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Old 03-13-2013, 11:28 AM
 
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As far as expanding privatization. Countries in Africa need to consider looking at how Estonia and Poland did their privatization. Both countries used approaches that worked better than what you saw in other former Soviet countries. This explains some of the progress both have had with moving to more market oriented economies.



Poland's Privatization method:

http://knowledge.emory.edu/article.cfm?articleid=535
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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To be analyzed:

Put all the African countries that passed through a socialist era in one group, and those that remained capitalist or free market , without socialism, through their entire post-colonial history in another group. Is one group, generally, more economically advanced today than the other?

--Countries that were aligned directly to socialist development:
Angola
Benin
Congo
Ethiopia
Mozambique
Somalia
Tanzania
--The following also had constitutional provisions for socialism, sufficient to influence distribution of wealth:
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Comoros
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Madagascar
Sao Tome
Sudan
Uganda
Zambia

Last edited by jtur88; 03-14-2013 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
To be analyzed:

Put all the African countries that passed through a socialist era in one group, and those that remained capitalist or free market
The only post colonial African country that comes close to a capitalist economy would be Botswana. By capitalism I mean countries that have both the economic policies and legal systems that would support a capitalist economy. Few African countries would fit that description. In too many African countries their legal systems aren't developed enough to make a capitalist economy work. The rule of law and property rights are very weak in many of these countries. Capitalism won't work if it isn't clear on who owns what property and if people's property isn't protected by the legal system. This is why I've come to the view that many African countries need legal reforms more than anything else. Weak legal/judicial systems is one reason corruption is hard to deal with in Africa.

Last edited by Motion; 03-14-2013 at 11:13 AM..
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
The only post colonial African country that comes close to a capitalist economy would be Botswana. By capitalism I mean countries that have both the economic policies and legal systems that would support a capitalist economy. Few African countries would fit that description. In too many African countries their legal systems aren't developed enough to make a capitalist economy work. The rule of law and property rights are very weak in many of these countries. Capitalism won't work if it isn't clear on who owns what property and if people's property isn't protected by the legal system. This is why I've come to the view that many African countries need legal reforms more than anything else. Weak legal/judicial systems is one reason corruption is hard to deal with in Africa.
Before Lenin, every country that ever existed in the world operated on a purely capitalist economy, regardless of the sophistication of their economic or legal systems. Capitalism is a pretty simplistic concept that has been around for many millennia, and was the only system in existence before a despotism was put in place in 1917 to enforce an alternative. Capitalism is a system in which wealth is accumulated privately and then used to multiply itself. Socialism, the topic of this thread, is one in which wealth is centrally planned and controlled, and not left in the hands of "capitalists".

It sounds like you want to say that if capitalism fails (for whatever reason), then it wasn't capitalism in the first place. Which pretty much guarantees that capitalism always successfully achieved economic bounty -- the term can only be applied retroactively to a successful endeavor.

You are also starting out with the given that capitalism is the only avenue to economic development, and the only thing one needs to do is to put in place a framework in which capitalism can yield a benefit. What, exactly, do you call an economic system in which wealth is in the hands of those who create it and who invest it at will in order to multiply it, but the legal system fails to regulate it properly? It still not Socialism, so obviously, socialism is not the shortcoming that dooms that economy to failure.

Which raises an even more contentious problem. Just who has the responsibility for establishing the legal structures that will direct a capitalist economy to favorable ends? The wealthy property owners, or the central office of state planning? The latter is exactly the objection you have to socialism, and the former is not happening because those with the wealth do not want their power to be diluted by civil codes (or criminal) that might favor the unwealthy.


cap·i·tal·ism noun
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.


I don't see anything in there that limits the application to only states which have sophisticated Western-style legal frameworks.

