Finding The Roots of Liberty

Matt Manweller, an associate professor of political science at Central Washington University, recently wrote an editorial in the Seattle Times. There are some interesting insights and some conclusions I agree with, but overall, I think he sees a lot of evidence for what he’s saying that doesn’t really exist. His overall point is that as we stumble about trying to modernize the third world, we’re not understanding that capitalism is the root of liberty, rather than democracy. He posits that if we just help people recognize the benefits of limited government, de-regulation, and free market principles, they will more quickly attain liberty. I agree with that to a point, but I think Manweller is avoiding a much more basic reason why true liberty has been so elusive to much of the third world, especially the Middle East.

He starts off with an interesting observation:

I want to start with a relatively controversial premise. Despite the continual barrage of attacks from the blogging left, the neoconservatives got one core argument correct: Killing Osama bin Laden will do nothing to stop terrorism. If we want to stop terrorism, they correctly argue, we need to bring hope, social and economic mobility, and the rule of law to the places that foster terrorism. The mistake the neocons made was assuming that democracy would foster such an environment in the Middle East.

I agree that just simply killing Osama bin Laden from on high would do little on its own to stop terrorism, but bringing the rule of law to a place like Afghanistan would have certainly benefitted by apprehending bin Laden and putting him on trial. He’s also right that democracy alone can’t transform the Middle East, but I think he ignores how much the Bush Administration agrees with his notions of capitalism and thought that it would be a transformative force in the region. It just failed as well.

Where I think Manweller is really getting it wrong is right here:

The neocons were correct to start with their initial premise: Liberty will nurture an environment hostile to radical Islam. From there, however, they should have done a better job finding the variable that actually creates liberty. If they had looked harder, they would have found capitalism, not democracy.

Although there are always exceptions to the rule, history has shown that capitalism (more so than democracy) does an excellent job of fostering property rights, independent courts, the rule of law, and dispersing power to multiple stakeholders — particularly in countries that have few cultural predispositions toward civil society.

Applying this conclusion to Iraq and the greater Middle East relies on a number of bad assumptions. For one, it assumes that those involved in the invasion and occupation of Iraq didn’t try hard enough to introduce capitalism. That’s crazy. The CPA tried very hard to emulate the kinds of anti-regulatory small government principles that Republicans cherish back home. It just didn’t work. The reason is because Manweller’s underlying assumption is completely wrong. Capitalism, like democracy, is not the root of what eventually leads to liberty. The element that has been missing in Iraq (and other parts of the third world) is a sense of trust in the overall system of justice. Manweller dances around this point here:

Democracy does not cultivate liberty because democracy trades tyranny of the one for tyranny of the 51 percent. It does nothing to limit the power of government, protect the rights of minorities, or establish the rule of law. Democracy ends up looking just as ruthless as a dictatorship because it transfers ultimate and unchecked power from one to anyone who can create a coalition of 51 percent. In such a democracy, the other 49 percent usually pick up a gun.

But how is capitalism the cure for this? Just like democracy, capitalism also doesn’t work if there isn’t a certain level of faith in the system. For many of the poorest nations of the world, the problem isn’t one of too much government regulation over commerce, it’s a matter of too little. People in other countries often fear capitalism because they don’t have faith that their government can provide economic justice within the system. They see capitalism as a way for the rich nations of the world to get richer and they reject it and fend for themselves. Even when this is a misperception (and a lot of times it is), it’s what happens in the real world. The more basic element that leads to liberty is a sense that a government can provide justice for the weak against the powerful. This is difficult, especially when the authorities take power by force and certain subsets of a society feel like outsiders. In Iraq, we believed that it was more important to get the stock exchange running than the court system in order. That was a mistake. The most important tasks were to convince the Iraqis that we could keep them safe and prove that the government represented everyone. Capitalism alone couldn’t accomplish either thing.

Even in the greater Middle East, the idea that small-government capitalism is the missing element from having them achieve liberty is misguided. The Middle East has a long history of engaging in trade and many Arab countries have lax regulations on industry. But they are also very authoritarian when it comes to issues of personal liberty. Saudi Arabia is one of the worst. It’s hard to argue that radical Islamism would disappear in Saudi Arabia if they just stopped regulating industry so much. In fact, an argument can easily be made that the country in the Middle East that we consider to be the most free, Israel, is also the most socialist.

