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Please try not to focus on just one line in a huge comment.

Regimes installed in situations of emergency are at least supposed to be adapted to current conditions and recognise the need to change methods when the time comes to adapt to future conditions. (The practice differs from the theory, of course.) These tend to be authoritarian because the initial conditions usually include armed opposition and because they can industrialise a country more rapidly than democracies. One of their jobs in the first decade of their existence is to "civilise" the region, to ensure citizens are generally peaceful, law-abiding, productive, and well-educated. The more this is true for a society, the more its people can be relied upon, and therefore the more appropriate a democratic regime is for that society. Hence the need for change, one that the leaders would hopefully recognise. But the common people do not get there by pulling themselves by the bootstraps.

The reason that I emphasized that the line you quoted was not, ultimately, a solution, was that there is a very good correlation between people who can be found in power in authoritarian regimes, and unusually cruel people, whatever their origin and level of administrative skill.

The situation is too murky for me and you to be well-advised to make decisive statements about possible solutions.






Please try not to focus on just one line in a huge comment.

I focused on that line because I pretty much agree with everything else youíve written (and I don't completely disagree with that line either). Or have you assumed that I support pressuring the Third world countries into democracy? If so, do you mind telling me why?
you to be well-advised to make decisive statements about possible solutions.

I have to admit I also donít have a definite opinion on this question. One option that may be worth considering is for the third world countries to go through the same route as the Western countries instead of directly copying the final product. That is, adopting a limited suffrage first, giving the right to vote only to the educated middle class. Another option is to create small enclaves inside the Third world countries that would be run by Western entrepreneurs (I believe this idea was considered in Madagascar recently but ultimately rejected).
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melian
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