Democracy And Capitalism: Asian and American Perspectives 9789814379496

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CONTENTS
PREFACE
THE AUTHORS
I Democracy: Evolution and Implementation An Asian Perspective
II American Democracy in Relation to Asia
III Capitalism and the Role of the State in Economic Development The Japanese Experience
IV Capitalism, the Market Mechanism, and the State in Economic Development An American Perspective
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DEM~cy

CAPITALISM Asian and American Perspectives

I5ER!i INSTITUTE OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) was

established as an autonomous organization in 1968. It is a regional research centre for scholars and other specialists concerned with modern Southeast Asia , particularly the multi-faceted problems of stability and security, economic development, and political and social change. The Institute is governed by a twenty-two-member Board of Trustees comprising nominees from the Singapore Government, the National University of Singapore, the various Chambers of Commerce, and professional and civic organizations. A ten-man Executive Committee oversees day-to-day operations; it is chaired by the Director, the Institute's chief academic and administrative officer.

EMOCRAC & CAPITALISM Asian and American Perspectives

Robert Bartley Chan Heng Chee Samuel P. Huntington Shijuro Ogata

I5EA5

INSTITUTE OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES

Published by Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Heng Mui Keng Terrace Pasir Panjang Singapore 0511 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Astlm Studies.

© 1993 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore Cataloguing in Publication Data

Democracy and capitalism: Asian and American perspectives/by Robert L. Bartley.. [et al.] . 1. Democracy-Asia. 2. Democracy-United States. 3. Capitalism-Asia. 4. Capitalism-United States. 5. Asia-Economic policy. 6. United States-Economic policy. I. Bartley, Robert L. HB501 D38 1993 sls93-44407 ISBN 981-3016-60-4 The responsibility for facts and opinions expressed in this publication rests exclusively with the authors and their interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views or the policy of the Institute or its supporters. Typeset by The Fototype Business Printed in Singapore by Stamford Press (Pte) Ltd

Dedicated to the memory of Professor KS. Sandhu Director of !SEAS, 1972-1992

CONTENTS

Preface ix

I

Democracy: Evolution and Implementation An Asian Perspective CHAN HENG CHEE 1

II

American Democracy in Relation to Asia SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON 27

CONTENTS

III Capitalism and the Role of the State in Economic Development The Japanese Experience SHIJURO OGATA

45

IV Capitalism, the Market Mechanism, and the State in Economic Development

An American Perspective ROBERT L. BARTLEY 57

viii

PREFACE

I

ntellectual interest in the growth and study of democracy is not a post-Cold War phenomenon, but its intensified interest is. The last decade produced several projects fo cusing on transitions to democracy in developing countries, the conditions facilitating the emergence of democracy, and the transition process itself, to better understand the opportunities for liberalization, the breakdowns and the reversals. Recently a new question has been asked, that is whether the widespread democratization process will yield similar end-products in different parts of the world which are endowed with vastly different heritages and history, or whether we will see the emergence of variants in democratic models. In the same way, the growth of the capitalist system and practice of a free market in each country and region may be shaped by individual and special pressures and forces which in some situations lead the state to play a role not anticipated in the traditional free market model. ix

PREFACE

The differences in the capitalist, free market model of East Asian countries have been observed to be distinct from those in the industrialized West, and most certainly different from that of the United States. It has been the growing concern of many academics and policy-makers that in the post-Cold War era, these differing perspectives and practices of democracy and the free market could become the substance of the new ideology debate in the coming decade between countries in East Asia and the West, led by the United States. 1b bridge the gap and to provide a forum for an exchange of views and discussion, the Asia Society, the Institute of Policy Studies, the Singapore International Foundation and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies organized a conference on ''Asian and American Perspectives on Capitalism and Democracy" from 28 to 30 January 1993 in Singapore. The conference brought together a number of distinguished academics and journalists from the United States, Japan, Korea, Thiwan , Hong Kong and the ASEAN countries to reflect on the two key themes. The conference recognized much common ground as well as some differences in perspectives. The four essays published in this volume were presented as keynote papers defining the major themes of the conference. We believe they will be useful contributions to the current rigorous and ongoing debate. CHAN HENG CHEE

June 1993 Singapore

Director Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

X

THE AUTHORS

ROBERT L. BARTLEY, Editor and Vice President of the Wall Street Journal, has been responsible for the Journal's editorial pages since 1972. He won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1980, the Gerald Loeb Award for editorials on the international economy in 1979, and a Citation for Excellence from the Overseas Press Club of America in 1977 for dispatches from China after the death of Mao Zedong. He has written a book on recent economic history, The Seven Fat 1-Bars: And How To Do It Again (1993). CHAN HENG CHEE is concurrently Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and of the Singapore International Foundation. She is on secondment from her post as Professor in the Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore. She has served as a diplomat and has been an adviser and member of numerous panels and committees that focus on issues pertaining to Southeast Asia. Her long list of articles, conference papers and publications

xi

THE AUTHORS includes The Dynamics of One-Party Dominance: The PAP at the Grassroots (1976); The UN: From Peace-Keeping to Peace-Making (1992); and ''Singapore 1991: Dealing with a Post-Cold War World" (ed . Lee Tsao Yuan, 1992). SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON is the Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs. From 1973 to 1989 he served as Associate Director and then as Director of the Center Tor International Affairs. In 1977-78 he took a brief hiatus from Harvard to serve as co-ordinator of security planning for the National Security Council in Washington, D.C. He has also served as a chairman of the Harvard Department of Government, Associate Director of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, and Professor of Government at Harvard. Professor Huntington is widely published in the areas of military politics, strategy and civil military relations, American and comparative politics, and political development. His books include American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (1981), and The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (1991) . SHIJURO OGATA was educated at the University of Thkyo and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He was formerly Deputy Governor for International Relations at the Bank of Japan (1984-86) and Deputy Governor of the Japan Development Bank (1986-91). He is currently Director of Barclays Bank and Fuji Xerox; Adviser to Swire Group, Yamaichi Securities, Imperial Hotel and Coudert Brothers; Member, Chemical Bank's International Advisory Board, the Group of Thirty, the Trilateral Commission and New York Stock xii

THE AUTHORS

Exchange's Japan Advisory Committee; and Vice Chairman of Japan National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce. He is author of International Financial Integration: The Fblicy Challenges with Richard N. Cooper and Horst Schulmann (1989), and several articles on international monetary issues.

xiii

I Democracy: Evolution and Implementation An Asian Perspective

CHAN HENG CHEE

emocracy is the legitimating myth of the 20th century. It does not take long for a beginning student in Political Science to learn there is a bewildering list of democratic claims. There is "constitutional democracy", " liberal democracy", "populist democracy'', ''democratic centralism'', ''people's democracy'', ''guided democracy'' among many. Once it has been declared that all men are created equal, it is impossible to roll back the belief, Pareto and Hayek notwithstanding. And it develops into "the sovereignty of the people" and "the will of the people''. Performance legitimacy is an alternative but, by itself, is neither sufficient nor enduring. Even totalitarian or authoritarian regimes do not rely on performance alone for their legitimacy. For that matter, neither is democracy

