A letter exchange with the Turkish author Mustafa Akyol on Islam, politics, and whether liberalism is the future.
The definitions of democracy and liberalism have been so misconstrued and distorted in the public mind that they no longer represent anything consistent between different groups of people. Equating the two terms as the same is a misnomer. This makes the question of whether people in any particular country are ready for democracy a bit meaningless in environments where ethics of integrity, truth and equality don’t materialize in governance.
Democracy is a system of governance that rules by majority vote. It is possible, then, for 49 percent of the voters and multiple minorities to be under-represented. The winning officials of an election, fair or not, then write and impose laws that can take away the rights of the people, regardless of how they voted. And once voted into positions of power, officials become difficult to remove. Voting is further weakened with untruthful reporting by the media and censorship because voters cannot make good choices without full information and knowledge.
Liberalism refers to individual freedom to make choices without harming or infringing upon the rights of others. But civil rights are often diminished by those in power, even in a democracy. In the US, many people still follow old habits of equating democracy and liberalism, but have lost faith in that type of governance as political, social and economic systems fail to provide good solutions to problems. All of our freedoms that we took for granted, such as the right to make our own health care decisions, the right on how to educate children, the right to work and travel, or the right to heterosexual gender of children are being threatened. Now Americans call those who promote the loss of those rights woke liberals.
See my Search for Truth News article called Sociocracy - Basic Concepts and Principles for more ideas in this thread.
This seems a little abstract to me. Here's a concrete example: when I was a kid 20% of Egyptians were Copts. Now, mostly because of persecution, the estimate is 10% and falling. What happens to minorities like the Copts in a demoacratic but illiberal regime?