Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Why USA is the greatest democracy in the world, and cultural hegemony

Daniella, a friend of mine who is a PHD student on democracy promotion, had told me about the work of 20th century Italian philosopher and political scientist Gramsci. His reading of the modern history, lead him to formulate the concept of Cultural Hegemony, in which a ruling class maintains control over the ruled class, simply by hijacking the ruling class' self understanding. That is when the ruled class believes that the norms of the ruling class are the correct norms, they live their lives accordingly, which ossifies the hegemony.

I was puzzled to see my friends on Facebook, from different countries, dedicate their personal messages to Obama. This is making a political statement, and thus a result of self understanding. Taken to an international level this is an example of cultural hegemony.

Apart from that I am relieved that Mc Cain did not win, which would give a crazy religious woman who believes that Jesus will return after Armageddon in her lifetime a realistic chance of controlling the greatest nuclear arsenal on the world.

Secondly, this election showed once more, that the democracy in USA is the best working democracy in the world. The son of an Kenyan immigrant becoming the president, only possible in USA. Maybe also in Holland.

Now it is time to show "change" is not "air" or mere hope. We have seen in the last economic crisis, how destructive it can be, to depend on "hope" only.

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