Friday, September 16, 2005

McDonald's Peace Formula,What?

This is response to "sunrise part two" at above link.
This may give credence to somebody that I take little stock in their opinion, but he does show a link to the theory of McDonald's Peace Formula entitled as "Democracies Do Not Make War on One Another.
...or Do They?" by Matthew White. Since Dr. Rummel felt it was important to respond to such issues brought up in Still, No Wars Between Democracies, I too will look at these issues.

The first point I would like to make is that we need to set a definition of Democracy. My definition of "Liberal Democracy" is derived from Freedom House. The ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 7 with 1 most free and 7 least free. A country has a rating for Political Rights and Civil Liberties for each and averaged to determine it's standing as far as Free (1-2.5) Partial Free (3.0-5.0) and Not Free (5.0-7.0). While Mr. White tries to muddy the water in understanding about democracies, he fails to create a viable definition. And just as sunrise has pointed out that saying something is something (a democracy) does not make it so.

Let us go through some of his points now. In "Everyone forgets the fine print", all he has to do is go back to the definition. Everytime someone says communist we do not have to have a lengthy insertion of what is a communist coutry is and whether it is a true Marxist vs. Maoist. "The old double standard:" does not even make sense to put Slobodon Milosovic next to Richard Nixon as comparison. Of course maybe sunny has some information about the "Right Wing Dealth squads of Nixon".

"Shifting the definitions to fit the theory:" has some valid points in that if a science fiction event occured then maybe we would have to change our perception. Going back to our definition of liberal democracies, Russia (5.5) is not free and Ukraine (3.5) is only partially free. Thus even if these two do wage a war it would be just what our theory states.

Now that White brings up Canada and the US let us look at Do democracies fight each other?.
To help his argument, he put forward a rigorous definition of the term:

* regular elections for the most powerful government positions
* competitive political parties
* near universal franchise
* secret balloting
* civil liberties and political rights (human rights)

Now we have a good definition let us see what else the BBC has brought forth:
"The exception that makes even established democracies take up arms against one another is fish," he says.

Disputes between Canada, the US, Britain, Norway, Iceland, Spain and Portugal have escalated into violence, sometimes involving naval gunfire, he says.

Baden thinks one of the reasons is that fishing crosses borders and national jurisdictions, and "too many fishermen chase too few fish".

"If we can't manage the diplomacy of fish, how can we manage nukes, human rights, or terrorism?"

While this does put a different perspective on Democracies vs. Democracies, let us look at some of the comments since they explain it better than I could.

Alex in England said:
When was this great Anglo-Canadian fish war exactly? How many millions died? How many refugees fled? Democracies argue and squabble, but they don't engage in mass genocide the way that theological and ideological states do.

and Hugh Fidgen, UK said:
Let the FishFinger wars begin! If this is the best that can be come up with I don't think the problem of warring democracies should lose anyone any sleep.

As stated by White "Statistically insignificant sample:", this is countered by information from Dr. Rummel in the link earlier. In 1972 (43/148) 29% of countries were liberal democracies and in 2003 (87/192) 45% were such. The number of countries in total increased by 44 and the number of democracies increased by the same number.
White then states "Of the 39 international wars between WW2 and Y2K, 6 might have been between democracies." What 6 conflicts is he talking about. Out of the 39 that he lists earlier in the piece not one stands out as a Democracy vs. a Democracy.
For the matter of "Mathematical Probability:", I will let Dr. Rummel explain this.
Now, some people don't llike subjective statistics, so lets calculate the probability. There are 46 cases of international violence, and six alternative ways that could occur (e.g., F-F, or PF-PF). Let the number 1 stand for the F-F alternative, and the other five numbers for each of the others. Throw a six-numbered die 46 times, and what is the probability that it will never come up with a 1? The probability that it will not come up a 1 in one throw is 5/6. So, the probability of no 1 in 46 throws is 5/6 to the 46th power (assuming each case of violence is independent), which is a probability of happening by chance of 8.017E-36, or about the probability of one being hit by a meteor. Obviously, there has to be something more than chance here. And what is that something? Surprise. It is two countries having democratic governments. That is, the democratic peace.

And now onto the issue of Mcdonald's Peace Formula that started this post from sunny. First even Mr. White disputes his own findings in note 5 with:
Unfortunately for world peace, the Big Mac Attack Rule finally broke down in 1999. On 24 March 1999, NATO began its air attack on Yugoslavia. Faced with angry nationalism, vandalism and boycotts, all the McDonalds in Yugoslavia shut their doors on 26 March. This means that for two full days, McDonaldland was wrenched asunder by its first intramural war ever.

So maybe some people should read first and post later. When first hearing this theory I thought the natural reaction by McDonald's is to find liberal democracies to start business under. But perusing their list of countries I saw that many non-free countries had the BigMac. Most notable are China(6.5), Lebanon (5.5), and Pakistan (5.5). It passed up Norway, Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, Barbados, Bahamas, CostaRica, and Iceland which are all 1. I first looked at the number from Freedom House for the entire period of 72-05. My numbers for MacDaddies is 3.03 and the non was 4.15, but this was over the entire period so I narrowed for only 2005 since I don't have all the dates for when McDonald's opened operations in each country. For just 2005, the results were 2.47 for the BigMac and 3.65 for the non. Which shows that the overall number for BigMac was free and non was partially free. This does show a difference but more than likely McDonalds would be more concerned about business climate in larger cities, property rights, social factors and large enough narkets. These factors I also do not have on hand for such a research.

Since this theory failed he also mentions the "Greens Peace Theory" of how many golf courses are there per 100,000 citizens and "160 cars per 1000 people" as the dividing line in the car theory. And of course these are for another day.

Even if you can find fault with the theory that Democracies do fight each other, you would have to compare it to the mass graves of communist regimes. The Democratic Peace posits also states Democracies: have the least foreign and domestic violence, commit the least democide, is a method of nonviolence, and have no famine.


Anonymous Hugh Fidgen said...

Nice to see a flippant comment can go far!

8/18/2006 8:35 AM  

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