I agree with the concept that Tom Friedman discusses in his latest book – that as the world economy becomes more intertwined that we’ll find it harder and harder to sever those bonds for the sake of war. In that sense, capitalism does play a very big part in promoting liberty and generating opportunity. But those bonds aren’t forged until people both here and elsewhere feel that their economic interests can be protected by those who govern them. Capitalism is not some magical powder that we need to bring to the Middle East and spread over the land to sprout freedom. It is no more the magic elixir than was having the Iraqis dip their fingers in purple ink and vote for a civil war. The Middle East doesn’t need our economic system as much as they need our justice system, so that they can more easily count on their governments to protect their rights. Unfortunately, the current occupants of the White House don’t have a lot of respect for our own justice system, so it was kind of useless to expect that they’d be able to export it over there.

Comments

  1. 1

    tiny earll spews:

    Yes. Scooter Libby and Paris Hilton are perfect examples of how capitalism creates democracy and the rule of law in a nation.

    The 5% of the U.S. population that owns more than the remaining 95% is another great example of multiple “stakeholders” in our syatem.

    I guess a girl like Paris just works that much harder than your average twenty-something.

    What committe gave that idiot his doctorate? They all oughta’ be canned.

  2. 2

    tiny earll spews:

    The mere fact that a fucking retard like George W. Bush can be foisted upon us as a duly elected president gives the lie to every thing that maroon is saying.

    There are very strong oligarchic trends in our so-called democracy. When we take corporate money out of politics, academics will no longer feel compelled to echo Milton Freidman and Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

  3. 3

    tiny earll spews:

    Just because you don’t have organized gangs of thugs dressed in 3rd stage Freddy Mercury outfits rounding up Gypsies and Jews for extermination doesn’t mean you are not living in a fascistic corporatocracy.

  4. 4

    tiny earll spews:

    I guess Marco Polo was not a part of the “new” global economy.

    They,ve found shell beads of Japanese manufacture in Anasazi Indian ruins in AZ.

    What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis? “New Global Economy”!!!!!!!!!

    We’re going back into a Medeival dark age — not into a bright, new global economy — doofusses.

  5. 5

    ZA spews:

    It is opportunity that would foster liberty and lead to a decrease in terrorism. What Manweller pre-supposes is that capitalism is the only way to provide that opportunity. And not that that is wholly wrong, but it isn’t the end all, only answer.

    If some youth in say Saudi Arabia could get a good education and contribute to his society (get a good job, perhaps)instead of being sucked off into radical islam because they can pray on his lack of opportunity and play up his victimization at the hands of the West.

    There is sort of the Milton Friedman approach that free markets, little regulation, smaller government is always the best circumstance. I think there is certainly a time for that. (As in Chile after the CIA took out Allende and helped install the brutal dictator Pinoche. Say what you will about Pinoche being an asshole, but the Chilean economy has been a success story almost unarguably because of the economic change implemented by Friedman desciples.) But there are other times where I thing Friedman approach is less appropriate – in our own “affluent society” where more investment in public works and less of the unbridled, unregulated capitalism that is leading to a diversion of the rich and everyone else and starting to erode true democracy and opportunity. And I have to wonder about other options for middle eastern states, perhaps in conjunction with fostering capitalism – you know, like investment in educational institutions and infrastructure.

  6. 6

    kirk spews:

    This same notion that war wouldn’t break out in Europe because they all traded together and were ruled by relatives of each other was wrong in 1914 and wrong now.

    What the fuck kind of liberal blog defends Friedman and Pinoche anyway? The German economy worked better under Hitler than under the Weimar republic, but that doesn’t excuse his crimes. Same with Chile under Pinoche.

  7. 7

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Well, one thing is clear. . .we have been extremely unsuccessful at bringing much of anything good to the tribal society of Iraq.
    Their dissatisfaction with their situation prior to our invasion, overthrow of Saddam, and subsequent occupation, had nothing to do with their tribal affiliations, and tribal structures. Especially to the extent that they were able to meet their needs through those channels.
    To the extent that they could provide for their families’ welfare, subsistence, and mediate rival claims (justice) through their tribal structures, and various tribal mediating structures, they had a working system. The overarching ‘strong-man- government imposed by Saddam
    was never terribly successful modifying those structures. Saddam placed his demands, and ‘did business’ with the sheikhs, and left well enough alone.
    It is telling that the intentions of the “realists” such as James Baker,III, and the oil companies, that they only ever wanted a ‘three day regime change’. . .trade Saddam for a more malleable dictator. Their only interest in Iraq has ever been their oil producing capacity, and keeping a lid on it.

