Thursday, August 30, 2012

All the World Over, So Easy to See; People Everywhere Just Wanna Be Free

Evgeny Morozov:

For many (citizens of modern-day Russia or China), being able to vote is not as valuable as being able to receive education or medical care without having to bribe a dozen greedy officials. Furthermore, citizens of authoritarian states do not necessarily perceive their undemocratically installed governments to be illegitimate, for legitimacy can be derived from things other than elections; jingoist nationalism (China), fear of a foreign invasion (Iran), fast rates of economic development (Russia), low corruption (Belarus), and efficiency of government services (Singapore) have all been successfully co-opted for these purposes.

It's especially amusing in an election year—Americans of all political persuasions are constantly complaining that our political system is irredeemably broken in some way or another, yet it's still widely accepted that it should be exported to everyone else, through persuasion or force.