D

CHAN HENG CHEE

by itself enough . The de-legitimizing of a non-performing democratic regime has led to its replacement by other forms of government. This has happened not only in developing states, but in established industrialized democracies as well. This paper takes off where Professor Huntington's The Third Wave left off. Professor Huntington made a valuable and significant contribution by tracking the patterns of democratization and their reversals, and explaining the hows and whys of democratization of the most recent wave.1 For the many now engaged in the democraey debate, it was useful to be reminded by Professor Huntington that the Schumpeterian formulation of democracy as a procedural arrangement, an ''institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people's vote'', is the definition of democracy that has gained the widest consensus today. Democracy is the selection of leaders through competitive elections, or put another way, a democratic system is that which practices free and fair elections. Although Schumpeter meant his defmition to be a ''valuefree" functional specification, even this definition contains a margin of ambiguity and requires value judgement. The ambiguity lies in the degree of freedom and degree of fairness considered essential, for not only is the electoral process itself scrutinized, evaluating accompanying political rights is a source of debate and differences as well . There are plenty of differences on the question of degree of deviation tolerable before a country should not be called ''democratic'' because it is seen to have fallen below the bottomline. It is also clear the degree of deviation tolerable changes with the prevailing ideological mood in the West. Thke the United States and Switzerland for a start. Until the 1950s, 10 per cent of the U.S. black population did not have the vote, yet 2

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

the United States was never described as partly democratic. Again, until 1971, Swiss women did not have the vote but Switzerland has never been criticized as a country that was undemocratic or backward . Thday, if we compare the Freedom House Survey 199 1-92, Professor Huntington's Third Wave classification and Fukuyama's classification, we find slightly differing views on some political systems. I will focus on the classification of Asian countries. The Freedom House Survey ranked Asian countries in order on a 1-7 scale of combined ratings based on political rights and civil liberties, 1 being the most free or democratic (see Table 1. 1). TABLE 1. 1 Freedom House Survey, 1991-92

Country

Ranking(l

Japan South Korea

1.5 } 2.5

Free

Philippines India Singapore Malaysia Pakistan Thailand Indonesia

3 3.5 4 4.5 4.5 5 5.5

Partly free

Brunei

5.5

Not free

~

mostjree)

The classification according to Huntington is shown in Table 1. 2, and that of Fukuyama in Table 1.3. 3

CHAN HENG CHEE

TABLE 1.2

Huntington's Classification, 1991 Country

Rating

Singapore Thailand Malaysia

l

India Korea Pakistan Philippines

I

Taiwan Japan

}

Non -democratic

Democratic

(Possibly from 1990 but not fully consolidated) Democratic but not consolidated because of absence of turnovers.

Clearly, there is no agreement among the three analyses. Is democracy then in the eye of the beholder? Is it according to how many accompanying tests are held up in the check-list besides the essential test of free and fair elections? And how free and how fair is free and fair? A number of countries fall into what would be considered by Western observers as a grey area. And still there is a fmal caveat. It has been argued by Professor Huntington in the Third Wave that there should be an added condition to be considered. A democracy has not met the full test of democracy unless consolidation or institutionalization has taken place, that is, that it has passed the test of two turnovers of power. By this criterion, Japan which is universally regarded as a democracy has not passed 4

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTI VE

TABLE 1. 3 Fukuyama's Classifi cation , 1990

Liberal Democracies Worldwide* Japan India Philippines Singapore Thailand South Korea Sri Lanka NOTES :

* (61 countries on list) Criteria: Market economy, representative governm ent , external sovereignty and judicial rights. Fukuyama states that the inclusion of Singapore, Thailand and Sri Lanka is controversial. He did not include Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei on the list. SOURCE:

Francis Fukuyama, The En d of History and the Last Man (New York: The Free Press, 1992) , pp. 49-50 .

the democratic test with full marks since it has not experi en ced even one turnover of power. If this discussion on democracy were just an intellectual exercise on categorization , it would be of academic interest. But in the post-Cold War world, there is a newfound mission in the West to use the imposed category as an international 5

CHAN HENG CHEE

merit test, with democracy hardliners putting on the pressure for change world-wide to adopt the democratic model or more precisely, the liberal democratic model. If there is a concerted interest to promote democracy in U.S. foreign policy, it is, in spite of Larry Diamond's defensive differentiation in Foreign Policy (No. 87, Summer 1992), still exporting democracy. This being the case, it is extremely important to understand the historical spread of democracy, its evolution and implementation in countries outside the Western hemisphere so that the possibilities and limits of such a policy can be understood, and ill-advised intervention to alter societal processes as well as hasty judgemental conclusions that may affect U.S. relations with its friends in other areas of policy should be reduced if not avoided altogether. We also owe it to ourselves as social scientists and intellectuals to understand social phenomenon more accurately. Granted that in all societies, economic growth and economic change will usher in pressures for political change - and we are likely to see more pressures for open government , participatory government and accountable government the question that must be asked in the 1990s, after the third wave democratization , is whether we will see the emergence of a different variant or variants of democracy in the world . This likelihood must be seriously entertained when one takes into account the diverse cultures and traditions that now host the imported democratic model, a model that was sprung from the history, traditions and cultures as well as the social, economic and political revolutions of Europe and the United States. Thday, the democratic model has been transferred to far-off Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific Islands. The former communist regimes of Eastern Europe too are democratizing. Common sense 6

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

suggests that the transplanted model must undergo transformation. In a recent article published in the Washington Quarterly, Professor Robert Scalapino commented that when political institutions have been borrowed by Asian societies, "the task of meshing them with indigenous cultures, has been formidable' '.2 Expectedly, they have been modified to suit the contours of the host setting. It follows then that several questions need to be posed: (i) must all democracies be liberal democracies; (ii) is it possible to have democracies that are not liberal, or not as liberal; (iii) must all democracies look like versions of Anglo-American democracy or will they become Asian democracies and African democracies? The adjective is used not so much as an apology or implicit criticism, but as a category recognizing essential and legitimate differences in the same way as we speak of Asian art, Asian literature and Asian architecture (interestingly, these art forms reflect the cultural impulses and traditions of the countries as must political forms) . Curiously, when we discuss Asian art, literature and architecture, we readily look for and appreciate the differences between the West and non-Western countries. But when we come to examine political institutions and political development, there is an expectation of parallel developments as well as end products. Democratization and liberalization are two very different processes and liberal democracy is the product of both developments. Democratization as we have earlier suggested refers to the adoption of universal franchise and the introduction of free and fair elections to select the people who should govern. Liberalization, on the other hand, is a broader concept. It refers to the setting of limits to government over society and over the individual. Liberalism is a philosophy about the nature and extent of political control and political 7

