Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mugabe Strikes Again
Written by: Goemagog

Having destroyed the shelters where most of the poor in Zimbabwe lived, Mugabe set out destroying their gardens

Not flowerbeds, but fruit and vegetable gardens.

Zimbabwe is a great example of what's wrong with the rest of the planet. Reality and reason have been tossed out the window in favor of superstition and conspiracy theories. This is caused by a centralized government. Every third world government and it's population think that the solution to their problems is a stronger central government. Centralized governments always do worse the larger the nation gets, so most of the world is doomed to repeating this failure.

We should be encouraging a more feudalistic approach. While it hasn't the public appeal of elections, too many countries have elections that are so fraudulent as to be meaningless. Feudalism has the advantage of letting whomever the dictator is remain in power with the image of omnipotence while enjoying sincere adulation from the people. This means that they're more likely to go for it than they are to translate the federalist papers and hold fair elections. Since they're the ones with power, they're the ones that need to be won over ideologically to converting their country from a cycle of tyrants to one of freedom.

The way to sell it to them is with white hats. If they create and empower local and regional governments, and require those governments to respect individual rights, then all of the bad things governments do, whether needed or malicious, can be forced on those regional governments. They become the bad guys, while the dictator, who retains national power via the military, only needs to intervene when it suits him. If he only effects changes in the local/regional governments, he will really become a hero to the people. He gets to wear the white hat so long as he leaves all decisions and actions directly affecting the public to the local governments. The country wouldn't be as prosperous as we are, but they'd be a lot better off than they are now.

Bad decisions become someone else's fault, good ideas are because he let the right people do what they do best, and if the public is unhappy, he can come to their rescue by replacing the local/regional leaders. Implemented, it'd be easy to expand personal liberties, because the central figure would remain largely unaffected. The role of the different tiers of government would be formallized at some point through natural political processes, making it easy to begin substituting elected officials for appointed ones. It would probably still take generations, but their descendents would benefit from it greatly.

The goal would be a federalist society, but by encouraging it as a fuedalistic system, it becomes non-threatening to the dictators and more likely to work. Once the system achieves some stability, corruption will drop off sharply as the incentive to loot the economy and flee to exile in France is reduced.

Democracy doesn't guarantee freedom or prosperity, but free people are more prosperous. We should encourage dictators to make their underlings the scapegoats, and look magnanimous by granting individual liberties to private citizens. There will still be abuses, but the introduction of local/regional governments would limit the scale of abuse. Wouldn't be as good as our wonderful republic, but they'd be better off than they currently are and things would improve with each generation.

And if any readers think that people in a third-world country would be better off if they could go vote in a rigged election (the only kind most of them can get), bite me.

Goe, thinks it'd take less than two decades to switch a dictatorship to an 18th-century british style government.

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John Beck

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