Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A longer perspective

All credit to Michael Leeden for his very insightful piece in the NRO called Revolution, which advances the theory that the events recently in Iraq and Lebanon should be seen in the light of a two-stage revoluation that began with Spain's democratisation following the death of Franco. I say all credit because it is one of the few articles I have read that bothers looking back a couple of decades. It is also useful to remind us really how new and fragile widespread democracy is in our world, and how fast its spread has been.

We have come a long way since the first signing of Magna Carta, that quite undemocratic document that has nonetheless become the mythical foundation of English (and thus global) democracy. But that is a much longer perspective, talking about the age of the Crusades. But there is an appropriatness to that, since the mindset and warfare of that time is the mindset of our enemy in this time. But something began back then that has led to our democracies today. If we can do it, anyone can.

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