The concept of democracy is a decision-making mechanism based on majority opinion. So in the context of a state, the concept would translate into majority rule. The fundamental idea behind democracy is that the will of people, or at least its majority, is represented. Hence, the concept in its true form is contingent on individuals expressing their own beliefs, thus the concept is associated with such notions as liberty and government by and through the majority of people. However, the concept of democracy faces a number of inherent problems which in my view, throw the concept into question as both a decision-making and governance mechanism:
the majority of opinion or majority of people’s views does not necessarily result in the best decision.
decisions are based on reasons, and yet the quantification of public opinion does not necessarily reflect the best reasons for a decision.
democracy as a means for decision-making is incongruent because the emphasis is on majority opinion rather than on the most reasonable, or best, reasons for an actual decision.
since individuals are in an interactive relationship with each other and their environment, it does not follow how the true will of an individual, in conscious form, can be represented.
democracy is a theoretical concept which lacks a spiritual/metaphysical basis. Therefore, when the concept of democracy is used as an underlying principle of society, it sidelines religious faiths. (For example, even if an Islamic religious party received the majority of votes in an election, the concept of democracy would still precede the faith of the religious party.)
the concept of democracy cannot incorporate its own limitations like the fundamental exclusion of religious faith and its inability to represent the will of the individual, because the limitations are an inherent part of the concept.
Now that the concept of democracy has been thrown into question, what is the alternative if any? Without considering the concepts of dictatorship/fascism (authoritarianism) and socialism/communism (economic equality), and by trying to overcome the inherent problems with democracy, the concept of more reasonableness, in which decision-making is based on the more reasonable reasons and their determination, and all individuals of a society have access to the input and evaluation processes, successfully overcomes the problems with democracy, while maintains public access to the decision-making process. (Garvey, The Critique of Reasonableness)
However, there is one problem the more reasonable rule does not deal with–like democracy it sidelines religious faiths by making them second place to the theoretical concept of more reasonable rule which lacks a metaphysical basis. In other words, more reasonable rule like democracy is a secular challenge to religious faith by creating doubt in them. (i.e. a strong religious faith would have no need for either democracy or more reasonable rule as a basis for governance.) Hence, the alternative to democracy is a religious faith in the form, for example, of an Islamic state, because the religious faith would be the unquestionable fundamental basis for the society. Democracy, the flawed quantification of individual opinion would have no place because religious faith is of primary importance. Also, democracy would be eliminated as a secondary role, because the concept of more reasonableness is better decision-making mechanism. viz., it focuses on the actual reasons for decisions, instead of the quantification of opinion.
In consideration of Pakistan, I think it should be careful about adopting the western model of democracy, because the model would sever the religious faith of the society, and replace it with secularism underlain by exploitation in the form of capitalism which despite its benefits, leads to increased exploitation of people and nature. It would be the beginning of the end of Pakistan because exploitation itself can only lead to self-destruction.
In the context of Afghanistan or any other country, by the U.S. government imposing a multi-ethnic democratic state on Afghanistan, the Afghan religious faith would be severed and replaced by the theoretical concept of democracy. The society would be made up of fragmented democratic parties, while religious individuals and their movements would be drowned out in the masses. Capitalism, including foreign exploitation, would over run the now inherently faithless society, in which the natural and human resources of Afghanistan would be exploited by local and foreign powers. Hence, it is clear that the Taliban and rest of Afghanistan have almost everything to lose from the U.S. imposition of a democratic state on them. In my view, the Afghan’s have no choice than to resist the U.S. to the point of their own deaths if need be. To give in is to give up their way of life, their faith, their very existence.
Mr. Stephen Garvey is a philosopher and writer, and publisher for Inexpressible Publications who resides in Canada.