Thursday, 8 March 2007

Why force democracy on the world?

It is not normal for wildlife conservationists to get involved in politics, but deep down, many of us are probably actually highly political. Of course there are the green politicians, but even these often have widely diverging approaches to politics, being united only in their concern for environmental issues.

My political concerns at present centre around the world's obsession with so-called democracy, and the west's enthusiasm for ramming it down the throats of all and sundry. The USA (aided and abetted by Britain) is forcing countries that have manged to govern themselves for many centuries, to adopt American-style democracy. In reality this is of course currently a plutocracy, a country run by the excessively rich for the benefit of the rich, with scant regard for environmental issues, particularly if environmental issues stand in the path of profit. I have seen first hand the devastation caused by the American bombing by proxy of southern Lebanon. And I have seen the results of the support of right wing governments in many parts of Central and South America. The problem is that there is democracy and there is democracy. Swedish, French, and New Zealand democracies are all very different to each other and to US democracy. The US likes democracies, such as the Mexican democracy, that bow to America, but tries to topple those of Venezuela, that don't like America. And none of this is good for the environment.

Unlike bar-politicians, I don't have a ready solution. But I do know that US style democracy will not help the solve the problems of the world. And certainly will not help the natural environment or biodiversity.


  1. I think conservationists are well-advised to keep their politics separate from their environmental agenda, because broadcasting a controversial and overt political viewpoint can only serve to alienate people who may agree with their green ideals but disagree with their political loyalties.

    I agree with some of your concerns and think you go too far on some points, but above all the World Land Trust website is surely an inappropriate platform for such controversial, subjective and unproven claims. The disclaimer that the views expressed here are personal and not those of the WLT does not dispel the suspicion that their inclusion on the website means that these opinions are implicitly endorsed by the organisation. I have no objection to your right to express your personal political beliefs, but, as a regular donor to the WLT, I think that they certainly should not be broadcast by the organisation on your behalf; indeed I find your use of the organisation's resources to push a political agenda somewhat off-putting from the WLT as a whole.

  2. Stop forcing democracy on the world! Other countries are without bushes "help!" Just stay out of it!

  3. Other countries are doing fine without bushes "help!"

  4. Adrian above believes that I should not be making political comment. If they were party political comments I would certainly agree, but they are not, as I hope I made clear. It is essential that when issues that affect the future of the planet are discussed, that we express our views in a forthright manner. Just as when we express our views on human rights. Keeping silent should never have been an option in the 1930s during the rise of fascism. But many people did keep silent. Politicians must not be allowed to think that because there is silence, they are endorsed, and when one sees atrocities being committed I believe we should speak out. The destruction of the cultural monuments and the pollution of the environment caused by warfare are difficult to justify in any circumstance, but when they are part of what many people believe to be an act of unjustifiable interventions, then they must be spoken and written about. We may not all agree whether or not the acts of war are justified, but we must discuss them