Big Think posted quite an uncommon piece of “satirical polemics» by a “Firouz Folani, of the Institute of Near-Western Studies, in Tehran”.
The text is funny, also because the author is a master of humor and he keeps the tension, provoking, hiding his true intentions. He presents himself as from the “Institute on Near-Western Studies” who adds to the mystery: I’ve googled this institute, to no avail – but found an Institute for Near-Eastern Studies at Princeton, this adds to the mystery)
So I conclude that whoever wrote this article uses the satirical polemist style of Voltaire to criticize evolutions in America.
And this should be taken seriously. And very seriously indeed, because the way the writer puts forth his message may indicate his fear of writing what he truly believes openly.
And this is not a sign of democracy.
So let’s be serious for a moment:
When uncomfortable knowledge is excluded, one has a sure sign that the community you are looking at is not a true democracy. When I am speaking of democracy, I’m speaking of a Pluralist Democracy
So let’s investigate the conditions for a Pluralist Democracy:
In a Pluralist Democracy one avoids looking at situations from single definitions of problems and solutions, one does not separate facts from values, and one does not rely on optimization.
In a Pluralist Democracy a deliberative quality has been reached so that everyone is effectively listening to all and any “other voices”. In faltering democracies voices which should be listened to are not being heard.
What’s the test of true Pluralist Democracy?
a) All voices have access
b) All voices are responsive to one another
If this is the case in America, on all issues, America is a pluralistic democracy.
If this is not the case, America is what Robert Dahl has calls «a closed hegemony”
So this is not so funny. Indeed, we don’t know really why the author of the blog entry below is using Voltaire’s satirical polemist style?
If he does so for fear of speaking “uncomfortable knowledge”, this might indeed be an important clue that America’s democracy is faltering?
I’ll send him this analysis, if I can find him. It may be dangerous to use humor to tackle serious problems.
If anything: Many thanks to you “Big Think”: at least you allow voices the access. And you allow deliberations to happen.
Are Americans Ready for Democracy?
TEHRAN, Feb 24, 2011 — As a wave of “people power” this month toppled dictators throughout the Americas, citizens of Africa and the Middle East—the world’s prosperous democracies— felt joy and sympathy. Nowhere was this more true than here in Iran. But with the fall of the dictatorship in Washington, it’s time for us, the world’s one remaining superpower, to lay sentiment aside. We have to ask the tough questions: How can we be sure that the next American regime won’t be even worse? How can we be sure, for that matter, that Americans are ready for democracy?