‘Most people think that democratic decisions have special moral force – which we have good reasons to obey laws that are democratically chosen. If this is true, why is it true? If it's not true, why is it not?' Democracy is commonly regarded as the best, or the least bad, political system available in our societies. The war in Iraq, in example, aimed at reversing Saddam Hussein's dictatorship in order to set a democratic system, which was expected to bring freedom and prosperity to Iraqi people. The roots of the word democracy refers to popular sovereignty, as ‘demos' means in Greek ‘the people' and ‘kratos' means power. However, this popular sovereignty can't go along without the necessary ‘political equality' referring among other things to the rule of law, the fact that all are allowed to run for office, and equal voting power. Another characteristic which is also often linked to democracy is the ‘popular accountability' which refers mostly to the fairness of the system .
[...] Many analysts accuse this law of contradicting the principles of the Constitution, as the duty of the law is not to teach history, however this law gained support from political leaders of each camp and was passed despite the controversy. The US example is sometimes regarded as even more taboo. However, I assume that the Israel lobby, dominated by the AIPAC, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which presents itself as a special interest group that lobbies the United States Congress and executive branch in favour in favour of maintaining a close US-Israel relationship, sometimes influences US foreign policies decisions in a non democratic and unjust way. [...]
[...] special moral force of democratic decisions as a lot to do with the legitimacy and the justness people recognized to the authorities and the institutions of this or these democracies, but do we still have good reasons to obey laws descended from democracies which legitimacy are controversial or outcomes are mostly unjust? This essay will attempt to answer this question by explaining first how special “moral force” of democracy can appear and in that respect why it is good to obey, before describing the cases when the legitimacy and the justness of democracy are so controversial that disobedience could be reasonably understood. [...]
[...] However I assume that many unjust decisions are taken in order to protect and export our imperfect democracies. The example of the last Iraqi war is then again quite striking. The coalition has used false reasons to go into war, these authorities has publicly lied to their citizens, leading to the deaths of many soldiers and civilians. One of the main aims of this war was to overthrow Saddam Hussein and to democracy in Iraq. However, four years after the end of the war, dozens of Iraqi people die everyday, and evidences of tortures committed by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib's prison have led to many martial court trials. [...]
[...] Moreover, he implemented policies that were clearly felt as conservative and right wing, much more than any right wing governments since De Gaulle, as if its 82% were due to a large political support among the population. By almost ignoring its left wing voters, I assume that Jacque Chirac has maltreated the particular idea of equal say for people in public decisions. The US example refers to the 2000 Presidential elections and is quite similar to the French elections. George Bush has been elected with less popular support than Al Gore, but won a short victory in terms of great electors. [...]
[...] However, one must admit that these theories sometimes idealize democracy, and some example in the world of called' democracies clearly lack legitimacy, and consequently lack of that special moral force. II) When the so-called democracies lack legitimacy, justness and moral force. Although the first part showed us some concrete examples corroborating the idea that democracy has in some cases a “moral force” that makes people obey to its decisions even if they disagree with them, the fact that most of our democracies are far from being ideal, either in their outcomes and in their procedures, should led people to resist decisions that are clearly unjust and unfair. [...]
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