02 February 2013

A Felicitous Element common to many comments on Fareed Zakaria’s opinion essays in The Washington Post is that the quality of many of the “comments” is unusually thoughtful. Trolls are few. The company there is often pleasant and thought-provoking.


In a Comment on Mr. Zakaria’s latest Washington Post essay, Arab Spring’s Hits and Misses,* one reader, ffrey63, wrote,

It has been well said that the American Revolution succeeded because, unlike the French, Russian and Chinese revolutions, it was waged by reluctant revolutionaries. Moreover, the historical record is pretty clear – most revolutions are transfers of power, not exchanges of tyranny for democracy.

The comment called to mind another theory, recently read, about the American Revolution. The other theory characterized America’s origins as more of a civil war than an actual revolt against tyranny. The thought was new to me: that what revolutionary pressures our Founding Fathers experienced were mild, compared to other such struggles in history. This perspective makes America’s founding seem even more remarkable.‡


Mr. Zakaria’s Main point, taken away from reading his thought-provoking essay, is the hypothetical proposal that Jordan’s monarchy may be slowly moving its country deliberately, step-by-step, in the direction of a constitutional monarchy. It’s a nice thought. One hopes that substantial reality lies behind it.

One wishes to believe that today’s Arabian monarchs respond increasingly to the tenor of the times. One also wishes to believe that that “tenor of the times,” regardless of how reasonable its first soundings (in U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq) may or not have been, will yield continual reverberations of democratic republicanism throughout the more-troubled regions of the world.

(($; -)}


* Read Fareed Zakaria’s Washington Post essay here: Arab Spring’s Hits and Misses

† One may find the full comment by clicking the link to all comments, and searching for ffrey63 by date and time: 1/31/2013 7:36 AM CST

‡ Regrettably, the source of this viewpoint has been forgotten.