Saturday, March 03, 2007

Consent of the Governed

Chalmers Johnson, in an excellent interview with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! (link via American Leftist):
Imperialism is a form of tyranny. It never rules through consent of the governed. It doesn't ask for the consent of the governed. We talk about the spread of democracy, but we're talking about the spread of democracy at the point of an assault rifle. That's a contradiction in terms. It doesn't work. Any self-respecting person being democratized in this manner starts thinking of retaliation.
And then, in response to a question about popular resistance to the ongoing American presence throughout the world:
We see the resistance in the form of Prime Minister Zapatero in Spain, that he promised the people that after he came to power, he would get out of Iraq, and he was one of the few who did deliver, who does remember that if democracy means anything, it means that public opinion matters, though in an awful lot of countries, it doesn't actually seem to be the case. But he has reduced radically the American military presence in Spain.
I quote these passages because they tie in with my intention to write about democracy (which I began here), but the whole thing is interesting, particularly when he describes his conversion from Cold Warrior to anti-imperialist through his observations of the reality of American military bases.

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