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Non-democratic system and democracy for development.

Which brings development? In view of the above

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    Nov 6 2012: I wish I were better informed or that there was a easy answer but neither is true. From my readings China is taking advantage of Africa in a big way. They have exploited the raw mineral wealth and the civil work force. It is unfortumate that China is not the only one and the US has also sought oil rights and who knows what else.

    As has been pointed out there are many types of democratic governments. However, the one thing necessary is to stabilize the government long enough to give it an opportunity to work. That appears to be a problem within these developing countries. Any form of democracy will afford opportunities for corruption, which has certainly occured in most of these areas.

    Upon a new administration the new government must re-evaluate the privious contracts and stop the bleeding. In some manner there must be a means of accountability and punishment. Infrastructure and programs all cost money, resources, and manpower and should remain basic in nature to be expanded in stair steps to achieve long range goals. One of these is the economic health of the country. If outside interests seek your resources then determine what the value is, the size of the resource in terms of tonnage/barrels/etc..., and labor costs. Become part of the project by adding education and training of the workforce part of the contract. Demand medical clinics for the workers and local communities. By doing this you have provided the neucleus of the needs of the country and also at the cost of the industries wishing to do business with you.

    In short stop being used and begin to use the countries assets to get to where you want to go .... it will start with a stabilized government. There is no company or nation that will do business with you or financiers that will invest if they cannot determine that the country will not fall and the investment is lost. That is still top down and always will be. Free market and investors are a fact of life.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Nov 5 2012: what would the alternative be? what kind of dictatorship brings economic growth? if you give some people power, it will help the economy how?
    • Nov 5 2012: China is doing a good job. It really is possible to have a dictatorship that is better for the economy than the average democracy because they don't have to bother with symbolic gestures, lobbyists and red tape, but it's also very likely the dictatorship will just become corrupted and perform worse. Churchill was right to say that democracy is the least worst system tried so far.
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        Nov 5 2012: how do you know that? how do you know what would be the growth in china if they had free market? i very deliberately asked for the mechanism, as opposed to blind numbers that mean nothing.
        • Nov 5 2012: This isn't about the free market it's about the type of government overseeing the market, free or otherwise. Democracy is not inextricably linked with the free-market and dictatorships are not inextricably linked with alternative systems either (Chile had a free market under Pinochet).
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        Nov 5 2012: sure it is, in the sense that freedom is the opposite of dictatorship. it was an example though, i could have said democracy. statistics does not work with countries all being very different. we need reasoning. so my question yet again:

        if you give some people power, it will help the economy how?
        • Nov 5 2012: "if you give some people power, it will help the economy how?"

          It may help, it may make things worse. I'm sure you agree that if by some stroke of luck the dictator is the brightest economic genius in the world he could run things better than the average democracy, the reason democracy is still superior (imho) is that the probability of having an "enlightened despot" as a dictator is much smaller than the probability of getting an average democratic government through elections, but a small probability is still larger than zero.
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        Nov 5 2012: " I'm sure you agree that if the dictator is the brightest economic genius he could run things better than the average democracy"

        i don't know actually. it is a tough call. but certainly not the way to go. like asking whether a knife or a fork is better to eat soup.

        a person with real good intentions will quickly dismiss his own reign, thus we don't have a dictatorship anymore.
        • Nov 5 2012: Krisztian, I'm not advocating for dictatorship, I'm just saying that if you have 100 dictatorships maybe one of them will be better for the economy than an average democratic government. I wouldn't take those odds and neither would you, but I don't think it's true any democracy is better for the economy than any dictatorship.
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        Nov 7 2012: If a leader was a brilliant economic genius, he would not require the tool of dictatorship in order to garner support. Someone who can solve problems, will not need violence to aid them. People like people who solve problems, and follow them naturally.
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    Nov 5 2012: I dont think democracy and capitalism is/can work hand in hand in Subsaharan Afrika, also the U S type of constitutional democracy been perpetuated in the region now, is missleading and lacks the historical connectivity to make it more gounded and effective: democracry is the government of the people but if the people are not reflected in a democracy, what do you call that?

    Sub Saharan Afrika should seek after a type of econmic growth that is pragmatic without the type of Western democracy and deregulated highper capitalism that is socially and culturally desfouctional... I would strongly suggest Monach-socialist democracy as the ideal form of a pragmatic way to go forward one very importaint reason cause, Afrika is a collectivitist society and Western type of desfunctional and unrealistic
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      Nov 5 2012: I notice on your profile that you have visited 80 different countries and that you live in one of those western type countries, in the west we call that voting with your feet.
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        Nov 6 2012: have you ever been to Afrika?
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          Nov 6 2012: No

          But I do know which way is up regarding economics. As do you as you have chosen to live in a western country because they have a higher standard of living. Which is what I recommend for any country as it is what has been proven to work.
    • Nov 5 2012: "I dont think democracy and capitalism is/can work hand in hand in Subsaharan Afrika, also the U S type of constitutional democracy been perpetuated in the region now, is missleading and lacks the historical connectivity to make it more gounded and effective"

      There are other kinds of democracy besides American democracy. There's the French system, the German system, the British system, the Indian system, the general parliamentarian system (Japan, Scandinavian countries, Netherlands, etc...)
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        Nov 6 2012: that is the point I think afrika should seek to creates its own sustainable democracy...
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    Nov 10 2012: I am not living in the West for its econmy but I live here because I can, for the same reason that woman shop and men clim mountains, because its there!
  • Nov 7 2012: lol...sounds like I ruffled feathers...not intended, please note I am in most part always smiling when I type...I am not here to pick a fight...Pat my name is Kevin, it is a pleasure to meet you...so Mit is on your team? God counts all as one, we see differences where he sees the same, "do not point fingers" his message to us!