CHAN HENG CHEE

authority. It also embodies certain assumptions about human nature and human beings. In Britain and in Western Europe, the process of liberalization predated democratization. Britain went through the age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. It was only in the 19th and 20th centuries that universal franchise was introduced and constitutional liberal democratic government as we know it today was put in place in the 20th century. Democratization spread to Asia in the second half of the 20th century with decolonization. Democracy was not only a bequest of political tutelage, it was the most effective argument used by nationalists against colonial rulers. Nearly all the countries achieved democratization with a stroke of the pen at independence accompanied by universal enfranchisement but without the prior historical experience of liberalization . India and Pakistan introduced democratic political institutions in 194 7 as partitioned countries at independence. Indonesia in 1949, Japan in 1952 when it achieved full sovereignty after the American occupation ended, Burma in 1948, Malaysia in 1957 initially as Malaya, Singapore enjoyed elected government in 1959 as a semiautonomous island state but independence and parliamentary democracy came through separation from Malaysia in 1965. The Philippines emerged in post-colonial Southeast Asia with a full set of American-style political institutions. But the post-war independent states could not maintain the democratic institutions and in the late fifties and sixties, a number of reversals took place in Burma, Pakistan , Indonesia, South Korea, and the Philippines in 1972. The reversals were attributed to the inadequacy of the political institutions to cope with an overload of problems stemming from economic development, state-building, nation-building and external defence. Professor Huntington's seminal work,3 Political 8

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

Order in Changing Societies, was undoubtedly influential in shaping the thinking of analysts in the 1970s. It was a book that correctly diagnosed the problems of new states. The institutionalization of democratic political institutions assumes the existence of a civic political culture and a civil society. In the absence of a political community and effective authoritative legitimate government or political institutions which could mediate between heterogenous ethnic groups and class conflict, the primary task of new states was statebuilding. Where strong governments or modernizing authoritarian regimes have emerged in Asia, they produced results and sowed the seeds of political change. In Asia, the Philippines proved an exception where an authoritarian regime did not bring economic development and social change. In retrospect, the reversals or modifications should be seen as a phenomenon of political institutions adapting to the political reflexes of the indigenous culture, traditions and values of the society, as well as coping with the political and economic exigencies. Let us take a look at how some of the democracies in Asia have evolved. Japan

Japan is in a class of its own and is never discussed along with new states and developing nations. Japan's political and economic modernization began in the middle of the 19th century and by World War II, it had built up a considerable economic and industrial base as well as experimented with political parties. Post-war Japan's democratization took place under American tutelage with the Occupation reforms. Seizaburo Sato, an eminent Japanese political scientist, observed that the democracy that was established in Japan after the war was characterized by ''continuity and discontinuity with 9

CHAN HENG CHEE

the political institutionalisation that had taken place before the war. Japanese democracy that emerged was different from the West, especially from the Anglo-American type. Its institutional expression was a dominant party system.' ' 4 Its accompanying features are a strong bureaucracy and an emphasis on the consensus principle in decision-making. Sato attributed this to the three political traits which were produced by earlier Japanese institutionalization from Meiji to the 20th century - the development of a centralized bureaucracy, to respond to Western powe:rs-; the development of a complex pluralistic system of checks and balances which included the Emperor, as well as different branches of government, but was bound by a national consensus to make Japan strong; and the prominence of middle-level institutions and organizations, especially the development of local government and private enterprise. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a coalition of factions, has been in office since 1955. Financial scandals and the inability of LDP Prime Ministers to bring about part reform led to a revolt in the party in June 1993, a party split and the birth of two new parties from the splinter groups. Even if the elections in July may not yield an LDP majority in the Diet, LDP remains a major party. It may be too soon to completely dismiss the LDP's dominance. It could govern with a coalition party or become like the Congress (I) Party of India, which alternates with the Opposition for power, but is still the strongest party around.

India

After Japan, in the next league, is India - the showcase of democracy in Asia. Indeed, given the manifold deep 10

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

problems of geography, poverty, population, and deep divisions, many have marvelled that democratic institutions and formal political rights such as freedoms of assembly, speech and association have survived for so long. India has also been cited to show that the absence of economic development need not be an obstacle to the functioning of democracy. That conclusion may prove premature. There was one reversal when Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency between 1975 and 1977. Democracy in India has its Indian characteristics. Where India is headed for now is an open question. It is doubtful if India ever developed a civil society. India was helped towards the creation of a political community with partition. But 120 million Muslims left in India had to co-exist with the Hindu majority and Sikhs, Christians, and Buddhists. Political unity and the sense of political community was initially engendered by the overwhelming dominance of the Congress Party and by the national appeal of a succession of charismatic leaders from the Nehru family- Jahawarlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Ra.jiv Gandhi. Indian democracy worked but was based on a dominant party system and dynasty. But increasing mobilization of the masses into politics and the progressive weakening of the dominant party has led to the rise of political forces which are difficult to reconcile and satisfy. Ironically, politics is more competitive now than it has even been, but the destabilizing potential is also mounting. The emergence of the religious right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a credible alternative is seen as a threat to secularist democracy in India. The moderate BJP leaders could not handle the extreme right wing of RSSS and the Shiv Sena. Perhaps it was waiting for the Congress government to control its own supporters. Perhaps what was needed was the declaration of a state of emergency. 11

CHAN HENG CHEE

Democracy would have been a casualty to Ayodhya in the short run, rather than for secularism and Indian lives to be the casualty of democracy in the long run. Is India governable and what will happen to Indian democracy in the wake of Ayodhya? What does it mean to live in a democratic polity when a minority lives in fear of its safety in the hands of the majority community and where poorer lower caste groups are liable to be attacked by wealthier and more powerful caste groups, and ethnic violence and ethnic separatism are endemic in the system? The question which must now exercise everyone is whether India's democracy will survive the growth of religious extremism without some modification to its political institutions.

Malaysia

Parliamentary democracy was established in Peninsular Malaysia in 1957. Since then, the UMNO-led Alliance coalition has been returned to power at every election and has established itself as the undisputed governing party. Other political parties exist and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) are factors that the Alliance government must take into account in their formulation of policy. The federal system ensures greater political competition because of the establishment of different centres of power. Opposition parties have been able to capture state governments, using the base to project themselves and their policies on the national level, PAS in Kelantan and Trengganu and Gerakan in Penang. The Sultans have also provided pluralistic centres around which different viewpoints may gather.

