April 2024

A theocracy cannot be a democracy, but will always become an oppressive kleptocracy

Today some pub-level political philosophising. But given that our leaders and the mainstream media seem unable to grasp what I’ll be discussing, it may still be worth writing this post.

About 500 years ago, most European countries were to some extent theocracies – they were governed by a monarch and the Catholic Church. When a country is ruled by a religious group, there can never be any democracy. After all, if the group in power represents God’s will, logically there can be no reason for it to be replaced. So, anyone daring to criticise the political set-up was also criticising God’s representatives and was thus a heretic. Punishment for heretics was usually being burnt at the stake after a goodly dose of torture to get appropriate confessions:

Moreover, once a group like the Catholic Church achieved power and had no democratic opposition, it set about looting every country where it ruled for the benefit of its own members. Hence the vast wealth accumulated by the Catholic Church and the many wonderful cathedrals built when most people lived in little better than mud huts.

The only way democracy could start to develop was when Henry Vlll, due to his genetic and possibly sexual failings, split with the Vatican in order to get his first divorce and established the Church of England as subservient to and separate from government.

Now spool forward 500 years or so to today. Iran, Egypt and Turkey plus many other Middle Eastern countries have become theocracies. The group in power believes (or claims to believe) that it represents God’s will on Earth. So, the same logic applies as applied in the Catholic theocracies hundreds of years ago – you cannot have democracy coexisting with theocracy. If the group in power represents God’s will, then any opposition or criticism become heresy and the punishment for heresy is hanging or beheading or something equally unpleasant.

Iran is probably one of the most extreme theocracies and is quite uncompromising with those who appear to be attacking God’s will. Elections in Iran are, of course, a farce. And the ruling Mullahs are raping the country enriching themselves and their associates.

In Egypt, the idiot Morsi blew the chance of establishing an open, modern Muslim society and instead he and the Muslim Brotherhood tried to drag their country back to the Middle Ages while allowing a massive increase in corruption as they plundered the country for their own benefit. Morsi was, fortunately for Egypt, stopped by massive protests and the intervention of the military.

In Turkey, Erdogan has made some attempts to modernise the country, but also started a process of Islamification of a once secular state. And now that many of his close associates and family members have been caught in a massive corruption scandal, he’s clamping down by firing hundreds of police investigators who could have exposed the corruption the ruling Islamic elite and protesters are harshly dealt with. As for fair elections, forget it – Erdogan has made his view clear when he described democracy as “a bus ride … ‘once I get to my stop, I’m getting off’'”. The destination for Erdogan is an authoritarian one-party state, clothed in democratic garb but shorn of the rights and habits that go with genuine democracy. Meanwhile, like Morsi in Egypt, Erdogan has been modifying the constitution to ensure that he keeps power.

When the so-called Arab Spring kicked off, our leaders and the mainstream media kept telling us that this was the beginning of a new era of peace, democracy and prosperity in the religion-blighted Middle East. But what they failed to understand was that, just like in Europe hundreds of years ago, you cannot have democracy in a theocracy – though a theocracy will always turn into an utterly venal oppressive kleptocracy.

So the problem facing the Middle East and the world is not the racist “Muslims don’t do democracy”, it’s that theocracies (whether Catholic or Muslim or whatever) don’t do democracy.

History is there to teach us about the future – it’s a pity our leaders and media experts have learnt absolutely nothing.

6 comments to A theocracy cannot be a democracy, but will always become an oppressive kleptocracy

  • Paris Claims

    The only slight flaw in your analysis, in my opinion, if the theocracies of 500 years ago had followed the teaching of their religion the countries they ruled over might have been a reasonable place to live. The same cannot be said of the Islamic theocracies of today.

  • Peter

    “Muslims don’t do democracy”

    Integration, Tolerance, Consideration for Your Fellow Man etc., only applies to non-Muslims. I dislike and disagree with discrimination of any kind, but extreme positive discrimination is a much worse trait as it discriminates against the indigenous population, I.e., the majority, and I believed that a Democratic Society relied upon the desires, wishes and votes of ‘The Majority’.

  • Paris Claims

    Late candidate for your trougher competition?

    Abbott charges Children’s charity £15 a minute while drawing MP’s salary says:

    January 10, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Diane Abbott charged a Children’s registered Charity £150 for 10 minutes speaking at their event in City Hall. This was from 1.30 to 1.40 on 3rd December when Parliament was still sitting, so she also got double paid.

  • shortchanged

    In my last year at school, some 56 years ago, we had one lesson entitled, ‘Citizenship, Duties and Responsibilities'(please note: nothing about rights). The first lesson. Democracy means ‘The Greatest Good For The Greatest Number’. I think that says it all, don’t you.

  • JJ

    …the racist “Muslims don’t do democracy”,

    Oh dear, a decent article spoiled by a moment’s idiocy.
    Please note – religion not a race, religion not a race, religion not a race…… repeat until understood.


    the religious right in america is trying to do the same thing.they want biblical law,biblical punishments. whoever speaks against it would be branded a heretic.only christians in good standing could hold office.
    the problem would me multi fold,like islam,who or what sect would control it

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