  8. 8

    proud leftist spews:

    If Manweller is suggesting a necessary relationship between capitalism and increased liberty, I think he’s flat wrong. I’m not at all sure, for instance, that burgeoning capitalism in China is producing more individual freedom, especially in rural areas and the eastern provinces. Sometimes implementation of a capitalist economy, together with other changes, results in more individual freedom, and sometimes not. Unchecked capitalism, of course, can lead to serfdom for the majority and increased liberty only for the elite few.

  9. 9

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    So far, the “realist” faction, the Large Oil Interests, have had to be content with a ‘broken’ Iraq. This has served them insofar as it keeps the global price of oil high. They have record profits.
    Their nightmare is a functioning Iraqi Oil production capacity that is not undere their control. That is key to understanding why our oil Oligarchs are insistent on the Iraqi Puppet Parliament signing over all control of future oil production. Of course, this is DOA to the average Iraqi, and fuels the insurgency as well as the jockeying for control of oil that we call ‘the civil war’.

  10. 10

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    The really criminal charade going on now, is that the Oil Oligarchs are influencing our foreign policy to the extent of keeping us in Iraq until the theft of the Iraqi Oil, and its control, is accomplished
    We are seeing our young men and women sacrificed to fulfill the Oil Oligarchs need to control the production of Iraqi Oil.

  11. 11

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    To drag in concepts of “Liberty” and “Economic Structure”,”Capitalism”, “Socialism”, what have you, is to obscure the reality that we are observing the naked operation of RealPolitik Imperialism. The exercise of naked power is not economics of any rational sort. Ultimately it leads to the cessation of economic activity. . .certainly what we have in Iraq now.
    To properly treat a disease, first we must properly diagnose it. . .

  12. 12

    tiny earll spews:

    If corporate America via their client government here in the USA prefers to deal with Right wing dictators and to suppress all left wing governments, that does not mean that the subsequent economic success of the dictatorship is BECAUSE it is a Right wing dictatorship.

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation. What Chile’s success proves is that the USA leans toward right wing fascism.

  13. 13

    tiny earll spews:

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070625/nichols

    “Few who have seriously observed Zoellick over the years doubt that once his appointment is approved by a Bank board dominated by the United States and its European partners, the new president will indulge his penchant for corporate-friendly fixes such as forced privatization.”

    Privatization is a misnomer. It’s actually merely theft of public funds — and those who advocate and practice it are traitors to their country and the human race.

  14. 14

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    OFF TOPIC. . .OR PERHAPS NOT
    In Sumatra, and other parts of Indonesia they have a technique for capturing monkeys (draw your own inferences). They make a small cage-like container, and place a small piece of fruit into the cage, and securely anchor this cage on a tether to the ground. When a monkey slides his hand into the cage and grasps the fruit, making a fist) he can no longer remove his hand through the narrowly placed bars of the cage.
    Try as he might, jerking and screaming with rage, the monkey cannot withdraw his hand from the trap without releasing his grasp on the prize of fruit. Being a monkey, he cannot abandon his prize. It is a simple matter to walk up and ‘cosh’ him on the head. . . . .

  15. 16

    ArtFart spews:

    One tends to view capitalism as bringing “freedom” if one happens to be in possession of the captial.

  16. 17

    Libertarian spews:

    Tree Frog Farmer says:

    Well, one thing is clear. . .we have been extremely unsuccessful at bringing much of anything good to the tribal society of Iraq.

    ===========

    Well said! Iraq was a creation of the waning British Empire. The Brits “made” a country out of a bunch of neighbors who didn’t get along very well. We were dumb to get involved in this tribal/religious conflict.

  17. 18

    GBS spews:

    This is one of those topics that brings to light what little understanding the collective we have in this country of our own founding principles.