12

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

The devastating racial riots of 13 May 1969 left an indelible imprint in the multi-ethnic society. Parliament was suspended and Malaysia carne under emergency rule from May 1969 to January 1970. Politics, the constitution, and laws were recast in light of the experience, as the main cause for the riots was attributed to Malay fear of loss of power in their own country. The Malay character of the polity was made much more explicit. Malays rights, the position of the Malay language, the position of the rulers, originating from indigenity and the constitutional pact, were placed beyond debate. It was generally understood to mean it was beyond debate by non-Malays. Sedition laws in Malaysia were tightened, the government has been vigilant to preempt the inflammatory use of language, race, and religion in politics. Freedom of the press has been subordinated to the need for building a harmonious multi-ethnic nation. This does not mean there are no pressures for widening the parameters for discussion, but in Malaysia there is a recognition of a higher need . Economic development through the New Economic Policy (NEP) has been implemented by a strong bureaucracy and public enterprises and government companies play a major role in opening up the economy to Malay participation. The NEP, over twenty years, is credited with building a Malay middle class through the provision of capital and economic and educational opportunities. The growth of the middle class in Malaysia is unlikely to generate demands to produce an alternative to the UMNO-led Alliance which has protected the Malay position , and is less extreme than other Malay parties on the non-Malay issue. It will probably produce demands for more participation, accountability, and attacks on corruption in powerful places.

13

CHAN HENG CHEE

Singapore Singapore adopted the unicameral Westminster parliamentary model first introduced by the British colonial government. Today, it has been modified slightly with the introduction of an Elected President with limited powers while retaining prime ministerial and cabinet government. The challenge of governing Singapore is to reconcile the demands of a multi-ethnic population of 75 per cent Chinese, 14 per cent Malay and 8 pe!.. cent Indian in an island state in a Malay archipelago, where Malay-Chinese racial conflicts have been a constant feature of post-war history in Malaysia and Indonesia, and where its own Malay community had aspirations linked to the history of the dominant community in Malaysia and the identification of some sections of the Chinese community was still ambivalent. Until the late seventies, Singapore lived in the shadow of a revolutionary China imbued with the mission to spread communism in Southeast Asia. Th deal with the communist threat, the People's Action Party (PAP) used Leninist organization to fight the Leninist communist party and communist front organizations in Singapore. It also launched a major social and economic programme to transform Singapore based on social redistribution, education, and the creation of job opportunities. Like the UMNO-coalition in Malaysia, the PAP has been returned in successive elections since 1959. Not even its worst critics have accused it of rigging elections. Early accusations about the lack of secrecy of the ballot have now disappeared. There is no fear about the vote. Singaporeans are increasingly very open about who they vote for. After the 1991 General Election, a number of those who voted for opposition parties spoke candidly to reporters, 14

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

identifying themselves openly and with photographs in the press. Besides the PAP, there are 20 registered political parties in Singapore but in the elections only four to eight parties enter the fray. The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) with three seats in Parliament, the Workers Party (WP) with one seat have the best appeal among the opposition. The marginalization of the opposition began with a self-inflicted wound. In 1963, the left-wing Barisan Socialis had 13 seats in a Parliament of 51. In 1965, the party took the stand that Singapore's independence was "phoney" and withdrew from Parliament. In the 1968 elections, the party fought internally and took the decision not to participate in the elections. Other parties were too weak and the PAP was returned to all the seats. The historic mistake proved difficult to overcome. It took 13 years before another opposition member was returned to the legislature. Th represent dissenting views in Parliament, the PAP created the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) to allow up to four best losers of the opposition to be appointed to the House if none or less than four opposition members were elected. In 1989, it created the category of Nominated MPs to include articulate dissenters to the voices in Parliament. While Western democracies look for checks and balances in government and the opposition is seen to be the best check to corrupt and bad government, Singapore leaders have consistently argued before their people that finding ''good men'' (and women) is even more crucial. Singapore now has had a tradition of a corruptionfree government over three decades. Singaporeans have developed a low threshold for corruption and incompetence in leadership. If Americans grow up believing in the importance of free speech, a generation of Singaporeans are growing 15

CHAN HENG CHEE

up believing that quality of leadership is of utmost importance, and experience has buttressed this view. The government's voice dominates the press, for the PAP believes that leadership must communicate its views to let the people know where it is going. It also sets ''o. b. markers'' for media to ensure that discussion of racial , language, and religious issues does not get out of hand. There has been greater liberalization in the area of the arts and film, but the liberalization is partly resisted by a socially conservative population. Opposition politicians have leng abandoned using the issue of freedom of the press to win votes, judging it to have very limited appeal. But Singapore is currently going through a transition. Successful economic development, the open economy, affluence and education have been liberalizing forces. Increasingly, Singaporeans are demanding more political space, participatory government, open government, and a step back from an over-regulated society. They do not reject PAP government nor even the dominant party system. They do want to see more opposition members in Parliament. The political leadership also understands that to maintain its support, it must modify its style of government . Singapore democracy is built on an intense and open dialogue between the government and the electorate at various forums and platforms. This results in early and swift responses to policies that hurt.

Indonesia Indonesian democracy has had to deal with the military as an active political participant. In Indonesia, the state did not create the army, but the army the state. Having led the 16

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

Indonesian revolution, it was unlikely that the military would abdicate its role in the building of the nation -state. Indonesia experimented with parliamentary democracy in the early fifties but this was seen to be a period of political chaos when the hard won unity of independence threatened to dissipate away. The nationalism of the Indonesian leaders also persuaded them to look for a political forum more authentic to Indonesia. Guided democracy was introduced by Sukarno in 1957. But Sukarno's rule led to steady economic decline, increasing tension between the Army and the Parti Kommunist Indonesia (PKI), and social tension and class conflict intensified. This was resolved after the bloody coup in 1965 and the establishment of a modernizing authoritarian regime under President Soeharto. The military created Golkar, which has developed into an umbrella dominant party. President Soeharto has successfully projected himself as the "Bapak" or father of the nation. The modernizing authoritarian regime saw the strengthening of a bureaucracy, and with time the military control over the bureaucracy is said to have reduced as bureaucratic rationale took ascendence. The strong state and use of state enterprises as well as joint private-public enterprises have been the sparkplugs of Indonesian development. The Indonesian economy has been providing steady results. The run-away inflation of Sukarno's time is under control; there is evidence of trickle-down redistribution. The creation of the Indonesian middle class is not as dramatic as in Malaysia or Singapore, but it is growing. Some analysts of Indonesia doubt that the growth of the middle class will usher in demands for democratization. While the Indonesian middle class seeks to create more political and economic space for itself, it is not obvious that 17

CHAN HENG CHEE

the middle class is interested in pushing democracy for the masses. It is well aware of the problem of mobilizing unsatisfiable demands which was the problem of the recent historical past.

