By Huan Yuping, People’s Daily
The United States recently held the so-called second “Summit for Democracy,” which was said to be an “ideological” meeting by U.S. media.
At the summit, the U.S. government once again acted to split the world into two camps of what it defined as “democracies and non-democracies.” However, the U.S., claiming supremacy over others and following hegemony to serve the interests of none other than itself, has nothing to do with democracy. What it does is to provoke bloc confrontation.
There is no democratic system that can claim to be superior to others. No country is qualified to act as the judge of democracy. All peoples should and are able to independently develop a path of democracy with the characteristics of their own country, thus contributing their wisdom and strength to enriching the diversity of democracy.
Democracy means “rule by the people” or “sovereignty of the people.” It is not abstract, but a concrete phenomenon that is constantly evolving. There is no fixed model of democracy. Every form of democracy is the result of the development of human political civilization under certain historical conditions.
There are more than 200 countries and regions, and over 2,500 ethnic groups in the world. Different histories, national conditions, ethnic groups and customs give birth to different civilizations. Such diversity and differences have decided that there are no identical political systems in the world, and neither is there a political model that fits all.
Each country’s political system is unique based on different national conditions. A country’s political system is chosen by its people and is the result of a long-term process of evolution and improvement on the basis of its history, cultural traditions, and economic and social development.
History and reality have shown time and again that copying other countries’ political systems and democratic models will not work. More importantly, it will even lead to social unrest, national division, deaths and the overthrow of regimes, and ruin the future and destiny of the country.
Many non-Western countries developed their democratic systems based on the basic principle of democracy and their national conditions, thus achieving sound governance.
From a historical perspective, the development of democracy in the U.S. was a step forward. However, over the years, its democracy has become alienated and degenerated, and it has increasingly deviated from the essence of democracy and its original design. The halo of its self-proclaimed “global beacon of democracy” has long lost its luster.
The U.S. today is troubled with messy and chaotic practices of democracy, and the nature of money politics and oligarchy is constantly exposed. According to OpenSecrets statistics, the total cost of the 2022 state and federal midterm elections was nearly $17 billion, the highest in history, exceeding the annual GDP of over 70 countries in 2021.
Democracy is meant to be used to solve problems faced by the people. However, the governance capability of American democracy has been on a constant decline.
Politicians run on slogans and empty promises, but never make good on their promises. Most ordinary voters are mobilized only in voting, and then they are neglected and cannot have any real influence on political decisions. Their voices and appeals for democracy are even considered a “noise.”
This has led to a growing disillusionment with American democracy. Americans’ pride in their democracy has dropped sharply, from 90% in 2002 to 54% in 2022, according to a joint Washington Post-University of Maryland survey. A Pew Center poll said 65 percent of Americans believe that the American democratic system needs major reforms, while 57 percent of respondents believe the U.S. is no longer a model of democracy.
Democracy is the right of the people in every country, rather than the prerogative of a few nations. Assessing the myriad political systems in the world against a single yardstick and examining diverse political structures in monochrome are in themselves undemocratic. Launching so-called “democratic transition” in other countries is to trample on the spirit of democracy.
More and more countries have realized today that to find a development path that suits themselves, they must stay alert to the dangerous act of the export of U.S. democracy.
Without regard to huge differences in the level of economic development and in the historical and cultural backgrounds of countries around the world, the U.S. seeks to impose its own political system and values on other nations, which has placed many countries and regions in turbulences, conflicts and wars.
As suggested by a foreign media outlet, democracy has long become a weapon of massive destruction for the U.S. to attack countries with different views.
The current U.S. administration has ignored lessons of history, the chaos of American democracy and the rejection of the overwhelming majority of countries to being kidnapped by the hypocritical “concept of democracy” of the U.S. It has kept fabricating and selling the trumped-up narrative of “democracy versus authoritarianism.”
Such practices of advancing its own geostrategy under the disguise of “democracy” are destined to be abandoned by the times.
President of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass called the “Summit for Democracy” a “bad idea,” saying American democracy is hardly a model for others.
Democracy is a common value of humanity. Countries should respect the cultural diversity of civilizations, carry forward the common value of humanity, sincerely support all efforts to independently explore a path to democracy, and enhance mutual learning on democracy based on mutual respect and equality, so as to push for the continuous development of democracy and build a world where all countries appreciate the culture and values of others as do to their own.