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The Democratization of Burma
Suu Kyi Kicks the Rohingya
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  • Anthony

    “Burma is a complicated place with a complicated past, and it is going to have a complicated future.” A conclusion that brings to mind that the moral domain is unusually narrow in Western Educated Industrial Rich Democratic (WEIRD) cultures. That is, the naivete WRM references is largely limited to the ethic of autonomy (i.e., moral concerns about individuals harming, oppressing, or cheating other individuals). Aung San Suu Kyi may have to deal with broader moral matrices (community and divinity perhaps) that compel the drama to continue (which I think is inferred in essay’s conclusion). Westerners (WEIRD cultures) generally overlook or ignore those dynamics impacting places like Burma and her people – and by consequence Aung San Suu Kyi despite democratic intentions.

    • Alan Fryar

      Since you think they’re WERID cultures, you should give up the benefits of them.
      So no more Western medicines, motor vehicles, petro-chemicals and electricity for you. You should also grow your own food like a subsistence farmer.

      Please confirm you will be immediately giving these up … otherwise we will consider you both a hypocrite and a pseudo-intellectual and will treat all your posts as such.

  • Dhako

    I don’t usually agree with Professor Walter Russel Meade. And in fact, crossing my verbal sword with him get my juices following. But I think he is spot on with this issue. In other words, all politics is local, as the famous US Speaker of the house, Tip O’Neill one said it, memorably. And it is even a brutal retail kind of local politics in any democracy.

    Hence, you, as an elected politician, will always be force to say: Here is the mob, I am their leader, and I must follow them. Moreover, even the sainted Mr Mandela had to accommodate himself in this sort of ugly ethnic politics during the run up to the first free democratic election in South Africa in 1994.

    You see, the ANC was ready to assume power once the election is out of the way and a political deal is struck between the ANC and the then White minority government under F. W. de Klerk. However, the fly in the ointment was Chief Buthelezi and his Zulu party (The Inkatha Freedom Party – IFP) who had a long-standing political tussle against the ANC.

    Subsequently, once it became clear that the white minority government is on its way out of power, then, the ANC and the Zulu’s IFP have had a mighty street battle in South Africa, in-order to see who can be intimidated by the other party. Of course, Mandela and the rest of the ANC high echelons had seen to it not to condone this fratricidal ethnic tussle for power at the street level. But it was the case they didn’t stop or even condemned it, while the ANC hired thugs and other street fighters took the battle to the Zulu and effectively intimidated them.

    And their intention was to ensure that IFP will not get any ideas above its head, such as IFP assuming that they should be the one to take over from the de Klerk’s minority white nationalist party. Hence, although no one could say Mandela and the top bosses of the ANC had sanctioned such a street battle between the ANC and IFP. But everyone knew it was something of a nod and wink which was given to then ANC’s foot-soldiers to go after the IFP in-order for the ANC not to be denied their rightful inheritance of the political throne by some collaborationist Zulu Party (i.e., IFP).

    Also it was widely understood that the Zulu in general and IFP in particularly to have collaborated with the white oppressing minority government in South Africa during the Apartheid era, while on the other hand the ANC and the Pan-Communist party was fighting in tandem for Black emancipation. So I do understand the dilemma in which Ms. Ang Suu Kyi in Burma is in. And how she had to navigate, politically, her way in an ethnically-charged fratricidal local politics of the place while still trying to remain a democrat at heart.

  • gabrielsyme

    Democratic republics, lacking a central power to arbitrate and disperse power between different religious & ethnic groups, leaves a nation such as Burma with a winner-takes-all political economy. Under such circumstances, the expulsion of minority groups is not only populist, but incentivized. The best order for the protection of minorities and the reassurance of majorities is one with a stable and non-democratic mediating institution – the most common of which is monarchy.

  • FluffyFooFoo

    Free Soilers from the North… don’t forget them.

  • Dan Damanh

    The smartest thing she could possibly do is ethnically cleanse Muslims.
    We’ve seen the kind of “cultural enrichment” they bring on 9/11 and in Paris and Brussels.
    We should be learning from the Burmese.

  • Alan Fryar

    The smartest thing she could possibly do is boot those Muslims.
    We’ve seen the kind of “cultural enrichment” they bring on 9/11 and in Paris and Brussels.
    We should be learning from the Burmese.

  • Anthony

    Alan Fryar, read about concept before assuming you know what’s inferred (Post is 5 days old and wrong site for comparative labeling). Thanks.

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