Thursday, June 19, 2008

The collapse of democracy, a Dutch example

Earlier this week a hostage crisis, which even made the headlines in foreign media, took place in the Dutch city of Almelo. An official of the local authorities was held at gunpoint by a citizen ( of Turkish descent, as one commentator/bystander pointed out ) who appeared to be unhappy about some measure or policy that affects his business. Too many people honestly believe that violence is if not a legitimate then at least an acceptable means to achieve one's goals. As with 9/11, the murder of Theo van Gogh, and the threats against people like Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, many online commentators used the "This act can not be justified, BUT...." line of arguing. Bureaucracy, politicians and other persons, groups or mechanisms are blamed for society's ailments, and those who choose non-democratic means to make a point, vent their rage and/or pursue their personal aims can automatically count on the sympathy of some or many ordinary citizens, who simply seem to lack the 'courage' to do what terrorists and bullies do.

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