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Democracies are being run by dictators! - Views on News from Equitymaster
 
 
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  • Sep 9, 2011

    Democracies are being run by dictators!

    The crises and revolts in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region are testimony to the long suppressed ire of the masses against despotic dictators. But democracies, too, seem to be failing.

    A gentleman by the name of Kishore Mahbubani presents a very interesting perspective on today's political establishments. He says that Muammer Gaddafi, the autocratic ruler of Libya, thrived on endless lies. By controlling the flow of news and information, he kept making a fool of everyone. A similar script runs for Egypt and Tunisia. The fact that dictators throughout the course of history have flourished through lies is hardly surprising. But how about democracies of today, are they any better?

    The answer is disheartening and worrying. According to Mahbubani, the one thread that runs common between both dictators and democracies is 'lies'. As it turns out, political establishments in the garb of democracy are one of the biggest liars. Look at the policymakers who created the Eurozone project that is now on the verge of falling apart. The project was built on a very contradictory premise of monetary unionisation leaving fiscal independence to individual member nations. To fix this contradiction, the European politicians promised that they would punish members who breached the fiscal discipline norms. Now everyone knows that it was a big lie because no member nation has faced any punitive action for breaching the 3% budget deficit rule. Here we are today, with the euro gearing towards an eventual collapse.

    Same is the story on the other side of the Atlantic. What other dictators have done with force and brute, Ben Bernanke, the chief of the US central bank, has done with destructive monetary weapons like quantitative easing (QE). Despite all contrary evidence, no American politician is ever going to tell really how bad the US debt and economic situation is. The truth is so bitter and painful that it could very well cause the government to collapse. That's the problem with democracy. Every elected government is driven by the sole purpose of winning the next elections. And this is the reason why democracies are faltering. By resorting to lies and myopic schemes, politicians are spelling doom for people and the economy at large.

    The story back home is not very different. It has been 64 years since India's independence. In all these years, evils such as corruption, rich-poor divide, human development indicators, etc. have only worsened. We have just not been able to free ourselves from them. Yet, we proudly call ourselves a free democracy. Again a big lie, isn't it?

     

     

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