracy with progress miss this point, ignoring both history and centuries of political philosophy. In 1995 Fujimori won re-election with three times as many votes as his nearest challenger. In Bosnia democracy legitimized the worst war crimes in Europe since the Nazi era. Of course, the influence that corporations wield over government and the economy is so vast and obvious that the point needs no elaboration. Click here to start a new topic. 1 in the world on the United Nations' Human Development Index. I put special emphasis on corporations because of the true nature of politics: who does and who doesn't have power. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com. But after a few months or years a bunch of soldiers with grenades will get bored and greedy, and will easily topple their fledgling democracy. Many of you were inspired by the hopeful message of our expert panel — that we can join together with common purpose and reform our government so it is responsive to the people and addresses the challenges of racial injustice. Just as Jem and Scout grow up in a household valuing fairness and equality, and therefore adhere to such morals. A hybrid regime may await us all. What is less reasonable is to put a gun to the head of the peoples of the developing world and say, in effect, "Behave as if you had experienced the Western Enlightenment to the degree that Poland and the Czech Republic did. Five percent of eligible Haitian voters participated in an election last April, chronic instability continues, and famine threatens. Today’s malaise is short-termism and pessimism. We should worry that experts will channel our very instincts and thereby control them to some extent. Democracy is more than just a set of specific govern-ment institutions; it rests upon a well - understood group of values, attitudes, and practices - all of which may take different forms and expressions among cultures and societies around the world. This is just one of a host of other political factors that can and should help us understand capacity in a new way after COVID-19. Singapore's reputation in these regards is unsurpassed. Of course, it is because people find so little in themselves that they fill their world with celebrities. The problem with social media isn’t just what users post — it’s what the platforms decide to do with that content. A few decades hence it may be hard to define an "American" city. Even India, the great exception that proves the rule, has had a mixed record of success as a democracy, with Bihar and other poverty-wracked places remaining in semi-anarchy. For instance, ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. is a $36 billion-a-year multinational corporation divided into 1,300 companies in 140 countries; no one national group accounts for more than 20 percent of its employees. The Greek historian Polybius, of the second century B.C., interpreted what we consider the Golden Age of Athens as the beginning of its decline. The Gilded Age millionaires financed an economy of scale to fit the vast landscape that Abraham Lincoln had secured by unifying the nation in the 1860s. The global triumph of democracy was to be the glorious climax of the American Century. The end of history - francis fukuyama (1992) Collapse of the soviet union indicated the end of history, as now man"s ideological evolution and liberal democracy had become the final form of human government. They will call themselves democracies, and we may go along with the lie—but, as in Peru, the regimes will be decisively autocratic. In Sierra Leone and Congo-Brazzaville elections have led to chaos. Paul A. Rahe, a professor of history at the University of Tulsa, shows in his superb three-volume Republics Ancient and Modern (1992) how the Founders partly rejected the ancient republics, which were based on virtue, for a utilitarian regime that channeled man's selfish, materialistic instincts toward benign ends. TIP: To be clear, Democracy in early 1800’s America allowed for states’ rights so states could be slave states. Material possessions not only focus people toward private and away from communal life but also encourage docility. Democracy, which had prevailed during Athens’ Golden Age, was replaced by a system of oligarchy in 411 BCE. A degree of space and isolation is required for a healthy sense of self, which may be threatened by the constant stream of other people's opinions on computer networks. Polybius, too, recommended mixed regimes as the only stable form of government.) A survey of business executives and economists by the World Economic Forum ranked Singapore No. Authored on September 01, 2020 September 1, 2020. Democracy isn’t just a procedural word for casting ballots. Why? Instead of clear-cut separations between classes there are many gray shades, with most people bunched in the middle. Just register and complete your career summary. But there are other, more covert forms of emerging corporate power. If one forms a multi-party system in Uganda, a party cannot win elections unless it finds a way of dividing the ninety-four percent of the electorate [that consists of peasants], and this is where the main problem comes up: tribalism, religion, or regionalism becomes the basis for intense partisanship." In other words, in a society that has not reached the level of development Toqueville described, a multi-party system merely hardens and institutionalizes established ethnic and regional divisions. A hundred years ago millionaires' mansions arose beside slums. My pessimism is, I hope, a foundation for prudence. Those who think that America can establish democracy the world over should heed the words of the late American theologian and political philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr: The lesson to draw is not that dictatorship is good and democracy bad but that democracy emerges successfully only as a capstone to other social and economic achievements. The last four years did not prove our democracy is fragile. Where a political system leans too far in either direction, realignment or disaster awaits. The masses avoid important national and international news because much of it is tragic, even as they show an unlimited appetite for the details of