To fully embrace democracy we must first offload a lot of feudalistic baggage, or we are doomed to repeat ourselves, says Voranai Vanijaka | Bangkok Post: opinion

Opinion > Opinion

The 'Big Man' theory

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To fully embrace democracy is to first offload the baggage of feudalism or absolutism. They are paternalism, patronage, tribalism, cronyism, nepotism and others. The baggage is never entirely discarded, but can and should be minimised. 

For western democracies, it took millions of deaths and untold destruction before they arrived at the democracy they have today. It is a gradual process, a historical evolution and a cultural change, with many setbacks in between. 

The process can be speeded up through war and destruction. It’s easier to build from a clean slate. Every country has its own historical context and evolution that is weighed down by cultural baggage; centuries of accumulated beliefs and values caught in a tug-o-war with democratic progress. 

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