Andrew McCarthy, writing about increased unrest in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring, explains, “democracy is not a ‘process,’ it is a culture. It cannot be installed by a ‘system.’ Processes like popular elections and constitution-writing are democratic only when democracy’s principles have become ingrained in a society.
“That is an evolution that can and should be promoted, but it cannot be rushed. And the less democratic tradition there is in a country — or, for that matter, a civilization — the longer the evolution will take. If you try to hasten it by having the processes and the system drag a resistant society along, you don’t get democracy. You get the Muslim Brotherhood.”