    Capitalism and democracy have nothing to do with each other. One is a form of economics and the other is a form of governing. Anyone who is so confused as to believe they are interdependent upon each other needs to look no farther than China to see a repressive dictatorship of governance blended with a very capitalistic economic structure.

    Lee, this statement if fundamentally flawed:
    The more basic element that leads to liberty is a sense that a government can provide justice for the weak against the powerful.

    The basic element that leads to liberty is the desire and the consent of the governed to have government apply justice evenly to all and that no person is above the Rule of Law.

    This is the concept that provides the “faith in the system” that you are alluding to in your argument. The enemy of this faith is the concentration of power in the hands of a few. Our founding fathers and presidents since then have warned us that concentrated power leads to corruption and the usurpation of power that leads to the demise of liberty.

  18. 19

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    @17 It had nothing to do with “dumbness”, and everything to do with Greed and Arrogance.

  19. 20

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    @18 We no longer have a Democracy. . .representative or otherwise. Until we have comprehensive campaign reform, we suffer from an Oligarchy.

  20. 21

    GBS spews:

    18 cont.

    This is why we are in a midst of a bonafide Constitutional crisis; Bush and the previous Republican congresses have eroded many of our Civil Liberties; The Great Writ of habeas corpus, privacy, free speech, free press, manipulating the justice system, and voter fraud. We know for a fact now that Karl Rove’s protégée, according to Monica Goodling’s testimony to congress, was involved with voter caging in the 2004 elections. Primarily targeted towards black soldiers fighting for “our freedoms” in Iraq. The Republican National Party is, and has been, under a Federal Restraining Order since 1986 from participating in this type of voter fraud practices. And yet, nary a peep from the press; the only industry that is specifically protected in the Constitution. The silence from the press is yet another example of power being consolidated in the media by having only a few people own the media and therefore, effectively controlling what information is consumed by the public.

    An uninformed citizenry is the core element of the conservative movement to acquire more power. This is why Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” and why conservatives like Limbaugh and Hannity are so staunchly opposed to it. When the citizens are allowed to get all the information accurately and in the absence of fear, they rarely go along with the conservative ideology.

  21. 22

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Until we have comprehensive campaign reform, our only remedies are direct actions: personal participation, personal campaign contributions ’til we hurt, fanatical exercise of our voting franchise, and the defense thereof, and tirelessly spreading news and opinions not commonly available through the corporatist propaganda organs.
    And of course, in extreme events our direct actions are not limited to these. . .Until we have comprehensive Until we have comprehensive campaign reform, our only remedies are direct actions: personal participation, personal campaign contributions ’til we hurt, fanatical exercise of our voting franchise, and the defense thereof, and tirelessly spreading news an opinions not commonly available through the corporatist propaganda organs.
    And of course, in extreme events our direct actions are not limited to these. . .campaign reform, our only remedies are direct actions: personal participation, personal campaign contributions ’til we hurt, fanatical exercise of our voting franchise, and the defense thereof, and tirelessly spreading news an opinions not commonly available through the corporatist propaganda organs.
    And of course, in extreme events our direct actions are not limited to these. . .

  22. 23

    Broadway Joe spews:

    15:

    Give me a bike, or some other sort of zero-pollution vehicle that can carry my drumkit, tow my trailer, and/or carry my entire family up over Donner Pass in the dead of winter, with reasonable comfort, and I’ll be more than willing to dump my pick-up and my SUV. Until then, like everyone else, we just have to make do with what we have. At least my pick-up gets 30mpg.

    PS: Horses are illegal on freeways, so don’t go there.

  23. 24

    GBS spews:

    TFF @ 20:

    Maybe I’m blinded by my faith in the Constitution and a rational citizenry, but I’m not quite ready to put the nail in the coffin of democracy. Our liberties and democracy have been challenged internally before, Iran-Contra, Watergate, Republican Southern Strategy, McCarthyism, WWII, Tea Pot Dome scandal and even a bloody Civil War, and through it all the Republic has survived and became stronger.

    I see no reason why Terrorism and the manipulation of its fears by Bush and the conservatives will end America as it was given to us. Unless of course, we voluntarily succumb to it, however, if we follow the words of Nathan Hale we will not voluntarily submit and we will only have but one regret!

