Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Since Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine", we will never miss coincidences of social and economic shocks and political regime changes!

"Natural" dynamics is important and interesting, but at some point "information" dynamics comes into the picture. The reason why financial-corporate-political elites and Friedmannians are so keen and successful with shock-and-wave therapies, is that they know what they want to do. While everyone else is clueless under a shock, they have a plan to implement their agenda.

In sub-Saharan Africa, both autocratic elites and the population may look relatively clueless, and that hurts the elites more. I guess that if the elites would educate themselves at Chicago University, they could be impressively successful in thriving through all climate  and agricultural regimes.

But "nice" political and social parties could probably learn to counter ruthless profiteering from bad shocks and busts, or even start winning over dirty nobilities. Amiable democracy seems helpless now, but mostly because of rather tremendous and diligent efforts of power elites to subvert democracy and regular aspirations. What is needed, is knowledge and determination of what has to be achieved through turmoil times.

In nature, I think that turmoil times (call it equilibrium punctuations, regime shifts, or environmental transitions) generally favor 'niceness' over cutthroat aggression; as cutthroat "dog-eat-dog" competition destroys itself, chances for relaxed and symbiotic relations arise. Similarly, if civilization would collapse in generally uncontrolled fashion, that would hurt autocratic and totalitarian structures a lot, while self-governing and local cooperation would be discovered as best mean to get through, I guess.

by das monde on Wed Mar 12th, 2008 at 03:14:21 AM EST
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