The Philippines

Before martial law, the Philippines w.9:_s democracy with a competitive two-party system. It has often been asked whether democracy in the Philippines presented a real choice to the Filipino people at all as party switching before elections was so common as to make party labels meaningless. Politics was and is largely personalistic with parties amounting to no more than vehicles to enable an individual or group of individuals to capture power. There was also a high incidence of election frauds, malpractices, and accompanying electoral violence. The political conditions and the absence of widening or deepening socio-economic development produced a fragile democracy. The authoritarian phase under President Marcos destroyed the credibility of political institutions, enabled the military to develop into a major player in politics and as a political alternative. Democracy was restored by people power. President Aquino rebuilt the credibility of political institutions but could not bring about critical social and economic development. President Ramos was elected in what was generally regarded as the cleanest and least violent of Filipino elections. The Philippines enjoys the range of personal freedoms and full press freedom but the economic and social stagnation remains to be tackled. In 1993, law and order remains a major threat and the integrity of some law 18

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

enforcement agencies is in doubt. The future of democracy in the Philippines is still uncertain.

Thailand Thailand's political evolution assumes by now a familiar pattern. It alternates between democratization and a return to military rule. In February 1991, the eighteenth coup since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932 took place. Elections were held as promised a year later, but the appointment of a military general in April 1992 as Prime Minister led to massive demonstrations and a bloodbath. The analysts have argued that the events of 1991 and 1992 illustrate that the structure of Thai politics is changing. But Thai democracy will still have to deal with the military as a factor in politics in another form. The monarchy also has a very special role in the preservation of the nation and that role is a cherished one. If politicians fail in their performance, the dominance of the bureaucracy will endure, even as Thailand evolves away from a bureaucratic polity.

South Korea and Taiwan South Korea and Thiwan present similar paths of political evolution. Both countries established modernizing authoritarian regimes under military leadership after World War II, South Korea after a brief disastrous parliamentary experience and Thiwan, when its leadership tried to build a future away from the humiliating defeat on the mainland which also included a failed parliamentary experiment. Both histories and cultures recall an authoritarian past ruled by highly 19

CHAN HENG CHEE

centralized bureaucracies and both are divided countries faced with an active communist threat. Successful economic development and the growth of an educated middle class have produced pressures for greater liberalization of the politics of both countries. In 198 7 after a bloody uprising, the Korean military regime decided to yield power and to accept a more democratic constitution. A similar course of development occurred in Thiwan as growing middle class demands forced Chiang Ching-Kuo and his successor Lee Teng-Hui to concede to-move towards the lifting of martial law and a fully elected National Assembly. How will Korean democracy and Taiwanese democracy shape up? In what ways will its cultures, traditions and history show? The recent Presidential election in South Korea was won by Kim Young Sam, the candidate from the dominant military party merged with his own party into the Democratic Liberal Party (DLP). The DLP looks for the moment to continue its dominance as the major opposition leader Kim Dae Jung is returning from politics and the third party may not survive its aged leader. Taiwan's first fully elected assembly produced a Kuomintang (KMT) victory but a credible opposition DPP presence in the legislature. The KMT position is still formidable; 103 seats in the 161 Legislative Yuan and the Presidency, which is where the real power is, is still in the hands of the KMT.

China China is not currently a practising democracy but will be included in this discussion as the rapid and successful modernization is expected to precipitate pressures for political change. How will China cope with the challenge of the 20

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

future? It would be downright foolish to predict a simple unilinear course of political development in China towards sustained democratization a la Eastern Europe or Russia and moving towards something approximating Western liberal democracy with time. China is a country of 1 billion people nurtured over centuries on a shared Confucian heritage which emphasizes hierarchy, respect for authority, communitarianism, Confucian humanism, and the cultivation of virtuous enlightened leadership. The Marxist-Leninist state buttressed these values and possibly Communism took root in China because the system of thought found echoes in China's traditions. Sober analysis suggests that Chinese politics if and when it liberalizes is likely to evolve more towards a "defacto democracy of the authoritarian-pluralist model",5 for the "habit of the heart" will endure and resist the force of world ideas.

From the brief survey of Asian democracies, we can extrapolate certain characteristics common to all the countries. These characteristics that shape the political form constitute differences in degree and in kind so that it may be possible to speak of a new variant of democracy, namely, Asian democracy. The shared bottomline is the holding of free and fair elections to select political leaders. In writing of Asian democracy, I am not suggesting that Asia is a monolith. The term simply denotes that it is not Anglo-American democracy, but democracy none the less, and it embodies a cluster of characteristics which are commonly found in Asian democratic systems. These characteristics are : 1. A communitarian sense which teaches that the individual is important as part of a group or society rather than the 21

CHAN HENG CHEE

notion that the individual is the centrepiece of democracy and society. This communitarian sense will tend to place greater emphasis on common good rather than individual rights. Professor Tu Wei Ming has pointed out that the word "rights" does not exist in the Chinese political vocabulary. This does not mean that China and Confucianbased cultures will not learn to understand and value rights, as South Korea and Thiwan rapidly show, but it may take longer for them to assume a similar significance, if at all, as in Western democracies. Japan, Korea, Thiwan, China, Singapore, and Malaysia are societies that value the communitarian sense in their culture. Indonesia has a strong familial, community sense. The importance of the common good over the individual is a widespread notion in Asian democracies and derives from family solidarity, clan solidarity, and ethnic group solidarity. A corollary of the communitarian sense is the adherence to the consensus principle which underlies Japan; in Indonesia and Malaysia, it is musyawarah and mu'ajakat. Thus individual rights in an Asian democracy may not receive the same emphasis as in liberal democracy. That said, the right to life, the right not to be tortured are inviolable. 2. In the same category of attitudinal differences is the attitude to authority in Asian culture. Across the board, there is a greater acceptance of and respect for authority and hierarchy whether it is India, China, or Japan and the countries of Southeast Asia. Adversarial opposition against the state and people in positions of power are not absent but certainly not a normal reflex. Jusuf Wanandi has written that "Indonesian cultural values dictate that criticism levelled against office holders or other 22

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

social groups should not be destructive. Extreme attacks undermine the balance and harmony that are so highly valued in Indonesian society; therefore they are not accepted' '.6 3. The dominant party which can remain in power for two to three decades and more. In Japan, the LDP has been in power since 1955; Congress Party dominated India from 1947 to 1971 before it lost its first election. Even now a Congress defeat does not last for long and it bounces back into power usually after one term. In Malaysia and Singapore, the UMNO coalition and the PAP have been in power since 1957 and 1959 respectively, and in Indonesia, Golkar which was formed for the 1971 elections, has now been the ruling party for two decades and is unlikely to be dislodged. These are parties of independence and parties that led the nationalist movements of their countries. They have enormous advantage as the early mobilizer and they build upon their organizations. If they perform as a ruling party, there is no reason why the mystique should not be preserved and prolonged. African dominant party systems have collapsed, but this may be due to the weaknesses of organization in soft states. The sustained failure of major opposition parties to turn them out may not hinge only on the question of degree of competition permitted by the system, but may have to do with historical development and shrewd inclusionary strategies. It is not surprising that dominant parties are always umbrella-like centrist parties. 4. Nearly all the Asian democracies have a centralized bureaucracy and a strong state. The ideological rationale for development in the 1970s emphasized institution-building and this has been the case for Thiwan, South Korea, and 23