    I believe in the wisdom of our founding fathers to divide the powers of government. If it were not for this wisdom the people could not have had the outcome of the 2006 elections that effectively saved the Republic from the misguided polices of Bush and the conservatives. The damage is done to say the least, but it can be, and will be undone in 2008.

    Keep the faith, for you are my brother and I yours and together patriots like us will keep the promise of Liberty for posterity.

  24. 25

    ArtFart spews:

    Part of the issue with this whole that there ain’t no such thing as “free-market capitalism” here in the U S of A in 2007, and may not be anywhere else, nor has there really been anywhere except in some sort of obscure utopian experiment. The necessity in a society of any size for regulation, lest someone decide to just knock his neighbor over the head and take his money instead of selling him something for it, leads inevitably to a complex system of government run by officials who are inevitably corruptable. Then, whoever’s got it finds the easiest way to get more of it is to bribe officials instead of rolling up the old sleeves and doing some honest work.

  25. 26

    GBS spews:

    ArtFart @ 25:

    Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “The whole art of government is the art of being honest. . .

    Corruption is born from greed and as we know from the Bible “The love of money is the root of all evil.” I find it ironic that all the policticans convicted of bribery and corruption have only been “good Christian conservatives.”

  26. 27

    spews:

    GBS,
    I don’t think I’m saying anything different than what you are. Maybe I didn’t quite word it the way that you have.

    Kirk,
    That’s a good point about Hitler and how he was willing to several economic bonds, although he couldn’t do it until he convinced the entire country that doing business with foreigners was a form of treason.

  27. 30

    kirk spews:

    Of course the most misguided of the many misguided parts of this editorial is the notion that the US is trying to ‘modernize’ the 3rd world. Or maybe it’s the notion that the US has some duty to run the economies of other states. Or maybe it’s the notion that the US is really trying to export democracy of any kind.

    I don’t know what you are talking about as far as doing business with foreigners & Nazis, since Ford (for one example) was doing business in Germany for years after Hitler was in full control.

  28. 31

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Kirk@30 Where were you at in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq? Does the Project for a New American Century ring a bell? Do the bloviations of Wolfowitz, Pearl, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al ring a bell?
    Iraq was suposed to be their own littl test tube.
    Does the revanchist distortion of history start so soon?
    Also, since we are naming noted, and infamous sympathizers with the fascists and Hitler, let us add Prescott Bush to the list that contains Henry Ford.
    You ignorance of history is profound. . .you are sentenced to read the wikipedia article on the “Businessmen’s Coup”/ I’ll spare you reading War is a Racket, but ask you to come back to class with a small discussion of who Smedley Butler was, and why more than Chesty Pullen, Smedleynshould be honored by all Americans, not just the Semper Fi cadre.

  29. 32

    kirk spews:

    31 I’ll wager I know more history than you Frog.

    Just because Bush et al, _said_ they wanted to export something called ‘democracy’ doesn’t mean they had any notion of actually supporting democracy. Yes the ‘bloviations’ ring a bell, but I thought then and think now that they were a load of horseshit.

    Iraq is and has been a test tube of their notion of running the govt like the Saudi’s run theirs, as a private fiefdom that is a source of money for friends and friends companies.

    I only mentioned Ford, and here I was referring to the company, because someone upthread was stating that the Nazis didn’t trade with foreigners.

    I’ll state my position again:

    The notion that the US is interested in supporting any sort of true popular democratic movements in the 3rd world is wrong. The notion that the US wants the 3rd world to develop independently owned and controlled ‘modern’ economies is wrong.

  30. 33

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    @ 32 As to your first statement: That’s stupid. I’ve probably lived more history than you claim to know. . . .
    As to your assertions later. . .carefully delineate what you mean by the “US”. . .
    Or are you given to broad bloviations as well?

  31. 34

    kirk spews:

    You’re a jumping to conclusion Frog I guess. And even if you have ‘lived’ more history…Fuck you for deciding that you know all about me.

    The US government/ruling class/big business is what I mean by the short hand US.

  32. 35

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    I know very little about you Kirk, other than your careless reasoning and vile mouth.
    The point has been made by others that when you speak or post in public, your mind is on parade.

  33. 36

    kirk spews:

    Since you know nothing about me, then why jump to all sorts of conclusions after reading my post? I think you did some careless reading and made some stupid assumptions about me.

