Mar 19, 2012

A "Mecca" of American Democracy

Last summer I made a trip to Washington D.C.

There is a narrow plaza called the Mall in Washington D.C. At one end of the Mall, the U.S. Capitol stands on Capitol Hill, and at the other end is the Lincoln Memorial. Between them the Washington Monument towers up.

I took a visitor tour of Capital Hill and walked down to Lincoln Memorial through the Mall. In the Lincoln Memorial the statue of Lincoln stands saintlike watching over the U.S. Capitol. When I saw it, I realized that for American the people the Mall was a holy place, which I could call a "Mecca" of American democracy.

In the entry "The Myth of "Democracy": "the State of Nature" and "the Social Contract" " I pointed out that "American democracy" appeared very religious to me. At the inauguration of the president of U.S.A., they swear an oath by putting their hands on the Bible. What will happen, I wonder, when a "pagan" like me becomes the president of U.S.A.? Will they too be forced to put their hands on the Bible, aren't they? (Of course American people don't imagine that their president will ever be a jew or a Muslim.)

On the contrary French democracy is far worldlier than American democracy. Many French couples don't choose religious marriage but worldly PACS. Christianity in France is the part of the old regime defeated by the French Revolution. On the other hand Pilgrim Fathers sought another Land of Canaan in the new world.

I watched a movie at the beginning of the visitor tour of Capitol Hill. As a foreign tourist it seemed to be a propaganda movie, which indoctrinated visitors to "American Democracy".

I don't speak against "American Democracy". Moreover I love it. But it isn't universal but somehow strange for me as a foreigner. (At the same time Japanese political system might be quite strange for American people.)

If you are interested in Japanese political system, you will read this entry, "Is Japan Really a Democratic Country?"

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