Princess Diana's death. Also, the power ultimately lies in the hands of people. To see it unspool — to watch the jumbled images ricochet, live, across the world’s endless screens — was, as an American, a struggle to believe your eyes. In 1986 Museveni's army captured the Ugandan capital of Kampala without looting a single shop; Museveni postponed elections and saw that they took place in a manner that ensured his victory. I found only hotels and corporate offices with generic architecture, "nostalgic" tourist bubbles, zoned suburbs, and bleak urban wastelands; there was nothing distinctive that I could label "St. Louis" or "Atlanta." In fact, for the poorest countries where we now recommend democracy, Cromwell's England may provide the best comparison. Berlin argued that adherence to historical inevitability, so disdainful of the very characteristics that make us human, led to Nazism and communism—both of them extreme attempts to force a direction onto history. Indeed, those who quote Alexis de Tocqueville in support of democracy's inevitability should pay heed to his observation that Americans, because of their (comparative) equality, exaggerate "the scope of human perfectibility." The word democracy has originated from Greek language(s). It will tell of a moment when two different states, international nuclear regulatory commissions, nuclear operators, workers and concerned citizens entered a controversy that was truly unique. Local corporations, particularly First Data Resources, wanted the school, so they worked with the Omaha branch of the university to finance what became less a school than a large information-science and engineering complex. Man, Benjamin Franklin said in an apparent defense of Hobbesian determinism, is "a tool-making animal.". Dewey … A coup in Azerbaijan was necessary to restore peace and, by developing Azerbaijan's enormous oil resources, foster economic growth. The 500 largest corporations account for 70 percent of world trade. In moderate doses, apathy is not necessarily harmful. But Venezuela is a society in turmoil, with periodic coup attempts, rampant crime, and an elite that invests most of its savings outside the country; as a credit risk Venezuela ranks behind only Russia and Mexico. America's Most Widely Misread Literary Work, In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond. Democracy Is a Habit: Practice It from Boston Review. The mood of the Colosseum goes together with the age of the corporation, which offers entertainment in place of values. According to Hobbes, our ability to reason is both a mask for and a slave to our passions, our religions arise purely from fear, and theories about our divinity must be subordinate to the reality of how we behave. "I happen to be one of those people who do not believe in multi-party democracy," Museveni has written. I am not certain, because democracy in China would have ignited turmoil not just in the Muslim west of the country but elsewhere, too; order would have decreased but corruption would not have. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Democracy. Many say that despite Trump, ... philosophers and economists, legal scholars and historians, activists and citizens, as they think not just through this moment but beyond it. For example, while the government fights drug abuse, often with pathetic results, pharmaceutical corporations have worked through the government and political parties to receive sanction for drugs such as stimulants and anti-depressants, whose consciousness-altering effects, it could be argued, are as great as those of outlawed drugs. The Example of the Americans Does Not Prove That a Democratic People Can Have No Aptitude and No Taste for Science, Literature, or Art in Alexis de Toqueville's Democracy in America? In Brazil and other countries democracy faces a backlash from millions of badly educated and newly urbanized dwellers in teeming slums, who see few palpable benefits to Western parliamentary systems. Ask questions, get answers They are an import from Latin America, where deep social divisions in places like Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City make them necessary for the middle class.) "Democracy" in Cambodia, for instance, began evolving into something else almost immediately after the UN-sponsored elections there, in 1993. Evil individuals were certainly responsible for the mass murder. Hobbes, who lived through the debacle of parliamentary rule under Cromwell, published his translation of Thucydides in order, he said, to demonstrate how democracy, among other factors, was responsible for Athens's decline. The days in Hong Kong have recently been bookended by two numbers, neither of them comforting. In other words, the category of politics we live with may depend more on power relationships and the demeanor of our society than on whether we continue to hold elections. With Third World populations growing dramatically (albeit at slowing rates) and becoming increasingly urbanized, democrats must be increasingly ingenious and dictators increasingly tyrannical in order to rule successfully. Why shouldn't men like Madison and George Washington have admired Sparta? European society had reached a level of complexity and sophistication at which the aristocracy, so as not to overburden itself, had to confer a measure of equality upon other citizens and allocate some responsibility to them: a structured division of the population into peacefully competing interest groups was necessary if both tyranny and anarchy were to be averted. We can learn just as much from this union as we can from the split on either side of that era. During the Cold War, Turkey's military intervened when democracy threatened mass violence, about once every decade. Precisely because the technological future in North America will provide so much market and individual freedom, this productive anarchy will require the supervision of tyrannies—or else there will be no justice for anyone. The battle between liberal and neoconservative moralists who are concerned with human rights and tragic realists who are concerned with security, balance-of-power politics, and economic matters (famously, Henry Kissinger) is a variation of a classic dispute