When Britain was forced to leave Hong Kong after a century of colonialism, its departing governor expressed regret that Britain had not had enough time to teach democracy to the locals. What twaddle! Democracy is very important to the former colonial ‘powers,’ but only as a tool for eliminating tribal leadership (except when this leadership owns any oil fields or other valuable natural resources).
In Australia, democracy is a farce, as we all know. (It is a great disappointment for those of us who had lived under colonialism.) We voters do not select our representatives – who are therefore not answerable to anyone except their political party leaders (the new tribal leaders). I write from some in-depth experience of the three levels of government in Australia. My votes mean little. Why should I prefer Tweedledum to Tweedledee (see ‘Alice in the Looking Glass’)? As a communitarian small-l liberal (thereby a political orphan), I was once able to state publicly that my elected representatives were useless in terms of our needs, but were otherwise nice, amiable people. (One must be grateful for small mercies).
The issues relating to Asian-Australian relations in such matters as Western democracy (vs. other forms of governance), and the probable benefits of Asian spiritualism against the individualism of the immigrant-created Western nations are covered in the ‘Karma of Culture’ and in ‘Musings at Death’s Door’ (which is about Australian society).
I am not arguing in favour of tribal leadership. But I reject neo-colonialism with its demands that every adult in every country of eco-political interest to the West should have a vote. This is generally claimed as a human rights issue. Having a vote without the necessary societal changes is meaningless to the voter. It puts his nation at risk; the neo-colonial re-organiser of the national leadership of other nations can easily achieve control of the surrogate tribal leadership, the leaders of the political parties.