Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Leaders and Dictators

What’s the difference between leaders and dictators? Is it better to have an orderly dictatorship or a chaotic democracy, as in the case of Iraq? Is speedy progress under strict regime preferred over slower progress with democracy, as in the case of China vs. India? Is our relative democracy in Kuwait putting us at a disadvantage in achieving economic progress compared to other GCC countries?

If slower progress is the price of democracy, then it’s a price worth paying. We should embrace our constitution and our democratic institutions despite the negatives. Democracy is not a perfect system but it’s the best around especially when built on the right foundation of education and respect for minority rights. Under such system progress could take longer but it’s long lived. Such is the difference between leaders and dictators: leaders are empowering so that success is not based on individuals but the collective.

9 comments:

bored said...

its people who are frustrated with the very very slow progress that are beggining to question the effectiveness of democracy, but you have to admit some people might not be ready for democracy, and in other cases democracy puts a majority who we all know no one wants to see have a lot of power in control of major decisions...for instance how kuwait is going more and more towards el qabaliya...i mean could it ever happen that democracy not only slows progress but in some cases puts us back decades?

Ali said...

take Singapore as an example ... they had a dictatorship regime but look how advanced they are ... of course they are the only successful dictatorship system that has happened so far as i believe but that doesnt mean it as a concept is worse than democracy ... that doesnt mean i up for a dictatorship system HELL NOW ...very happy with what we have right now


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Anonymous Coward said...

There is no progress brought by the Kuwaiti democracy, only regress. Our democracy has passed laws that restrict freedoms, separate sexes, and discourage productivity and innovation. This kind of democracy is actually harmful to the state.

The question is, would we prefer a dictatorship with progress, or a democracy that is destroying the country?

The Aggressor said...

Democracy has many flavours, and none of them is universal or completely adaptable to our society. What it takes is a close scrutiny of 'what we can do' as opposed to 'what we want'. This includes the preventative measures against Democracy.

Democracy depends on the 'mutual respect' of the other's freedoms. You can't expect freedom to justify the lewd & rude behaviour being portrayed by the Kuwaiti Youth today in places like Marina Mall or Gulf Road. That's not Democracy, that's just careless disregard to morals & values.

1001 Nights said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
1001 Nights said...

If progress is the main criteria upon which to assess the pros and cons of democracy versus dictatorship then it might be worthwhile to re-examine the notion of progress itself and what it means. I think at heart of this debate would be the following question: isn’t having greater freedoms in and of itself a glowing sign of progress?
Here in Kuwait we have sophisticated politicising, campaigning, political parties (for all intensive purposes), and open criticism of the government. Isn’t that a glaring sign of progress? While it pains me that we are excruciatingly slow in achieving progress in other facets, the level of freedoms we have indicate an advanced degree of development in our society. Add to that the notion that Kuwaitis, historically, have shown way too much passion for their freedoms to relinquish whatever decision-making power they have for the sake of economic progress. Pure dictatorship would therefore never work in Kuwait whether we’re ready for democracy or not.

Happy Wolf said...

There is a difference between Democracy and Corruption..

Kinan said...

I don't like democracy really. I think it is one of the worst forms of governance. I also don't like dictatorship as well (who does?!)
Democracy has too many loopholes in it that it is completely untrustworthy. I'd take a dictatorship that is willing to move forward over a democracy that does not any day of the year.

I think every society needs its unique system that works best for it. Nothing is universal, whatever the choice may be it has to be adapted to accommodate for the individualities of that society.

bu ziyad said...

bore: that's why education is the foundation of proper democracy so that people vote with their heads not family name.

ali: singapore and dubai also are rare examples.. think of the flip side what if you end up with corrupt dictators who make matters worse.. that is the real risk..

coward: i prefer demomcracy with education and respect for minority rights..

aggressor: true nothing justifies bad behavior and democracy does not mean the lack of law and punishment.. but the opposite..

1001 nights: I agree.. ultimately you want freedom and economic progress to go hand in hand..

wolf: I hear ya..

kinan: a just dictator might be desirable.. but the falacy is that in most cases you get the opposite..