NOTE: I do not acknowledge the phrasing of FMF's thread, and thus I do not participate in it, and I will never participate in a thread that puts my screen name in the title of it that is not meant in good spirit.
I do not provide a specific answer for how a previous military dictatorship should function. This may have been the only relevant question that FMF asked that perhaps I should consider confronting. I think each situation is different. Too different for me to say that there is a single fix all for everything.
Perhaps even more importantly: I reject the universalism which FMF and many Westerners tend to unquestioningly believe in. It is actually a rather rich irony that there are Christian traditionalists such as Dugin or Solzhenitsyn that recognize the vast diversity of cultures and circumstances, and do not pretend to be able to legislate for the peoples of other societies. These are people that are portrayed as intolerant or as foolish, but in reality, they are far more tolerant as they do not have a monochromatic vision for the totality of the world.
And this is what is at the basis of FMF's erroneous characterization of my words. Of course, I played a bit fast & heavy with the wording of the posts quoted, but this was in the spirit of provoking debate & discussion and, moreover, in getting a rise out of him. I was not disappointed -- he is still raising hackles on the issue months later.
But to answer this question more specifically:
There are universal truths, but none of these are necessarily great enough to merit a single minded approach to governance.
Generally speaking, though, simply the cultivation of the basic virtues that give rise to high standards of living should be the ultimate goal. This is meant to be
Rights, Virtues, & Development
The classical liberal position is greatly based on the concept of natural rights (usually life, liberty, property) coming to us through natural laws.
But what are rights, really?
And how can a materialist that doesn't believe in the concept of a naturally occurring right defend rights?
Rights become merely a series of norms. Norms that receive their power only from consensus. They have no property inherent to them, and they can exist or vanish based on what is relative to the society. They're purely conventions.
So, what do we make of rights?
I no longer think about them. I think in terms of virtues. Virtues are far more basic and easily defensible. For instance, it is a virtue to not kill, not steal, not impose yourself. From this we can easily deduce life, liberty, and property, and we do not do so from a clumsy approach of insisting on some abstract sociopolitical convention, but we rather come to it through a moral argument with far more obvious rationale.
The rationale also serves a more fundamental purpose: virtuous behavior, over long enough time, executed by a large amount of people, turns into the collective cultural infrastructure that literally develops the economy and society from the ground up.
This is our fundamental flaw when we discuss the right political structure of an Iraq or an Indonesia or a Thailand... As opposed to emphasizing the idea that we must give rote democratic institutions to a people that have no social infrastructure for operating a democracy, we need to propose virtue ethics as the very means to which just and proper rule comes to a place.
Remember the Egyptian revolution recently? The first thing they did was elect an Islamist who would impose fundamentalist and nondemocrstic perspectives because there is not actually a heritage of virtue ethics in the nation as it stands.
Democratic rule is actually not a start point, nor are rights a start point, but virtues themselves are the starting point to obtain good society.
They're also the method of maintaining good society. Which is why democratic institutions crumble when the virtues of the people wane. Your "rights" vanish quickly without Virties, because, really, any "rights" that you have can only exist via a consensus , and what are the sort of people that will respect your existence and freedom?
Thus, the goal ought to always be the same: to concentrate on the cultivation of virtue and the erasure of vice to create a society that inherently respects freedom.
Virtue is development of the human in all his forms, while vice is his degeneration, and thus rights are dependent on virtues, as is propensity, which means that Virtue is the basis of all positive action.
Of course, I haven't bothered defining the specific virtues. That's another thread.
I'll write another part someday, perhaps, concerning autocracy.