Sunday, December 7, 2008

Answering Challenges to Processes of Ethical Democracy

This comment was posted on Bill Moyers' Journal comments page today, in response to my post there on Ethical vs. Strategic interests in making and maintaining democracy and the importance of aligning them, as vital to expanding Ethical Democracy civil society processes within and across nation-states.

Stanley Wrzyszczynski (see below) has speciously elected to mis-characterize my core ETHICAL point, namely that the SOVEREIGN nation-states, even failed or failing states, of the South Asia region have the right to conduct relationships among themselves, without the self-serving interference of a hegemonic capital-driven aggressive and invading superpower. Therefore, my point about ETHICAL geopolitical interests vs. the above-described US geopolitical stance is NOT, as SW disparagingly notes, "nationalistic" (what's wrong with that anyway?), but I am arguing on ethical grounds, for an intra-regional, neighborly approach among South Asia nations. Neighbors have mutually overlapping interests. India, Pakistan and Afghanistan are neighbors. Iran and Russia are neighbors are also neighbors. The US is not.

SW, What would you advocate? U.S.-directed Pan-Zionism for our South Asia region? That prescription has disastrous consequences in West Asia (to us), Middle East to you!

And also as usual, we need to be guided by the enlightened and progressive US how to treat women in our countries, as your additional gratuitous comment seems to imply. This is absurd paternalism.

[Please note I don't reply to posts to my post on any site in which I participate. Instead I post my replies to your comments right here on my own Blog].

Dr. Chithra KarunaKaran
City University of New York
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice

FROM: Stanley Wrzyszczynski

Chitra KarunaKaran,
What you say cannot be disputed. In the absence of US imperialism, do you believe other mega rich nation states will not intervene (such as China, Russia, the EU, etc.)? Alas, you elide certain aspects that are “strategically” left unmentioned; internal factional violence runs concurrent with imperial hegemony (Shi ite /Sunni, Hindu/Moslem, Kurds/nearly everyone else, etc.). This is not unusual within the context. The disappearance of imperial hegemony will not eliminate these, for this animosity pre- exists any imperial presence. What you ascribe to imperial hegemony may have more to do with the wonderfully clich├ęd “globalization.” The interdependence and inter-effecting of all areas of the world with each other through electronic technologies and immediate communications (for transfer of goods and services) may be masked by what you ascribe as imperial hegemony. Most agree that the imperial hegemony of the US, like the British before, is on the wane. Yet the rise of immediate access to goods, information, cultural influences, climate change, education, armaments, etc. due to “globalization” continues and increases. This underlying reason for the vehement animosity may be displaced by what you describe as imperial hegemony. After all, keeping women barefoot and pregnant is a lot easier to do if they are not privileged to know what other women in the world can be or do. Much of the restlessness is on account of access to what previously was denied. Cell phones originally were designed for easy and readily available communication, not as triggering mechanisms for roadside bombs. The nationalistic solution to the strife, that you advocate, is a bit outdated and inadequate, some would say even reactionary.
Posted by: stanley wrzyszczynski | December 7, 2008 10:15 AM