CHAN HENG CHEE

the ASEAN countries. In many of these countries, the bureaucracy played such a prominent role that they have been described as bureaucratic politics, and in Thailand analysts would argue that what is happening is the democratization and liberalization of a bureaucratic polity. The bureaucracy plays a major role in the development of the country and the ideal of the Japanese bureaucracy, its co-operation with politicians, is held as a model in many countries. It follows then that the strong states of Asian democracies are also interventionist states with a large state sector. The state plays an important role as the engine of economic development in the country. This is evident in every ASEAN country, South Korea, Taiwan and also in India . The Western liberal democratic state modified its limitations on the state's role and big government after socialist governments have been elected, but Western socialist paternalism is not of the same order as Singapore, Malaysia or Japan. In the United States, the interventionist state would be anathema and state capitalism is ideologically unacceptable. In identifying the above as characteristics common to Asian democracies, it is suggested here that they are sufficiently different and significant to warrant Asian democracies to be regarded as a different variant. There are clearly different degrees of openness and competition and some are more democratic than others, but they are different from Western liberal democracies in sufficient degree to constitute a difference in kind. The question is whether this is a transitionary phase and a transitionary form? If, as I am arguing, they are not and will not all eventually 24

DEMOCRACY: AN ASIAN PERSPECTIVE

evolve into Anglo-American democracies, should they not be regarded as a variant? Are the forces of industrialization, education, urbanization and economic development homogenizing? The answer is clearly yes and no. In some ways, there will be some universalizing, but democratic reversals are possible and have happened in the past, while indigenous cultures and folkways are impossible to erase, which is why we should not expect transplanted political institutions to look exactly like their antecedents and to function in a similar way. Hence Asian democracy. The recent interest and discussions on democracy raise an important question which I would like to put to you in my conclusion. Is democracy to be regarded as a process, a means to an end or is it an end goal itself? If democracy is seen as an end goal, it would seem limiting where the end goal should be a good society which incorporates a good government. If a good society is the end goal then democracy is but one virtue in the basket to be weighed . The test of any society is a whole basket of virtues.

NOTES

1. Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratisation in the Late Twentieth Century (Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991). 2. Robert A. Scalapino, "National Political Institutions and Leadership in Asia" , Washington Quarterly , Autumn 1992 , p. 157. 3. Samuel P. Huntington, Fblitical Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968). 4. Seizaburo Sato, "Institutionalisation and Democracy in Japan", 25

CHAN HENG CHEE

in Asian RJlitical Institutionalisation, edited by Robert A. Scalapino, Seizaburo Sato and Jusuf Wanandi (Berkeley: University of California, 1986), p. 105. 5. Tu Wei Ming, "The Exit from Communism", Daedalus 121, no. 2 (1992): 283. 6. Jusuf Wanandi, "SocioPolitical Development and Institution Building in Indonesia", in Asian RJlitical Institutionalisation, edited by Robert A. Scalapino et al., op. cit., p. 186.

26

II American Democracy in Relation to Asia

SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON

was asked "to provide an overview of the American democratic experience hlghlighting the unique set of motivations and circumstances fueling democratization in the United States, and secondly, emphasizing the distinctive aspects of the process which are in contrast to the Asian experience''. That is rather a tall order. I shall attempt, nevertheless, to supply at least some basis for the discussion of these issues by setting forth five propositions dealing with: (1) the nature of democracy in general; (2) the development of democracy in the West; (3) the nature of American democracy; ( 4) the prospects for Asian democracy ; and (5) the possible nature of Asian democracy.1

I

27

SAMUEL P. HUNTING1DN

The Nature of Democracy First, what do we mean by democracy? Th compare American, Asian, or other varieties of democracy it is first necessary to define the genus of which these are species. What is the essence of all democratic regimes that distinguishes them from non-democratic systems? Fundamentally democracy is a means of constituting authority in which the ruled choose the rulers. In other types of political systems, people may become rulers by virtue of birth, appointment, lot, examination, wealth, or coercion. In democracies, in contrast, either the rulers and ruled are identical, as in direct democracy, or rulers are selected by vote of the ruled. A modem nation -state has a democratic political system to the extent that its most powerful decision-makers are selected through fair, honest, periodic elections in which candidates freely compete for votes and in which virtually all the adult population is eligible to vote. This procedural definition of democracy differs from definitions of democracy by purpose or by source of authority. It received its most significant modem exposition in Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy and is now almost universally accepted by scholars working on this subject.2 According to this definition, elections are the essence of democracy. From this follow other features characteristic of democratic systems. Free, fair, and competitive elections are only possible if there is some measure of freedom of speech, assembly, and press, and if opposition candidates and parties are able to criticize incumbents without fear of retaliation. Democracy is thus not only a means of constituting authority, it is also a means of limiting authority. As a system for constituting authority, democracy should be distinguished from many other things which people often 28

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN RELATION 1D ASIA

identify or associate with it, such as justice, equity, responsiveness, stability, honesty. Democratic governments may provide these things better than other governments; with respect to the central value of liberty, they almost invariably do. But democratic governments can be and at times have been corrupt, arbitrary, unresponsive, shortsighted, unfair, and incapable of taking decisive action. Democratic governments may also be less able to achieve some social goals, such as land reform , than non-democratic governments whose leaders wish to achieve those goals.

The Rise of Modern Democracy in the West Democratic procedures have not been limited to the modern world or to the Western world . In the Greek city states and in the Roman republic, many magistrates were elected by assemblies of citizens, and in various parts of the world village and tribal chiefs have been elected throughout history. Modern democracy, however, is peculiarly a product of Western culture and Western social and economic development. At least until very recently, in no case has a non-Western country developed a stable democratic system endogenously on its own. The argument made by George Kennan and others that democratic politics can only exist in Western societies clearly does not stand. Democratic regimes can and do exist in non-Western societies but they have come into existence in such societies as a result of Western colonialism, imposition, influence, and example. The development of modern democracy has been a central characteristic of Western history for 350 years. Nurtured by commerce and Protestantism, democracy began to emerge in England and the Netherlands in the mid-17th century. 29

SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON

This initial surge faded in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, as aristocracy, oligarchy, and despotism reasserted themselves in Europe. It did, however, leave a democratic seed in North America. Democratic ideas and movements manifested themselves throughout the Western world during the ''Age of the Democratic Revolution'' in the late 18th century, most dramatically and violently, of course, in France. The development of stable democratic polities was the work of the 19th century. Democratic institutions first took root in the United States and then developed in most of the countries in northern and western Europe and in a few Latin American countries. This first democratic wave culminated at the end of World War I when for a brief moment in time 29 out of 64 countries in the world had some semblance of democratic government. Beginning with Mussolini's march on Rome in 1922, the tide turned in the other direction, and for twenty years most regime changes were from democracy to some form of authoritarianism. By 1942 only twelve democracies were left in the world. With the victory of the Western Allies in World War II, a second democratic wave got under way, as the Allies imposed democracy on West Germany, Italy, Austria, and Japan and, less successfully, South Korea. Influenced by the victory of the Western Allies, Greece, Turkey, and many Latin American countries moved towards democracy, and with decolonization former Western colonies almost universally initially adopted democratic systems, which in some cases (India, Sri Lanka, Israel, Philippines) lasted for a reasonable period of time. The second wave of democratization, however, petered out by the early 1960s and a second reverse wave got under way. Military coups brought bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes to power in many Latin American countries; the 30

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN RELATION TO ASIA

military also took over in Greece and South Korea; Marcos established a dictatorship in the Philippines; and the African countries that became independent in the 1960s almost without exception quickly fell under dictatorial rule. In the mid-1970s, however, the tide turned once again. Beginning in Southern Europe in Portugal, Greece, and Spain, a third wave of democratization moved across the globe, engulfing all of Latin America except for Cuba, manifesting itself in the Philippines, Thiwan, South Korea, Pakistan , and other Asian countries and, of course, in 1989 dramatically sweeping across Eastern Europe and then bringing about movements towards democracy in many of the former Soviet republics. By 1990 there were far more democratic countries in the world than there had ever been in the past. As the figures in Thble 2.1 indicate, however, the proportion of democratic states in the world did not exceed the previous high in 1922. Overall, democratic systems have emerged in a two-steps TABLE 2.1 Democratization in the Modern World

l-ear

Democratic States

Non-democratic States

Thtal States

Percentage Democratic of Thtal States

1922 1942 1962 1973 1990

29 12 36 30 59

35 49 75 92 71

64 61 111 122 130

45.3 19.7 32.4 24.6 45.4

NorE:

This estimate of regime numbers omits countries with a population of less than one million . 31

SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON

forward, one-step back pattern. Reverses occur, but neither reverse wave has eliminated all the gains of the previous democratization wave. If this pattern continues to hold, some of the more than thirty countries that have become democratic since 197 4 will shift back to authoritarianism, and, of course, reversals have occurred in the Sudan, Nigeria, Haiti, and Peru. Obviously a variety of particular causes have been responsible for the emergence of democratic systems in so many countries over such a long period of time. Two general causes, however, also seem to have been at work in the multiplication of democratic regimes. First, economic development - industrialization, expansion of literacy and education, urbanization, increased wealth, decreasing inequalities in income and wealth, the emergence of a bourgeoisie and a middle classhas generally played a critical role, particularly in the first and third democratization waves. Second, the spread of Western ideas of liberal democracy to other societies and the expansion of the power of the West have also been centrally important in the expansion of democracy to non-Western societies.

The Peculiarity of American Democracy Democracy takes different forms in different cultures. American democracy differs in its origins, theory, development, and institutions from European democracy. Even greater differences are likely to exist between democracy in these two Western cultures and democracy in Middle Eastern and Asian societies. American democracy in particular is a very distinctive, even peculiar, phenomenon , which in practice 32

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN RELATION TO ASIA

has little relevance to other societies. What are some of its distinctive characteristics? First, the United States is the oldest democratic political system in the modern world. Its roots go back to the English Revolution and the English settlement of North America in the 17th century. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut framed in 1638 have been described as the first written democratic constitution of the modern world. The absence of an aristocracy and the widespread ownership of property meant that even before independence the suffrage was widespread in many of the colonies. By the 1830s white male suffrage was universal, a situation contrasting dramatically with that in Britain even after the Reform Act of 1832. Second, American ideas concerning democracy came from a variety of sources including the egalitarianism of the more radical religious groups in the English Revolution, natural rights theorists, particularly John Locke, and 18th century Enlightenment thinkers. Individualism and natural rights have been far more central to the American democratic tradition than they are to the European . Third, American democracy has always been infused by to power and to the state. Democracy has been hostility a less a way of empowering the people than a way of preventing any individual or group from achieving too much power. In Europe democratic theory and democratic movements challenged the idea of checks and balances. In the United States the two were linked together as complementary ways of preventing the concentration of power. Sovereignty rested in the people not in any organ of government, but democratic despotism , the tyranny ofthe majority, was to be feared just as much as the tyranny of monarchs or aristocracies. The distinguishing characteristics of American government - a written constitution, federalism, checks and balances, bills 33

SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON

of rights, judicial review - are all ways of limiting government. As a result, for the bulk of its history the United States did not have a state in the European sense, an omission which invariably amazed 19th century European visitors. During the past half-century, something like a European state has come into existence, but even so the American bureaucracy is far more diffuse and pluralistic than European bureaucracies and American suspicion of the state is still reflected in the low proportion of government revenues and expenditures to gross national product. - · Fourth, in the United States, unlike Europe, democracy emerged prior to the industrial revolution . It rested on the widespread ownership of property in a rural society. In Europe, in contrast, industrialization and democratization proceeded in tandem. First the bourgeoisie and then the proletariat fought to secure the suffrage, and universal suffrage was in large part the result of the efforts of socialist and other working class parties. Democracy, in short, was a product of the class struggle. In the United States it was a product of the absence of the class struggle. (A few weak workingmen's parties were formed during the Jacksonian period but disappeared with the rapid spread of universal suffrage.) As Thcqueville noted, "The chief circumstance which has favored the establishment and the maintenance of a democratic republic in the United States is the nature of the territory that the Americans inhabit . Their ancestors gave them the love of equality and freedom; but God himself gave them the means of remaining equal and free, by placing them on a boundless continent . . . . The physical causes, independent of the laws, which promote general prosperity are more numerous in America than they have ever been in any other country in the world, at any other period of history . ... Nature herself favors the cause of the people.'' 34

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN RELATION TO ASIA

From this it followed that in contrast to other peoples, ''The great advantage of the Americans is that they have arrived at a state of democracy without having to endure a democratic revolution; and that they are born equal instead of becoming so''. Fifth, American democracy evolved out of English sources and for most of its history the United States has been predominantly a Northern European, Protestant nation . That, however, is no longer the case, and as a result of the shrinkage of its English core, the United States lacks an organic ethnic identity. Its identity is instead defined by its creed: the ideas of democracy, liberty, individualism, liberalism, equality. In the 1890s James Bryce summed up the central elements of that creed as follows: 4 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

the individual has sacred rights; the source of political power is the people; all governments are limited by law and the people; local government is to be preferred to national government; the majority is wiser than the minority; and the less government the better.