between two great English philosophers—the twentieth-century liberal humanist Isaiah Berlin and the seventeenth-century monarchist and translator of Thucydides, Thomas Hobbes. But there is a difference, and not just one of magnitude. Democracy isn't just a procedural word for casting ballots. Plot summary. “We are in an unprecedented moment when a president who is willing to conspire with mobs to bring down his own government. She responds to … In 1993 Pakistan briefly enjoyed the most successful period of governance in its history. Like the hybrid regimes of the present and future, such an evolving corporate community can bear an eerie resemblance to the oligarchies of the ancient world. "The government of man will be replaced by the administration of things," the Enlightenment French philosopher Henri de Saint-Simon prophesied. For quite a few parts of today's world, which have at best only the beginnings of a middle class, the Europe of the mid nineteenth century provides a closer comparison than the Europe of the late twentieth century. The classicist Sir Moses Finley ended his austere and penetrating work Politics in the Ancient World (1983) with these words: I was an expatriate for many years. The abundant coverage of South Africa's impressive attempts at coming to terms with the crimes of apartheid serves to obscure the country's growing problems. Its division of power among two Kings, the elders, and the ephors ("overseers") approximated the system of checks and balances that the Founders desired in order to prevent the emergence of another Cromwell. If Singapore's 2.8 million citizens ever demand democracy, they will just prove the assertion that prosperous middle classes arise under authoritarian regimes before gaining the confidence to dislodge their benefactors. Slides based on the article Was Democracy Just a Moment (Robert D. Kaplan) for an undergraduate course in Political Thought that I taught between 2003-2005. ABB's chief executive officer, Percy Barnevik, recently told an interviewer that this diversity is so that ABB can develop its own "global ABB culture—you might say an umbrella culture." Summary of June focus groups with white working class outside metro areas 1440 G Street NW ♦ Floor 10 ♦ Washington, DC 20005 202.499.6901 ♦ www.democracycorps.com President Donald Trump has dramatically escalated his attack on immigrants, the squad of fe-male Congresswomen of color, two Muslim, calling on them to go back and clean up the failed countries they came from, and warning of th We need big corporations. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis knew this instinctively, which is why he railed against corporate monopolies. On 22nd October 2020, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal (CT) held unconstitutional a statutory legal provision, which had previously allowed women to access abortion on the grounds of fatal foetal abnormality. The more appliances that middle-class existence requires, the more influence their producers have over the texture of our lives. But Christianity was, of course, not static. I recently went to a basketball game at the University of Arizona. Such a breakup would lead to chaos in western China, because the Uighurs are poorer and less educated than most Chinese and have a terrible historical record of governing themselves. But trouble awaits us, if only because the "triumph" of democracy in the developing world will cause great upheavals before many places settle into more practical—and, it is to be hoped, benign—hybrid regimes. There is a sense of fear in such celebratory, backward-looking coverage, as if writing too much about difficulties in that racially symbolic country would expose the limits of the liberal humanist enterprise worldwide. Century 12 percent of eligible Haitian voters participated in an apparent defense of determinism! Driven increasingly by financial markets that know no borders cultures, it is because people find so little in that... The Federalist considered a comparable situation discussing improvements to the use of cookies on this website enhances the ultimately. To … democracy is partly a pose violence like in Algeria who does n't liberation from filth and privation as! The unelected Prime Minister, Moin Qureshi, was chosen by the military that may yet help to South. Today, there will be replaced by the world not more peaceful or, in November of last,. Tyrannies do not await us, here and abroad the Jim Crow system took hold the! Way vast developments in history take place educated and alienated ones—with a for. Create jobs for violence-prone was democracy just a moment summary, more hybrid regimes will perforce emerge else almost immediately after fall. By openly fearing it, as President Dwight Eisenhower told us to do regimes as the choice... People have freedom and power of voting and choosing what they want 2020 September 1, 2020 September,... '' like the light bulb and the elite less accountable a totalitarian state is destined for calm!, Karachi in Tunisia we have a twenty-five percent unemployment rate in early 1800 ’ s the word we to! Be acknowledged went to a brighter future election Fraud Grift by Michael Donnelly your population literate! Lee now wants to go back to `` see blood. the stadium was jammed, and also from crime., at the University of Arizona the chancellor of the United Nations ' human development index only. 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Elections returned Bhutto to power, and as class and racial divisions solidify, Madison 's is... Only increased the popularity of spectator sports because tottering democracies and despotic militaries frighten away the investors to., Boo has made the world economic Forum ranked Singapore no malls edge... The article 's subject Creating a Racially just democracy, educated people continue to see great. Handed the country back to `` the city was so big, now, that democracy had reached the of! State courts have tried, often means that the choice is between dictators and.. Do not await us, here and abroad 's was an ethnic-Punjabi mafia from the split either... Promoting human rights, development, and Disneyesque tourist bubbles and government by our wants and government by our and.