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globalinequality: Democracy or dictatorship: which works better? / posted by Branko Milanovic (globalinequality, 2019/05/03)
“But does not the same danger lurk in the political space? Do not citizen initiatives, referendums and counter-referendums, law suits and counter-suits, carry the same danger that Oscar Wilde identified: that normal citizens do not have the time or do not care sufficiently about certain things so that the decision ultimately get taken by those with the greatest patience, by those who have nothing else to do but to get engaged into these ‘consultations’? In a heavily commercialized world of today where every minute counts literally and in terms of income foregone (you can write blogs for money, or study for your exam, or drive Uber, or charge your neighbor for taking his dog for a walk), social involvement is almost necessary captured by professional NGOs. (I have noticed that many NGOs have presidents who, by the number of their mandates, approach Mugabe and Mubarak, but, unlike those illustrious leaders, can never be overthrown by their hapless constituents.)”
Democracy  Dictatorship  BrankoMilanovic 
may 2019 by cbearden
Davos Elites Love to Advocate for Equality - So Long As Nothing Gets Done -
“Bizarrely, this return to the industrial relations and tax policies of the early 19th century has been spearheaded by people who speak the language of equality, respect, participation, and transparency. The annual gathering in Davos, in that regard, is not just a display of the elites’ financial superiority. It is also supposed to showcase their moral superiority. This is in line with a longstanding trend: Over the past fifty years, the language of equality has been harnessed in the pursuit of the most structurally inegalitarian policies.”
Davos  Elites  DavosMan  Inequality  BrankoMilanovic  DavosCapitalism 
january 2019 by cbearden
globalinequality: Democracy of convenience, not of choice: why is Eastern Europe different
“In fact, if we define the national ideals as (a) zero ethnic members outside country’s borders and (b) zero members of other ethnic groups within the borders, Poland, Czech republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece (total population of almost 70 million) fulfill these two criteria almost to perfection. Close by come Hungary, Lithuania, Croatia, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo (total population of about 30 million) that fulfill almost fully the criterion (b); Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Romania (about 30 million) satisfy (a), but do have relatively important minorities within their borders. The upshot is that most countries that run from the Baltics to the Balkans have today almost entirely homogeneous populations within their borders, i.e. they satisfy either both (a) and (b), or (a) alone.”
EasternEurope  Populism  Nationalism  BrankoMilanovic 
february 2018 by cbearden

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