Comments on: Prosperity, autocracy and democracy http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/ Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:34:09 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: laguardia23 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2830 Thu, 22 Mar 2012 03:42:56 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2830 USA has two different sets of rules that interrupt each other while they’re talking. Sometimes they interrupt themselves. You get a hybrid system that is disorderly as a consequence. That’s why we’re occupying and demanding economic justice and condemning disorder.

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By: juliefisher http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2782 Fri, 09 Mar 2012 08:52:49 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2782 Your review ties in well with Importing Democracy: The Role of NGOs in South Africa, Tajikistan and Argentina, my forthcoming book. See www.importingdemocracy.org

I haven’t yet read Why Nations Fail, but I assume the authors link inclusivity to democracy. Although the pace of democratic change has ebbed and flowed in recent years, the idea that democracy can be exported, especially militarily, has been discredited. Recent charges against foreign democracy advocates in Egypt suggest that even the peaceful export of democracy is questionable, unless it is done with great caution.

After interviewing 90 activists from democratization NGOs in the three countries, I concluded that what they import is democratic ideas, from the developing as well as the developed world. They also work to restore traditional democratic practices such as dialogue and deliberation at the village level.

Equally important, they work on everything from teaching local police about human rights in Tajikistan, to pressuring local governments to become more accountable in South Africa to achieving open hearings for Supreme Court candidates in Argentina. The three countries are radically different, but the organizers of democratization NGOs all understand that democracy is about more than just elections.

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By: Anthonykovic http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2779 Fri, 09 Mar 2012 04:10:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2779 Nialls Ferguson wrote two excellent books that deal with why Western nations are wealthy and why they ruled the planet for the last 500 years. “The Ascent Of Money” and “Civilization – the West and the Rest” highly recommended reading. Very thoughtful insight and loads of historic facts on the question of why some countries are rich and others are not. It is a lot more complex than a simple one sentence answer.

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By: bboaze http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2778 Thu, 08 Mar 2012 01:23:24 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2778 I hope you’re right. The Russians have the only military with possibly the same capability as the US military.

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By: LEEDAP http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2776 Wed, 07 Mar 2012 16:57:15 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2776 Great article inspiring great comments. @flashrooster points are great, as are @trevorh’s with the latter coming to very different conclusions. However, it would be interesting to read the book first. This subject is very hot as it does seem to look at why the politics and economic ideology in each country produces different results. And, of course, @Ian_Kemmish’s question of timeline is important, too. Russia sits on a lot of reserves. How many generations of extraction will it take for their political system to fail? Most importantly, on the matter of sustainability, the whole concept of extraction is limited, inherently making such a system doomed.

Looks like this book is a must read.

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By: tyr81 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2775 Wed, 07 Mar 2012 01:23:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2775 Oh, she’s hiding the elephant in the room alright, because it runs exactly counter to her thesis and that of Acemoglu and Robinson. They all decree that “inclusive” is better than “extractive” and then assign the former to liberal capitalist economies and the latter to the rest regardless of current and historical facts. In other words, there is a bias present that is imposed regardless of the evidence, and that imposition requires ignoring the several elephants in the room.

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By: Watcher23 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2774 Tue, 06 Mar 2012 17:13:14 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2774 Sounds like Friedrich Hayek with updated terminology to me. But that’s okay. The simplistic comparison of Autocracy vs. Democracy is the distinction that matters. Any nation ruled by an autocrat is living on borrowed time and going nowhere. Line up Mr. Mugabe, Mr. Chavez, Mr. Putin.

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By: NateMullikin http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2773 Tue, 06 Mar 2012 11:00:21 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2773 Unfortunately for the unfortunate,”extractive” seems to work quite well for the individual. Nepotism has solid evolutionary roots. Inclusive governments seem to morph rather quickly into officially deniable plutocracy. It is a currently inevitable trait of the clever monkeys.

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By: flashrooster http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2771 Tue, 06 Mar 2012 00:40:09 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2771 Why did I get the feeling reading your piece that there was an elephant in the room which you never got around to acknowledging? Isn’t it fair to say that the US has gone from being a primarily inclusive state to being extractive, run primarily by crony capitalism? We were already pretty much there, but with the Citizens United ruling I think it’s fair to conclude that we are officially governed by an extractive institution.

It depends on how much the definition of an extractive institution is reliant on a nation’s dependence on a limited number of commodities, which the US is not. But surely the US practices a distinct form of crony capitalism. Even though Obama has done a lot for our institutions of power, such as Wall Street, the banking industry, the insurance industry, etc., I would still argue that Obama is the closest thing to a fluke that we’ll see again unless our election system is changed. That is, Obama’s kowtowing to our institutions of power is not overt, certainly not as overt as recent preceding Presidents, and he’s paid a lot of political capital for that “reserve”. After Obama leaves office, be it next year or in 5 more years, expect the crony capitalism to be much more overt from whomever is in the Oval Office. Definitely with Mitt Romney. And why shouldn’t we expect it be? We’re not in much of a position to do anything about it except to take to the streets, and Americans tend to be slow to do that, though that may be changing.

Also, consistent with an extractive governing institution, our media resources are dependent on bringing in large sums of cash and that’s much easier if they behave and tow the extractive, crony capitalism line. For example, why contribute to educating the American populace on the threatening, undemocratic effects that our current political campaign financing system has on our Republic when the current system rains money on our news media institutions like manna from heaven in the form of political advertising? Why gnaw off the hand that feeds you just because it’s the right thing to do?

I believe that the US is now very much run by an extractive form of government and we are already beginning to suffer the consequences laid out for us by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in their book “Why Nations Fail”. It will only get worse if we don’t change our political system to be more inclusive.

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By: flashrooster http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/03/02/prosperity-autocracy-and-democracy/#comment-2769 Mon, 05 Mar 2012 18:12:05 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/?p=1561#comment-2769 Why did I get the feeling reading your piece that there was an elephant in the room which you never got around to acknowledging? Isn’t it fair to say that the US has gone from being a primarily inclusive state to being extractive, run primarily by crony capitalism? We were already pretty much there, but with the Citizens United ruling I think it’s fair to conclude that we are officially governed by an extractive institution.

It depends on how much the definition of an extractive institution is reliant on a nation’s dependence on a limited number of commodities, which the US is not. But surely the US practices a distinct form of crony capitalism. Even though Obama has done a lot for our institutions of power, such as Wall Street, the banking industry, the insurance industry, etc., I would still argue that Obama is the closest thing to a fluke that we’ll see again unless our election system is changed. That is, Obama’s kowtowing to our institutions of power is not overt, certainly not as overt as recent preceding Presidents, and he’s paid a lot of political capital for that “reserve”. After Obama leaves office, be it next year or in 5 more years, expect the crony capitalism to be much more overt from whomever is in the Oval Office. Definitely with Mitt Romney. And why shouldn’t we expect it be? We’re not in much of a position to do anything about it except to take to the streets, and Americans tend to be slow to do that, though that may be changing.

Also, consistent with an extractive governing institution, our media resources are dependent on bringing in large sums of cash and that’s much easier if they behave and tow the extractive, crony capitalism line. For example, why contribute to educating the American populace on the threatening, undemocratic effects that our current political campaign financing system has on our Republic when the current system rains money on our news media institutions like manna from heaven in the form of political advertising? Why gnaw off the hand that feeds you just because it’s the right thing to do?

I believe that the US is now very much run by an extractive form of government and we are already beginning to suffer the consequences laid out for us by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson in their book “Why Nations Fail”. It will only get worse if we don’t change our political system to be more inclusive.

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