Gongol.com Archives: October 2023
According to the CIA, the median person living in the Gaza Strip is 18 years old, by far one of the lowest ages of any place in the world. Coincidentally, the last time the people living in the Gaza Strip were given a chance to vote on their government was 17 years ago, in 2006. ■ Even if the population had a much higher average age, a wait of 17 years since the last elections would be a galling figure. But half its population wasn't even alive at the last election. For a regime to have gone so long without even attempting to prove itself in a popular vote should render it functionally illegitimate in the eyes of any honest observer. ■ Governments are not religions, nor are they cultures. They are not identities for people to adopt or to change at will. They are systems for consolidating and executing power. And before they can be judged "mainly good", "mainly bad", or something in between, they have to show themselves to be legitimate. ■ A distressing share of the world's people are the subjects of regimes with little or no regard for earning legitimacy from the expressed will of their people. Nobody voted for Xi Jinping, who has done away with term limits. Nobody believes that an opponent would even be allowed to challenge Vladimir Putin. And roughly a supermajority in the Gaza Strip had little or no faith in Hamas. ■ It should come as no surprise that these regimes, feeling unconstrained by the public will, often behave like barbarians. Even if they didn't commit terroristic atrocities, they would still lack legitimacy. ■ People of goodwill should know better than to sympathize with those regimes even in times of quiet, but certainly in times of reckless violence, and the world should view those rogue regimes as being, fundamentally, enemies of the very people they govern.