Last edited by jtur88; 03-14-2013 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
It sounds like you want to say that if capitalism fails (for whatever reason), then it wasn't capitalism in the first place. Which pretty much guarantees that capitalism always successfully achieved economic bounty -- the term can only be applied retroactively to a successful endeavor.
One thing to take into account is that there is no one type of capitalism. Capitalism can vary and come in several brands. Some brands of capitalism are more effective than others for economic development.

This touches on the four brands of capitalism. It says that "Oligarchic capitalism" is the brand you find in much of Africa for example.


Quote:
Oligarchic capitalism exists where power and money are highly concentrated among a few. It is the worst form of capitalism, not only because of the extreme inequality in income and wealth that such economies tolerate, but also because the elites do not promote growth as the central goal of economic policy. Instead, oligarchs fix the rules to maximise their own income and wealth. Such arrangements prevail in large parts of Latin America, the Arab Middle East, and Africa.

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Before Lenin, every country that ever existed in the world operated on a purely capitalist economy, regardless of the sophistication of their economic or legal systems.
Well I guess there is some truth to that since even George Ayittey himself pointed out in the video that pre colonial African economic activity was closer to capitalism than it was to the type of state controlled centrally planned economies that many new African leaders wanted to implement. This "indigenous capitalism" is what George Ayittey has said that Africa's new post colonial leaders should have built on rather than emulating Soviet style socialism.

Last edited by Motion; 03-15-2013 at 12:57 AM..
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
One thing to take into account is that there is no one type of capitalism. Capitalism can vary and come in several brands. Some brands of capitalism are more effective than others for economic development.

This touches on the four brands of capitalism. It says that "Oligarchic capitalism" is the brand you find in much of Africa for example.
According to Micnael's Theory, every form of government, including Capitalism, tend to evolve eventually into Oligarchy. In Africa, it is possible that the Oligarchy was already present, and the Capitalism was simply overlaid onto the Oligarchy as a prevailing economic model. However, there is only one form of Capitalism, which is pretty clearly defined, and governmental regulations can color the extent to which pure capitalism is modified. That, of course, is essential, because pure, unregulated capitalism is nothing more than a free despotism of those who will go to any extreme to appropriate all the society's wealth for themselves.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
In Africa, it is possible that the Oligarchy was already present, and the Capitalism was simply overlaid onto the Oligarchy as a prevailing economic model.
Not too many pre colonial Africa societies were like the authoritarians that came after independence. Many pre colonial societies in Africa were organized into confederations like the Akans and some were stateless societies like those of the Igbo of Nigeria. These governing approaches weren't authoritarian. Much of Africa's autocratic rule came after independence because you had leaders rejecting democracy because they claimed democracy was "western" and they believed their countries needed strongman rulers to unite their diverse ethnic populations.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,599,740 times
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Originally Posted by Motion View Post
Not too many pre colonial Africa societies were like the authoritarians that came after independence. Many pre colonial societies in Africa were organized into confederations like the Akans and some were stateless societies like those of the Igbo of Nigeria. These governing approaches weren't authoritarian. Much of Africa's autocratic rule came after independence because you had leaders rejecting democracy because they claimed democracy was "western" and they believed their countries needed strongman rulers to unite their diverse ethnic populations.
First of all, Democracy and Capitalism have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and are neither mutually inclusive nor exclusive. There happens to be, in recent history, a correlation because many extreme socialisms of the past century were dictatorships for the simple reason that universal capitalism was already firmly entrenched, and force needed to be applied to supplant it with a socialist order, which was inimical to the interest of those who were already exercising a tyranny of the elite devoid of any democratic principles. As every logician knows very well, a correlation does not imply a causal relationship.

Having two political parties that are both of the same persuasion (e.g., Capitalist, as in USA) does not assure that things will be any better than having only one political party, except to the degree that it affords an opportunity to evict corrupt incumbents and replace them with somebody of exactly the same politics.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Right. So colonialism and neo-colonialism have nothing to do with it. Gotcha.

Plenty of formal colonies, the US included, are doing just fine; how many years is the colonialism excuse going to be used?
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