Between democracy and diversity
By Bahjat Rizk
The legitimacy of a leader must come either from above, of a higher order ( divine or patriarchal ) that embodies , or below, a democratic popular will , which raises and brings to power .
Since the French Revolution of 1789 and all other revolutions that followed in the West, the legitimacy of power must come from the people who elect its leader for a specified period and not a power for life , hereditary and absolute. Monarchies in the West are only symbolic and constitutional .
We can also observe that today , in most countries of the world are used in elections that are individuals at the head of a party, a political body or a state .
Thus, for example , the presidential campaign in France , the first round will be played in less than six weeks and the second round, two weeks later , the United States , which is currently going through a primary in both parties and an election between representatives of the two parties in November , the President of Senegal, where after two consecutive terms had to resort to a second round, he is not sure of winning , and even the very recent Russia, where the president outgoing Prime Minister , while being elected in the first round with 63% of votes , had to recognize irregularities denounced by surveillance cameras (over 70 % of Internet users in Moscow and 50% in all Russia ) and promising investigations , because it will be forced , sooner or later , dialogue with opponents more and more , which continue to show in public . Only the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, after four decades in power , father and son together and after a year of uprising ( 15 March 2011 ) has been more than 8,500 deaths, thought to be maintained by the weapons of Service a supposedly secular and democratic family and community power. (over 90%).
While dictators over thirty years , Tunisia , Egypt, Libya and Yemen had to leave precipitously , more or less dramatic or tragic , without being replaced for the moment by stable and truly democratic institutions , raising fears of risks civil War , a fundamentalist reflux and passionate outbursts . It still remains a hope that these countries long kept in a political and intellectual terror can reflect on themselves and build dignity and modernity. Although the example of Israel , which continues to pursue a policy of expansion and cultural colonialism , supported willingly or unwillingly by the West, causes in the Arab- Muslim world a wave of fanaticism and an outcry the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should not be for the dictatorial regimes of the East an excuse to oppress their own people .
For forty years, the Damascus regime has remained in Syria to Lebanon by military force and intelligence services. Which probably provided some stability but also stifled all civil liberties in the two neighboring countries . Since 2005, the Cedar Revolution ( March 14 ) was a precursor of the event since the Arab Spring reached by peaceful popular mobilization to secure the withdrawal of the Syrian army and return to a little more democratic rules despite multiple personal attacks policies and maintaining weapons continues to receive one of three Lebanese communities , creating a glaring imbalance in politics and functioning of the Lebanese state . The three communities have indeed benefited all three at one time or another , of an armed force that is substituted for that of the State. Syria could then intervene , at least twice (1976 and 1990) , with the endorsement of the Arab League and the West, to restore order on Lebanese soil . You'd think after having tried in vain to syrianiser Lebanon is Syria 's turn to libaniser . Each country remains unfortunately prisoner of its structural logic : Syria, by a minority who tried for four decades to retain power by armed force and intelligence on the Soviet model which itself collapsed and Lebanon, the three minorities, share more or less equal, seeking extensions outside their borders , not hesitating sometimes be divided into themselves .
Faced with the uncertainty in the Arab countries, supported by the West, who have done a tremendous revolution and even early (Tunisia , Egypt, Libya and Yemen) but where the fundamentalist revival can be threatening, and Syria Lebanon, where minority communities are trying to define spaces and guarantees survival, proper democratic model (majority alternately ) in a country of diversity (numerical minorities relatively blocked) seems hindered or at best only his way and establish.
How to build a democratic pluralism within cultural pluralism ?
Reconciling universality of individual rights by recognizing cultural, without creating an oppression of the culturally dominant majority , an inevitable rise of communalism ? Between democracy and diversity , the question remains .
By Bahjat Rizk
Translation in English by Google translate: