2 Comments

  1. dag

    So that leaves us with the question – what kinds of political and economic systems do we want to encourage? If not democracy and FME, then what?

  2. admin

    I think the democracy/FME combo works well in a lot of developed countries. Europe and North America, are shining examples of how the two can work well together. But it’s a very thing to then see that combination as a panacea for politico-economic problems in developing countries.

    As useful of a political system a democracy is, it doesn’t always work very well in a lot of developing countries. The current administration’s universal exportation of democracy to any country irrespective of its current state or with even a nod to its past has caused some severe problems. The democracy/FME combo CAN work, but doesn’t ALWAYS work in countries that are in quite different situations than our own.

    That said, you bring up a good point about alternatives to democracy/FME. Chua’s critique of the D/FME combo (wow, I’m getting lazy at typing now) was that the COMBINATION was wrong for those countries. She says nothing akin unto “democracy can’t work there” or “FME can’t work there” but that the ethnic/wealth disparities in those countries lead to a nasty recipe for disaster.

    I think our prescription for democracy in those countries could be accompanied by a more socialistic economic policy, thereby removing the wealth gap that could easily upset their entire society. Conversely, if FME were to be applied, then a more authoritarian government would be needed to quell the ethnic tensions.

    Obviously, I’d much rather take the first option, as authoritarian regimes hardly seem like an ethical cost to pay for a new Wall Street. And clearly, I’m just spouting off these alternative combinations as viable. I don’t really know. But what does seem prudent, given Chua’s examples where D/FME don’t play well together, is that we look for more than one possible solution to politico-economic problems in developing countries and avoid the simplistic approach of one-size-fits-all.

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