Of course we are for a SECULAR STATE as Zoroastrians, nothing else would be compatible with the religion and philosophy of Zarathushtra and Cyrus The Great!!! And before there is democracy, there must be plurality. The problem with Zimbabwe or Tajikistan for that matter is not a lack of electoral democracy, but rather a lack of a PLURALITY of media outlets and opinions in advance of an electoral process. The problem in Iran is of course the same one, since the vast majority of political candidates in Iran are disqualified by mullahs before being allowed to enter the election campaign. This does not amount to a REAL democracy in any way. So freedom of expression must first be guaranteed and made to work before we can even begin to discuss the possibility of democracy.
2009/12/12 Special Kain
Switzerland is not the «most democratic» country in the world, it's simply «closest» to a direct democracy. There are different forms: liberal or constitutional or representative democracies ... and so forth.
I've recently become interested in so-called liquid democracy, thanks to my studies in political communications and the rise of Pirate Parties in several European countries.
Democracies are formal decision-making processes only. If people aren't well-educated and only exposed to populistic gibberish, they probably won't be able to make the wisest choice possible. Long-term thinking on the basis of solid information management isn't very popular in modern democracies, simply because anti-intellectualism is one of the biggest threats to democratic societies.
Betreff: [Ushta] Re: Zoroastrianism in Tajikistan - Regarding Democracy
Datum: Samstag, 12. Dezember 2009, 9:57
Dear George and other friends,
Is true democracy not an goal that we should work towards depending on the situation of the society in question? I agree with Dino that Switzerland with its Canton system probably has the most democratic system in the world. However the Swiss are educated, well fed and peaceful.
I often bang heads with politicians and foreign diplomats in my own country (Zambia) over the question of democracy in our neighbour Zimbabwe. You see I disagree that the problem is there is a lack of democracy. People mistakenly believe that Robert Mugabe has rigged elections and so on. Maybe to a degree, but I have seen with my own eyes the support he has from the people. He easily has the support of the majority! And the dilemma is that he keeps getting democratically elected despite the fact that he has completely ravaged his country.
Please don't misunderstand me, I believe in democracy but sometimes it is a long road to get there...
I think Alexander is correct about Tajikistan, it is remarkably democratic for the region, lights years ahead of somewhere like the DRC or Zimbabwe and way behind Switzerland; but for Tajikistan it is progressing in the right direction.
Btw, whilst on the subject, is it not unwise to give preferential treatment to Zoroastrianism? Surely this could cause a nasty backlash in the long term. Would it not be better to encourage a secular state that supports ALL views? That is all Zoroastrianism needs because it is a religion of TRUTH and if the people are seeking truth and the government protects truth then Zoroastrianism can flourish.
--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Alexander Bard
> Dear George
> It is always wise to support Zoroastrian communities and individuals
> directly. even in countries like Greece, Sweden and the United States, and
> avoid involvement with governments. And I would certainly agree that
> Tajikistan is not the most democratic country in the world, but considering
> the poverty of Tajikistan, the fact that the country came out of a
> devastating civil war in the 1990s (fighting extremist Islamists) where all
> parties agreed to live in peace under a secular and democratic contitution,
> and considering the fact that only anti-secular Islamism is forbidden (the
> pro-secular islamist party that constitutes the the main opposition is not
> only a prominent member of the country's parliament, it has also been a
> ruling coalition member), it should also be pointed out that Tajikistan is
> the by far most democratic country in the whole Central Asian region.