Posts Tagged ‘vote’

Review: Amy Chua, World On Fire


13 Oct

mullahboy

Yet They Hang Homosexuals?

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Read quickly this very compelling book a couple of years ago by author Amy ChuaWorld on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability. The book documents just how pervasive are the aggressive forces of foreign ethnic division and economic disparity which survive, expand and prosper in the world, and how much each drive the cultural traumas in the news media today.

Chua, a naturalized American whose parents are Chinese, builds upon Thomas Sowell's concept of the middle-man minority—the often-persecuted immigrant ethnic group with a talent for retailing and banking, such as Jews, Armenians, Chinese, Gujarati Indians, Lebanese Christians, etc. She broadens that idea to include other relatively well-heeled groups, such as un-entrepreneurial hereditary landowners, like the Tutsis of Rwanda and the Iberian-descended whites of much of Latin America. She extrapolates in bringing them all together under the useful term "market-dominant minorities."

The author begs off explaining why economic inequality exists between hereditary groups; she just acknowledges it. So let me offer a general explanation. Creating wealth is difficult. The wealthy, even those in highly progressive tax jurisdictions, tend to pass down their property, their genes, and their techniques for preserving and multiplying wealth to their descendents, rather than to strangers.

Blacks were forbidden to vote until 1870; women until 1920; poll-tax debtors until 1964; illiterates until 1965, young people until 1971. And how the U.S. treats its minorities today, as compared to 200 years ago, is like night and day. One remarkable fact remains: where there is a failure of democracy, there is usually a lack of democracy.
In countries without a reliable system of equal justice under the law, clannishness is particularly rational. Businessmen must depend upon their extended families for protection and enforcement of contracts. So they are particularly loathe to do serious business with people to whom they have no ties of blood or marriage and who would thus be more likely to stiff them on a deal.

"Globalization," or economic liberalization, tends to make the poor majorities slightly richer and the "market dominant minorities" vastly richer. Sometimes the masses find this an acceptable tradeoff. But, sometimes it drives them into a fury.

Often, the minority's post-globalization riches are honestly earned, but not always. American-backed privatization schemes in Russia and Mexico put huge government enterprises into the hands of the most economically nimble and politically well-connected operators at give-away prices. Chua suggests that American foreign-policy, with its democratic ideal, is setting many nations up for failure by creating democratically elected dicatators from a dominant ethic group to rule over the weaker groups, often resulting in the ethnic cleansing activities we see across the world.

Let's take an older example. Can democracy be blamed for Hitler's rise? No. Other democratic nations around the world were also devastated by the Great Depression, but none converted to dictatorships as a result. Germany was the oddball among these nations, and an examination of its republic reveals its democratic and constitutional weaknesses clearly enough.

History reminds us that there is actually a spectrum of democracies, with strong democracies on one end, and weak democracies on the other. To the extent that democracies fail, it is because the will of the people is not being carried out. The U.S. offers this lesson itself. Blacks were forbidden to vote until 1870; women until 1920; poll-tax debtors until 1964; illiterates until 1965, young people until 1971. And how the U.S. treats its minorities today, as compared to 200 years ago, is like night and day. One remarkable fact remains: where there is a failure of democracy, there is usually a lack of democracy. The Muslim approach comes to mind.

GT

A Frilly-Mouthed Backwater Courtesan


05 Nov

Frilly-Mouth

Frilly-Mouth

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Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 12:16:19

Check out what I did from scratch this morning while waiting to jolly off with Blum and Sue and somewhat less so with Tim to vote. (Tim votes in a different precinct since he's never notified the voting board of his change of address):

http://www.imote.com

Ben's recent critique about the ugly font disturbed me, although I recall you liked it so much you asked its name. Your own recent behavior however has influenced me in other ways. Together THE MOTE is the world's...

Odd events hover about this 8500. Pull down the SPECIAL menu bar for RESTART and the machine freezes forcing me to the keyboard juggernaut some three dozen straight restarts. Of course the machine then responds with an extended 2-bit intro, a very very slow reboot, and finally the message box that the machine was improperly restarted. It's been doing this since Saturday, a week after working fine. We have reinstalled the system software twice. Have run SAM 4.0 and Norton, Disk Doctor and my fat fickle fingers through my hair, all to no avail. Sue and I spent all last weekend picking thorns off the Mac. I'm beginning to lose my MacEnvangelista edge...

I really like my new page even though it only leads to two places, well actually one, because the eMail button is simply Netscape's mail interface, but you know what I mean...

The interface clean, friendly, although like a frilly-mouthed backwater courtesan in a few places she is just a damned mite too courteous. There are two dialogue boxes I wish I could turn off but research in that area has offered no solutions.
It's like the road to heaven and hell. It doesn't lead to two places. It only leads to one which is the absence of the other.

Will probably whip up some new minimalist approaches to the West Hollywood and Motor City sites today just to free myself from the strain of low production anxiety blues. Athens needs something but I sort of like it the way it is. Tokyo Beach is still under wraps. Needs beaucoup attention. Blowpoet work still dormant. iMote.com will feature a JERUSALEM, ROOTS, and GSIS HOMEDOCK section as well. The latter will be the more hip, flippant, eat me, beat me, call me names side of the domain.

Mostly been keeping busy organizing & troubleshooting the new Mac, and from La Cie the contents of all my removable data. Some of the older 45 meg syquests are far too sluggish, hinting at imminent failure even though after reformatting them Norton gives them a clean bill of health. So I may toss or donate those to the man on the street whose name is legion...

Dig this new Eudora Pro. URLs are clickable. The interface clean, friendly, although like a frilly-mouthed backwater courtesan in a few places she is just a damned mite too courteous. There are two dialogue boxes I wish I could turn off but research in that area has offered no solutions.

GT

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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