Related: Democratic backfire
The West — America in particular — should abandon the democracy push and start popularizing the ideals on which democracies are built. At the moment nobody talks about these because not even some western intellectuals are ready to embrace them when named directly — Capitalism, and more broadly, Individualism.
If the West cannot convince itself that Individualism is the correct moral choice, then it certainly won’t have any luck doing so with non-western countries. The West continues to talk about “liberal democracy” which is just the method and not the ideology (see: Democratic backfire).
The West is losing the battle because nobody is defending its core values. On the other side, rationalizations for collectivism (e.g. socialism, communism) are common and its defenders are many. It’s no surprise that given a vague choice and a specific choice, non-western societies tend to go with the specific one.
Dismantle “cultural relativism”
The West needs to answer axiomatically, why individualism is proper and why collectivism is improper. In other words, why it is fundamentally wrong to subjugate an individual to any will other than his own. Answer this and you establish the UNVERSALITY OF INDIVIDUALISM — something that countries like China dispute, claiming “cultural relativism”.
The claim is that individualism is a product of western culture and that the “ways” of other cultures can be different. This is the argument that needs to be broken. Murder is a “way” that is wrong everywhere — no sensible society will say “in our culture murder is alright — everything is relative.” The same should be shown to apply to individual freedom.
Educate, and let the wheels turn
Educate non-western peoples about individualism and they’ll automatically choose capitalism as their ideology and automatically demand democracy as their methodology — all on their own. That’s much better than having to shove it down their throats by threatening their governments with embargos or enticing them with aid. Talk directly to the people, not to the politicians.
Democracy becomes mob rule when it is not rooted in an underlying moral political philosophy (which is usually set out in a country’s constitution). In other words, without a constitution committed to individualism, democracy is worse than nothing.