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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 18, 2008 / 15 Sivan 5768

Democracy in decline

By Tony Blankley


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The broad, sneering European-elite response to the plucky Irish vote to oppose the further centralization of governmental power in the European Union and the emerging opinion in China suggest that from Brussels to Shanghai, democracy may be losing its appeal.


Democracy, broadly understood as government by the people being governed, has been the upward aspiration of Western civilization for about 1,000 years — and of the rest of the world for about 100 years. Certainly since the Magna Carta in 1215; arguably going back another millennium to when the Germanic tribes selected their chiefs through a more-or-less popular rather than hereditary method. The pace quickened in our Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789, advanced further with Woodrow Wilson's call for the self-determination of nations after World War I. The democratic urge gained further rhetorical support in the post-World War II United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21:


"(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.


"(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.


"(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."


Arguably, the aspiration for and expectation of democracy reached its zenith with the fall of the Soviet Union and the prediction that the end of history had been reached in the form of liberal democratic capitalism as practiced in the last decade of the 20th century.


But events and experiences I have had in the past week reinforce a growing sense I have had for a few years that the ideal and practice of robust democracy may be seen in history as a quirk of the 18th-20th centuries. I can imagine students 500 years from now studying democracy the way we study medieval history: its rise, its high period, causes of its decline.


Admittedly, the rise and aspiration for democracy has not been a line steadily upward. In the 1930s, many in the West thought that both Mussolini's and Hitler's fascisms seemed to work better than Depression-era democracy. For others at the time, the Russian effort at communism seemed the better alternative.


But for those of us born in the middle of last century, in the afterglow of democracy's WWII triumph (with, admittedly, a huge assist from Soviet Russia's overwhelming military sacrifices and triumphs on the eastern front), democracy seemed the objective of the entire world. Even the Soviet-controlled nations put the phrase "democratic republic" in their names. And post-colonial governments in Africa all at least talked in terms of democracy.


It first hit me with force that democracy may not be a universal goal when I was in Russia in 2005 to discuss my book on radical Islam. Almost everyone I met — from leading academics, to my driver, to radio talk show hosts, to all sorts of people I met in bars — loved Putin and were contemptuous of democracy and capitalism. Every Russian I met wanted a strong government, thought democracy is inherently corrupt and useless, and that capitalism is another word for theft.


Last week, I was in China and had an opportunity to talk with several Chinese businesspeople — some top executives, some shopkeepers and, once again, several middle-class people in bars (a small sample out of 1.3 billion Chinese). Each was perfectly content to let the unelected Communist Party run the government, as long as economic growth continued. A point made by several of them (admittedly, all the people I talked with are doing well economically) and also made by a local academic expert is that the rest of Asia is noticing that the Chinese Communist Party-managed economic method is working better than the American democratic capitalism method.


I find it melancholy to consider that perhaps people aspire to self-government not because it is the natural and dignified condition of man to be free and self-governing, but merely only if it is likely to turn a quick economic profit.


Which brings me to the Irish vote. After a similar vote was lost in 2005 in France and in the Netherlands, the decision of the European elite was to redecide the matter by going around the people and deciding through parliaments (where the fix was in) rather than by plebiscite. Only the Irish insisted on a vote of the people before turning over sovereign power to Brussels bureaucrats. And they voted it down 53-47 percent — against the loud voices of all the political parties and national leaders. G-d bless the Irish people.


Almost the entire business, political and cultural elite of Europe argue for centralizing EU power in Brussels because it will be good for business (and give Europe a more coherent voice and action in the world). The price for that is to reduce the role of democratically elected government officials and to give more power to unelected governing forces.


Is that why partisans risked their lives sniping at Nazi soldiers and throwing homemade bombs at German panzer tanks a mere half-century ago? Is the world getting ready to give up its birthright to self-govern for a mess of pottage?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2008, Creators Syndicate

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