    So that's good enough for me, there are few times I challenge it, in general...never!

    In conclusion, what I say to anyone I say to myself including third party notes...I man = all man, period

    Now saying that please define what you mean by voting with my feet?
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      Nov 7 2012: Don't flatter yourself.
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      Nov 7 2012: The expression "voting with your feet" refers to revealing your values through your choices. An example is that if you are aghast at the poor quality of product or service at an establishment, you would "vote with your feet" by not patronizing that establishment any longer but taking your business elsewhere.
  • Nov 6 2012: Democracy is the best form of government for its unconditional provision of the ingredients of economic growth; which are equality before the law, credible elections and legitimate governments, freedom of speech(free press/media), respect for human rights, and the confidence of the international community.
    Political instability has been a major obstacle to development in Africa because no right-thinking investor would invest in a unstable environment (maybe arms dealers and mineral smugglers would).
    There are always arguments about which one is most important: systems, leadership, the people; I think we should focus on getting the best of the three. Then development would thrive because of the encouraging atmosphere.
  • Nov 5 2012: As long as "development" comes out of laboratories and goes through government in the familiar paternalistic "top down" manner, there will be corruption, nepotism et al and at best, an appearance of democratization (with invisible coercion at the bottom as to "the right way" vote). There is much greater reason for hope when development is conceived at the bottom and facilitated transparently from the bottom up--seeking to go no higher than absolutely necessary when it comes to permissions and government involvement. Etc. You might want to read a book with a rather thorny title called "White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good" by William Easterly.
    I am not a devotee or anything--I think he just offers some reasonable counters to the well-meaning impulse to "fix" the world.



    I just happened to notice that the previous poster, Louise Nelson, starts off with a similar assertion. Success is tied to motivation. When anything comes in the form of cooperating with the overlord "or suffer the consequences". you'll get a crappy result. When the motivation comes FROM each person because they can see REASON and benefit, the difference is like night and day.
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      Nov 6 2012: Paul Farmer is another scholar and activist who argues vehemently for a mindset that is not about creating aid dependency by continuously structuring aid as something given but rather to get people on the ground and in the country fully able to deal with the challenges that arise. People want to be able to do the work for themselves with help rather than having the work done for them.

      Paul Farmer's original organization is called, I believe, Partners in Health.
      • Nov 7 2012: I'm not familiar with his work. Thanks. It almost a no brainer as to who will "own it" and do the better job but there are traditions, and infrastructures of corruption that are very entrenched, My personal feeling is that micro finance could be the key if it is done the right way--creating not only funding to the the people reaching out for funding of projects that are close to but also taking away the disability which corruption depends on. Technology and unconventional uses of it don't need permissions and accomplish the surprise element--showing evidence before corruption influences even find out that they've been circumvented in ways they could not foresee.
  • Nov 5 2012: My idea is that you can't build an economy that raises the general standard of living from the top down any more than you can build a house from the roof down. Human beings just don't let go of power or wealth when they get their hands on those resources, and I've never heard of a dictator who took over control of a country with military might then built a democratic government, and then retired to go live as an ordinary citizen on a small pension. It may have happened but it's certainly not common.

    In my opinion building a democratic society needs the participation of a majority of the people of that society. They need to discuss, argue, build consensus about acceptable rules to live together in harmony - or at least with mutual respect, and be very stingy about what power and control of wealth is given to political and military leaders. This process can take decades at the minimum.

    Perhaps the United Nations can grow into an organization that builds coalitions of NGO's and other institutions/organizations/people/countries to help guide less developed countries into more developed ones - with each country having a master plan taylored to their specific situation to help that country develop the human, infrastructure, and economic resources needed there to make a basis for successful self rule and widespread increases in the standard of living. There would have to be strict limits on what economic benefits outsiders can reap for their work and *very* strict rules about gradually withdrawing their organizations' presence as the people of that country grow more able to build governing entities, starting at the village level and gradually expanding to higher levels of coordinating government entities that guide the development of the infrastructures of education, healthcare, and economic resources.
  • Nov 5 2012: Anything can be argued. It depends.
  • Nov 5 2012: Economic growth is politics, some say a dictatorship is different from a democratic system, I do not see how as both use the same components...I think success is based around 1%, both feed their friends/supporters, both control politics, both discriminate only one could be said to be honest about itself.
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      Nov 5 2012: Another Canadian who voted with his feet, words are glib
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    Nov 4 2012: Read this article on what has worked for Rwanda.

    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/features/rwandas-economic-success-how-free-markets-are-good-for-poor-africans/

    This link also is very good, it indicated Rwanda's freedom is moving up the last 4 years and probably longer. Why don't they get Don Cheadle to make a movie about this?

    http://www.heritage.org/index/country/rwanda
    • Nov 5 2012: Rwanda is far from free and it's getting less free, though they are indeed doing well economically (as they have always done compared to the rest of sub-saharan Africa)
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        Nov 5 2012: They are doing now than how they were doing before