Without true economic stability and opportunity for a country’s people, can there be “real democracy”? For poor folk in today’s Albania, the answer seems to be a resounding “NO.”
I will hazard to generalize that most “democratic” countries in the world who do not have a stable economic system to allow the poorest of the poor to be able to rise from poverty — to become self-sufficient, to finance a future for themselves and their children, without a government’s policies sabotaging or horribly neglecting their pursuit of bettering themselves — are not “real” democracies.
As this latter-day Cold War kid can attest, the sentiment that “it was much better in communist times” makes me twitch (and the Bunny explode). But Albania and countries like it are far from the benefits that we in a country like, oh, the United States of America, take for granted. Of course, the US has been at it since 1776. Perhaps it just takes time. Perhaps they just need to be patient and wait.
But just say that to a poor kid in Albania, who is starving. Today. Now.
Right… just say that.