More Fukuyama on China

"In the hands of good leaders, such a system [of autocratic rule] can actually perform better than a democratic system that is subject to rule of law and formal democratic procedures like multiparty elections. It can make large, difficult decisions without being hampered by interest groups, lobbying, litigation, or the need to form cumbersome political conditions or educate the public as to their own self interest... So too with China: its post-1978 performance has focused on widely shared goals such as economic growth, stability, and the broad provision of public services. Deng Xiaoping and the leaders of the party who followed him understood that the party's survival would depend on legitimacy, which could no longer rest on ideology but would have to be based on their performance in governing the country." -- p. 383

6 comments:

  1. "In the hands of good leaders, such a system [of autocratic rule] can actually perform better than a democratic system that is subject to rule of law and formal democratic procedures like multiparty elections."

    Ehhh, dictatorship can sure make the trains run on time, but I'm not sure it's worth sacrificing freedom and democracy.

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    1. Democracy? The system that asks the people what they want, and then gives it to them good and hard? I'm not sure what connection that has to "freedom."

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    2. Gene, are you really saying that allowing people to choose what their government should do has no connection at all to freedom? Or are you saying that majority rule without a provision of minority rights has no connection to freedom?

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    3. Not much, Keshav: I'd say Lichtenstein and Singapore are clearly more free than Nigeria and the Phillipines.

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    4. Lichtenstein appears to be democratic in the same way Britain is while Singapore is an extremely regulatory polity.

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    5. Until 2003 Lichtenstein was politically governed by the prince. And still more free that Nigeria or the Phillipines.

      "Singapore is an extremely regulatory polity."

      And still more free that Nigeria or the Phillipines.

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