The American chief executive just recently paid a visit to the city of cities — Delhi, India. Of course, he couldn’t stick to business with India. He also poked his nose in the business of the Nepali King. Here is what he said to His Majesty:
You must restore democracy to Nepal. You see my friend here has taken me to Agra to see the burial site of the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and one of his empresses, the Taj Mahal. This royal stuff is history, you know. It is feudal remnants, you know, and that does not belong in our times. We don’t do kings anymore.
My friend has shown me how his sovereign socialist secular democratic republic has left all this pomp, circumstance, and inheritance of offices behind in history. Just come to Delhi and see the cremation sites of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, his daughter Indira Gandhi, also Prime Minister, again her son Rajiv Gandhi, also Prime Minister. You see we don’t have this pomp and circumstance stuff anymore. Nor do we have this inheritance stuff. I could see that there would be a problem if Indira Gandhi were related to Mahatma Gandhi, but she is not.
You see we don’t worship leaders in our times. When I came here with Air Force One, I landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport. I came here and was greeted not because I am my father’s son, but because I was elected democratically to lead my nation for a limited time period.
I have also told the Nepali Maoists to put down their arms. You see I represent a country were there is a constitutional right for the people to bear arms. This and other constitutional rights are, however, just on a piece of paper. The people believe that they have rights just because they are on this piece of paper. But we have a democracy now. The people is supposed to be in the driver’s seat now. What do we need a constitution for? Does the people need protection against itself? You must return to this concept of democracy for Nepal. If you won’t, I will make you. Some Americans believe America still is not a democracy, but they are lunatics. I don’t care about them. Only lunatics believe in something other than democracy. I will not have one of them running a country.
We have succeeded in reducing the Constitution to being worth nothing more than the paper on which it is written. We have succeeded in doing this with money as well. Isn’t it amazing and wonderful? How can anyone be opposed to this? We don’t have to care about real constitutions, and we don’t have to care about real money. We define rights, and we define money. We can do as we want. And we should be able to do as we want, for we are elected by the people. If those elected by the people were not able to do as they wanted, it would not be rule by the people. You must readopt this form of government. If you won’t, I will make you. You see I command the mightiest military force on this planet and a printing press to pay for it.
Where was I? Oh, yes! I was talking about arms. In the country where I am at the top people just lay down their arms when the government tells them to. Of course, that’s because the government is the people. The government is them. So when I tell the Maoists to lay down their arms, they will. They will lay down their arms, just like people at home lay down their arms. And just like the rebels in Iraq lay down their arms.
What? Are you speaking against My Excellency? Okay. I’ll let you have your say just this once.
You’re saying that history has shown us that Maoists and other Communists don’t give up before they have established a Maoist or other Communist government? And you are saying external pressure towards democracy has been helpful to Communists before in history? Well, I take lessons from no one, and definitely not from history.
You must not undo the work of my philosophical idol and role model — Woodrow Wilson. That arrogant guy in Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century had the nerve to tell my predecessor Teddy Roosevelt that his role was protecting his peoples from their governments. Luckily my idol, role model, and predecessor Woodrow Wilson took care of his relative and successor. Protection against government? That sounds like no more than a huge bunch of nonsense. The people doesn’t need protection against the government. The government protects the people. Besides, when we have democracy, the people is the government.
My idol and role model has given us the best hundred years in all of human history. Just look at the 20th century. It’s freedom, liberty, and democracy. He started off with one and a half years of extra war, but, hey, war is freedom. He brought democracy to the world, and democracy is freedom. Democracy is peace and goodness. Just have a look at Hamas and Palestine. Some say that democracy leads to tyranny, but they are seriously mistaken.
Your pal the King of Bhutan has understood how to behave. He has understood that democracy is the greatest form of government ever conceived of, and that ever will be conceived of. He has seen how well this form of government has done. He has seen that democracy has a more than perfect performance when it comes to liberty, tax level, rights, especially property rights, the reach and size of government, and farsightedness. So he is transforming his monarchy into a figurehead monarchy, where democracy is the real form of government. He is a wise man. You should learn from him and restore democracy to Nepal. If you won’t, I will make you. Remember that my idol and role model was a crusader for democracy.
You must have heard of Francis Fukuyama and his theory of the end of history. This theory is unquestionable. It is truth. Our democracy is the end point of historical development. There is no way back, nor is there any further way forward. You know history develops linearly. We have been on a march towards ever higher levels of progress. We have gone from darkness, which your reactionary actions are an attempt to bring us back to, into the light of democracy. But now we have come to an end, and I can’t have your threatening this. So if you won’t do as I say, I will make you.
Jørn K. Baltzersen [send him mail] is a senior consultant of information technology in Oslo, Norway.