Andrey Pochinkov, businessman (Prague)
I love to write platitudes. They somehow cause the hottest debate. Especially if they are lightly seasoned with a provocative pepper. In form, not in content. Genuine provocateurs always distort the facts, and this should be avoided.
The most banal thought that I will now express for some reason does not seem so to so many smart people. At least they say and do the exact opposite. People live more freely where democracy is (compared to authoritarian countries). But they live there freer, not because they have democracy. This is democracy in them because they live more freely.
People who are confident that democracy brings freedom are unlikely to say, "I have a good car because I drive fast". Or "I have good internet because I bought a good computer". They understand that this is a good car that allows you to drive fast. They understand that good communication allows them to use a good computer with maximum effect, and not a computer improves their communication. But these same people expect that the introduction of democratic procedures will give them more freedom. Strange, isn't it?
This distracts the intellectual resources of society from studying the real reasons why people live more freely in some regions than in the rest of the world. But this question is very complex, it requires a lot of effort for its research. Without which progress is impossible in expanding the space of freedom.
There are many reasons why people in Hong Kong or Taiwan, for example, are freer than in Beijing or Shanghai, and people in Stockholm and Zurich are freer than in Budapest or Belgrade. This is a complex set of historical facts, ideas, personal contribution of specific people ...
But one of the reasons is considered undoubtedly significant. This is the openness of this region (country, city, policy) to outsiders. Leading to greater population diversity and maximizing contacts with other regions of the world. History clearly tells us that it was in such "melting pots" that the wealth of the population always grew at an accelerated pace. And it was the population of such places that most actively expanded the space of freedom for their loved ones. In a struggle, sometimes very bloody, with authorities for whom this expansion was extremely undesirable.
Why? Because the more diverse the population in this particular place, the more difficult it is to establish interaction between people. All the less, initially, trust in each other. But even if this problem is solved and the difficulties are overcome, it means that a complex and subtle structure of human interaction arose in this place. Which allows you to solve more complex problems. Which develops the structure of society and expands the intellectual capabilities of its members. ***
Democracy is a transitional stage to complete freedom of a person from any power, any dictate. People have won the right to democracy. And not democracy made them free. At the behest of some kind dictator who decided for some reason to give his subjects more freedom from himself. That is why all attempts to "export democracy" failed. Even backed by all the power of the United States. It would seem that right now this truth has become as obvious as possible.
But I have not the slightest doubt that good smart people with bright faces will come and challenge my allegations. Democrats will talk about the saving and healing power of democratic institutions, and nationalists will talk about how much ethnic purity contributes to progress and prosperity.
Which can only be achieved by closing borders and deporting all strangers. Well, here it is, your happiness has come! Borders are closed. It remains only to deport all who can. And introduce the right institutions. Why can't I see the tears of joy on your faces ?!
Original is here.