A century later this remains a good summary of the political beliefs that define the United States as a nation and that are essential to its identity. The collapse of the other major power whose identity was defined by a creed consequently has to be a sobering prospect for Americans. Absent communism, China will remain China. Absent liberal democracy, the United States would follow the Soviet Union into the ash heap of history. Sixth, American democracy has been more populist than European democracy. In Europe the process of democratization generally involved the subordination of the existing 35

SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTDN

bureaucratic structure to control by the elected members of the legislature. In the United States democratization involved the expansion of the elective principle to the second house of the legislature, the chief executive, many other executive officials in state and local governments, and in most states the judiciary. The Jacksonian idea that almost any citizen is qualified to perform the functions of government led to rotation in office, a stress on amateurism, and the spoils system. This populism continues in the vast number of elective offices that exist in the United States, the distinctive role that "in and outers" play in American government, and the fact that an incoming President has about five thousand political positions to which he can make appointments. Finally, because it is the oldest democratic system in the world and because it has not undergone any basic change in over 150 years, American democracy has begun to acquire many characteristics, if not of senility, certainly of maturity. During the 1980s there was much discussion of the phenomenon of divided government that made it very difficult to initiate new programmes or to make clearcut policy decisions. It is unlikely, however, that united government will result from the same party controlling Congress and the Presidency. The problems of gridlock are more fundamentally institutional and stem from the diffusion of power within both Congress and the executive branch and the enhanced power of interest groups. Olsonian distributional coalitions are the dominant feature of Washington and they have produced precisely the consequences Olson predicted: they "slow down a society's capacity to adopt new technologies and to reallocate resources in response to changing conditions, and thereby reduce the rate of economic growth' '.5 This ageing of political institutions and the concomitant inability to abolish unneeded bureaucratic 36

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN RELATION TO ASIA

structures multiplies opportunities for obstruction. This is, perhaps, the single most serious problem now confronting American democracy.

Asian Democratization: Economics vs. Culture What then is the relevance of the American democratic experience to Asia? At one limited level, it is most important. Only two countries in East Asia - Japan and the Philippines - have had a sustained experience with democratic government. In both cases, democracy was the product of an American presence. It was, indeed, not just imported from the United States; it was imposed by the United States. In the years since MacArthur, Japanese democracy has developed in its own ways, which have made it very different from American democracy. In the Philippines, on the other hand , the United States introduced elections early in this century, and Philippine political institutions have been very explicitly modelled on those of the United States. Much of Philippine politics seems to reflect aspects of American politics. Indeed, one expert on the Philippines, Carl Lande, suggested some years ago that the Filipinos simply carried to extremes many of the often less desirable aspects of American politics: lobbies, patronage and the spoils system, undisciplined parties, localism, lack of an effective bureaucracy, personalistic politics. Given their Spanish heritage, however, perhaps the Philippines should not be thought of as an Asian society. They are more a Latin American society that got loose and drifted many thousand miles to the west. If it has the will and mobilizes the power, the United 37

SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON

States can have an impact on democracy in Asia. The American democratic model and experience, however, have little relevance to Asia, apart from the Philippines. American democracy has been shaped by an English heritage, empty spaces and free land, the absence of an aristocracy, massive immigration, vertical and horizontal social mobility, minimum government, and a pervasive middle-class liberal ethos. No similar combination of factors exists anywhere in Asia. If democratic institutions take root in Asia they will result from very different forces and are likely to take very different forms from those of American democracy. The future of democracy in Asia will be shaped by the interaction of economics and culture. During the past two decades most East Asian countries have experienced extremely rapid economic growth. As the effects of this growth have been felt, S

01

1989 Exch. rate

Freedom Rating

Fblitical Rights

Nation

ppp Exch. rate

United Arab Emirates United States Canada Switzerland *Liechtenstein Norway Luxembourg Kuwait Australia Hong Kong Singapore Sweden Finland Germany Japan Iceland

$23,798 $20 ,998 $18,635 $18,590 na $16,838 $16,537 $15,984 $15,266 $15, 180 $15, 108 $14,817 $14,598 $14,507 $14,311 $14,210

$18,430 $20,910 $19 ,030 $29 ,880 $22,500 $22,290 $24,980 $16, 150 $14 ,360 $10,350 $10,450 $21,570 $22, 120 $20,440 $23,810 $2 1,070

Partly Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Partly Free Free Partly Free Partly Free Free Free Free Free Free

6 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 1 4 4 1 1 1 1 1

0 ;>

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( 1, most free, to 7, least free) 5 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 1 3 5 1 1 2 2 1

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TABLE 4.1 (Continued) ppp

Nation

-...] t\:)

Guinea-Bissau Zambia Thgo Madagascar Rwanda Niger Malawi Guinea Burma (Myanmar) Chad Mali Tanzania Uganda Ethiopia Zaire Tonga Yemen Tuvalu

Exch. rate $820 $767 $752 $690 $680 $634 $620 $602 $595 $582 $576 $557 $499 $392 $380 na na na

1989 Exch. rate $180 $390 $390 $230 $320 $290 $180 $430 na $190 $270 $130 $250 $120 $260 $860 $650 $575

Freedom Rating

Fblitical Rights

Partly Free Free Not Free Partly Free Not Free Partly Free Not Free Partly Free Not Free Not Free Free Partly Free Not Free Partly Free Not Free Partly Free Partly Free Free

6 2 6 4 6 5 6 6 7 6 2 6 6 6 6 3 6

5 3 5 4 5 4 7 5 7 6 3 5 5 4 5 3 4

1

1

Civil Liberties

( 1, most free, to 7, least free)

25O:l t'l

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Kiribati Maldives Sao Thme/Princip Equatorial Guinea Vietnam Laos

-J C.:>

Afghanistan Bhutan Bosnia-Herzegovina Cambodia Cuba Iraq Korea, North Lebanon Macedonia Slovenia

na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na

$529 $420 $340 $330 $232 $180 na na na na na na na na na na

Free Not Free Free Not Free Not Free Not Free Not Free Not Free Not Free Not Free Not Free Not Free Not Free Partly Free Partly Free Free

2

2 5 3

7 7 7

6 7 6

6 7 6 6 7 7 7

6 6 6 6 7 7 7

5 3 2

4 4 2

1 6

NCJrES: (a) Freedom House describes itself as a national organization dedicated to strengthening democra\ic institutions. Its board of directors comprises Max M. Kapelman (Chairman), John W. Riehm, Ned W. Bandler, Walter Schloss and Angier Biddle Duke (other officers) and Kenneth L. Adelman, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., Patricia Murphy Derian, William C. Doherty, Jr.,

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