Monday, January 01, 2007

Wilsonian Dmocracies

A striking aspect of the situation in the midEast is the similitude with the Europe created by Woodrow Wilson's postwar mapmaking exercises. Employing a team of demographers, Wilson proposed that new states be created in Europe (Austria, Hungary, Chechoslovakia) with borders grouping viable political units of ethnic minorities. This idea was enormously popular with the democracy loving peoples of Europe.

Unfortunately, in the absence of the other elements of a stable democracy, the idea turned out disastrously. Most of the new states were semi-fascist semi-dictatorships by the early thirties and things got worse from there.

It's always possible to draw too much from a historical parallel, and equally possible to draw too little.


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