    Your original post assumed that when Bush et al claim they are exporting democracy that’s their actual intention. My original post stated that the US has never been interested in exporting democracy. There are plenty of examples from Palestine to the non-support of the slave rebellion in Haiti during Jefferson’s term as president.

  34. 37

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Your careless reasoning is again on display. When we are presented with public statements supporting public policy, we must evaluate them, and if we feel they are false, self-serving, or simply erroneous, we must disprove them and expose them. To simply state that the bloviations of the Neo-cons is not their actual intention is simplistic and naive, at the very least. While we may agree that the policy statements by Wolfowitz, Pearl, et al is a load of BS. . .I must point out that these statements were put forward in our national public discourse, and used to postulate actual national policy, leading to deaths and destruction. And I must also point out that there are still many involved in the formulation and execution of our national policy who believe those theories and assertions are still true.
    Part of our ongoing public discourse involves the responsibility to disprove and devalue these false positions., and to do so in a credible fashion.

  35. 38

    kirk spews:

    Your careless reasoning is again on display, as your original post referred to the wikipedia article that supports the notion that US foreign policy over the last 100 years has been about creating a favorable business climate, not any notions of Democracy. This assumption was stated in the original post and I called it into question.

    When there is overwhelming evidence of the US overturing election results that didn’t meet the standards of the ruling elite from Vietnam, Iran and Greece in the 50s, to Palestine last year it doesn’t matter what the people doing this believe.

  36. 39

    spews:

    Kirk, Lee again here. I think you started off with some excellent criticism and I was planning to highlight it in another post, but the first part of your comment @30 doesn’t make any sense. I think I understand what you were trying to say, but you said it in a way that both Tree Frog Farmer and I disagree with. The Bush Administration and a number of the chief architects of the invasion of Iraq (Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith) DO believe that it’s America’s duty to modernize the Middle East and run their economies. It’s stupid and it’s wrong, but it was part of the thinking when it came to Iraq. And Manweller certainly believes that running their economies is part of what we’re going to have to continue doing in the future.

    As for the comment about the Nazis and Ford, I think you’re completely correct, and that’s what I may post about at a later date. Thanks for coming by. I don’t mind if people are potty mouths around here if they have good points, but you should expect people to more eagerly jump down your throat if you start dropping the F-bombs.

  37. 40

    kirk spews:

    What I’m saying is, it’s immaterial what the social actors believe or what their intentions are. The actual effect of the actions is what’s important. For instance, the folks running the French Revolution, Cultural Revolution, true believers of Stalin or Hitler, all believed they were making a better world.

    If you accept the premise that the US has a genuine interest in promoting democracy around the world then you have to ignore over 100 years of coups, death squads and etc.

    If you accept the notion that the US is genuinly interested in ‘modernizing’ the 3rd world–and yet things are generally worse there over the last 60 years of post colonialism, you can either believe that ‘they’ are too backward/tribal/violent/etc to have a first world sort of economy or you can believe that the US doesn’t really want that sort of independence and ecomony in those countries.

    Finally, when the first words that someone posts to me: question my awareness of contemporary politics, history and reasoning ability; then proceeds to ‘assign’ me reading that agrees with the position I was espousing and in general acts like a smug, know-it-all windbag, then I’ll swear at them to make a point.

  38. 41

    spews:

    If you accept the notion that the US is genuinly interested in ‘modernizing’ the 3rd world–and yet things are generally worse there over the last 60 years of post colonialism, you can either believe that ‘they’ are too backward/tribal/violent/etc to have a first world sort of economy or you can believe that the US doesn’t really want that sort of independence and ecomony in those countries.

    Or, you can believe (as I do), that the U.S. does want to ‘modernize’ the 3rd world, but isn’t as motivated in that effort as they are to capitalize from it. In the end, the capitalist impulses outweigh the more benevolent ones, and it just becomes easier to point at them and say “they’re backwards!” and overlook the abuses that contribute to the hostilities within. I should have probably worked something to that effect into the original post, as it would’ve made the overall point I was making more complete – that allowing 3rd-world countries to develop strong justice systems can run counter to our capitalist desires.

    Again, thanks for the comments. I do appreciate when people challenge my posts with intelligent feedback.