Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sovereign Democracy

Vasiliy Ivanov from Izvestia newspaper read transcripts of Cheney’s “New Cold War” Vilnius speech. He found a very interesting phrase “Vision we affirm today is of a community of sovereign democracies [...]". Hold on! But the phrase ‘sovereign democracy’ was re-invented by Putin just a couple of years ago. He meant democracy that is being developed by the people, whom this democracy serves, not by outsiders who know better what model of democratic institutions fits best for the particular country. Putin also hinted that countries, like Estonia or Georgia “built” their democracies simply copying word by word what they were told to do, either by EU or America. We are building are democracy ourselves, making a lot of mistakes, stumbling, doing two steps forward and one step back, but this democracy is ours to its root not a thoughtless copy of some “standard” that cannot even theoretically exist.

The fact that Cheney uses Putin’s phrase is ironic. This very phrase ‘sovereign democracy’ made Russian liberal democrats and US-sponsored NGO’s simply mad. For example, Nemtsov said that if there’s any attribute before the word ‘democracy’ then it’s not democracy but dictatorship. Carnegie Endowment in Russia was thundering that the idea of ‘sovereign democracy’ is dead for a hundred years already. One liberal from Novaya Gazeta even further – democracy today could not be sovereign because the Civilized Democratic International Community decides what is democratic and ‘sovereign’ countries should obey.

14 comments:

Vilhelm Konnander said...

Very interesting indeed. I obviously have to take another view at Cheney's speech. The discussion on sovereign democracy also adds to the perspective on how Russia perceives itself and its post-soviet neighbours.

Vilhelm Konnander said...

Dear Konstantin,

Having taken another look at the concept of sovereign democracy, e.g. by reading the book "Suverenitet", edited by Nikita Garadzja, I am deeply troubled. If you have not done so previously, I would recommend accustoming yourself to the concept.

Yours,

Vilhelm

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Winstrol said...

sovereign democracies in postsoviet countries - it's ridiculous!

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