Why democracy and militarism are mutually exclusiveBobo's blog offers congrats to Vermonter Eugene Jarecki who won a grand prize at the Sundance film festival for his film Why We Fight. It's described as at American militarism, and argues that promoting democracy with force has never worked.
I see three principal reasons for this.
First, the US has never fought a war that was fundamentally about making another country democratic. This has been the RESULT of a few years, World War II being the one typically cited by militarists. However, promoting democracy abroad was never the objective of World War II: it was self-defense and defense of our allies (not all of whom were democratic). The objective may have been noble, but it should be represented accurately.
Second, for democracy to take root in a country, it requires a fundamental committment of the people of that country to buy into the principles of democratic governance. If the people don't buy into those principles, they can't successfully be imposed by an outside hegemon. Outsiders can help, by supporting domestic democratic reformers. But ultimately, the people of a country have to want democracy themselves and be willing to accept the principles required for democracy to work or it simply won't work.
The other reason democracy can't be promoted with a barrel of a gun is quite simple. Brute force is the absolute ANTITHESIS of the give and take required for a democracy to function. In democracy, if you can't get everything you want, you have to negotiate and compromise. With militarism, if you can't get everything you want, you just invade willy-nilly or bomb the hell out of the bastards. Democracy requires accepting that sometimes your side won't win the day. Militarism doesn't.