People all around the world crave for a democratic society, and they aspire for a society based on the American style of democracy with freedom and liberty placed top within the list of values. However, is it the only form of government? More importantly, the question of it being the ‘best’ form of government beckons.
Supporters of democracy points out to the high standard of living in democratic countries, and the low level of corruption. And it is precisely on this basis that countries like the United States of America have imposed their form of democracy on many countries, notably Iraq and Afghanistan of late. Not too long ago, the United States interfered in Indonesia’s national affairs, placing Soeharto in the dictator’s seat for more than 3 decades, effectively ousting then USSR-friendly nationalistic president Soekarno. Whilst Indonesia progressed through industrialization under the reign of Soeharto, progressing faster than its larger neighbours like India, Vietnam and China, the country faced setbacks and have been slow to progress since the 1998 financial crisis.
In fact at around the same time, the United States failed to democratize Vietnam, allowing it to fall into communist rule. Now lets go back to present day, Vietnam is the 2nd largest producer of coffee crop, outpacing Indonesia’s production. Not too long ago, Indonesia was the 2nd largest behind Brazil. Vietnam now has a highway system spanning much of the country, whilst Indonesia barely copes with its road networks in Jakarta. The only major highway is one connecting Jakarta to Bandung… And today I read on Bloomberg News of the plan by Vietnam to build a high speed railway network linking Ho Chi Minh in the south and Hanoi in the north. The pace of development of Vietnam as a country has truly been short of the spectacular rise of its larger neighbour which is China.
However, more importantly, it shows the need for the world to recognize that sometimes interference in a country’s national affairs is not right and for people all over the world to understand that democracy does not work in all civil societies. Thus it should never be seen as a de-facto form of government. What matters more is providing a leeway for a country to develop its own form of governance through its own revolutionary methods.