Thus, the people are under the thumb of their leaders, and may be "settling" for autocracy because they see democracy as unattainable and out of reach. Take the Russians, for example, who had a real shot at democracy when the Soviet Union fell, and have instead allowed Putin to create another autocracy not unlike much of the Soviet regime before the fall. Indeed, people may choose autocracy, or they may be bullied into it, or they simply may be more comfortable with it, because it is so ingrained in their lives.
Gee does make valid points throughout his essay, including the notation that most large, successful countries fail without democracy. Rome and Greece are two of the dominant democratic cultures that notoriously fell from power and crumbled as their democracies crumbled. What does that say about autocracies? That they will do the same thing? Gee writes, "It would be equally naive to think that the capitalist autocrats of Moscow and Beijing have invented a formula for governing forever without the nuisance of elections. Some day soon, their people will want something better, and in time they will get it" (Gee, par. 9). That may be true, and Gee cites countries like the Philippines that have proved this true, but it is still an assumption. When given the chance, Russia instituted "democratic" elections that elected an autocrat, and the Iraqis elected a government that seems to be ineffectual at best. Perhaps it is equally...
China and Russia seem to be clear examples of countries that are perfectly happy without a democracy - perhaps some people really do not desire a choice, and are happy with the status quo.
It is quite clear Marcus Gee is a good writer, who uses research and thoughtfulness to craft his essays. He also has a good understanding of global policies, and a strong opinion about democracy. It is easy to agree with his points that democracy spreads as prosperity spreads, and that sooner or later all people long for the ability to make choices about their own future. What is the point of living if it is under someone else's thumb? However, his arguments are sometime loose and conjecture, which weakens his overall effectiveness. Most of the people would like to believe that China and Russia will somehow see the "error" of their ways, and revert to democracy. However, Gee's essay does not give concrete examples of why this will occur, it is mostly just guesswork, and that weakens the entire purpose of the work. A stronger argument backs with more statistics might have made this essay more dry and difficult to read, but it might have made a stronger argument for the reader to get behind and support.
Org)"none of the men had actually served on the Swift boats that Mr. Kerry commanded." There is much more in the way of empirical evidence to show that this attack campaign was false, but the point is made that lies wrapped in glossy TV commercials during election time can be effective. In Kerry's case, he chose not to lash out at the lies, but many now feel he should have.
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