Thursday, September 29, 2005

China

Noumenon was talking with me (via e-mail) about an article which claimed that democracy is not necessary for creating wealth, example, China. Authoritarian regimes have learned how to organize an economy without granting freedom. I'm not so sure I would abandon the growth = freedom equation just yet. Free market forces are dangerous, because they grant a form of independence. As Alexander Hamilton said, "Power over a man's subsistence amounts to power over his will." The more prosperous people become, the less power the government has over their subsistence, and the harder they are to control. I'm not saying that the it is impossible, I'm just saying it's unlikely, and as China becomes better and better off, we'll see more and more incidents like this one.

For further reading, Foreign Affairs published "Why Democracies Excel", in the September/October, 2004 issue. It's well worth the read, I took a page and half of notes from it.

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