Why did Algeria and Libya suffer more from democratization than Tunisia and Egypt did?

Jun 2018
210
New Hampshire
#21
I don't see why Middle Eastern countries shouldn't be able to manage some form of more representative government, there are only two things standing in the way, (a) one the lid is taken off a dictatorial system the instituitiions are not in place to allow its development and there is likely to be chaos instead, (b) the elephant in the room, Islam, there are not only strong divisions within Islam but many will want to impose Islamic rule (and worse, partisan Islamic rule) of one kind or another that will bring any democratcic experiment to a rapid end, on the one person, one vote, once pattern.

I am very sceptical of the ideas so often put forward that the culture and history of certain people make them unfittted for democarcy or political freedom, it fails to take account of the effects of contingency in human history. If the course of history had turned out somewhat different ly, people would be arguing that the Japanese were incapable of a form of democratic goveremnent that was flourishing in China. The reason why there is o democracy in China is that it fell into the hands of a government that based its ideas on an anti-democratic western ideology, and has maintained power more recently by abandoing Marxist economic ideas and presenting itself as following tardition Chinese patterns of authoritarian government. If one loos at the changes that have taken place in China in the last 150 years, no sane perason would feel confident in imagining ehat will happen in the next 150 years, and rule out the possibility that the Chinese will develope their own form of democracy (not necessarily the same as the wester form). All in all, with regard to the evoiution of political institutions within different societies, accident often rules and societies are often much less trapped by their past than we tend to imagine. One must take account of the fact too that many people often have a vested interest in arguing that certain types of political organization are unsuited to their particular form of society.
Your first paragraph hit the nail on the head. Islam is incompatible with representative government. Such a system, if imposed from the outside (such as was proposed by the Bush/Cheney neocon incorporated contingent) would inevitably result in the rise of Islamic extremism and its accompanying blood bath. As long as Islam remains the majority religion in the Middle East, representative government is an idealistic pipe dream.