by Jerome a Paris
Fri Feb 9th, 2007 at 01:16:29 PM EST
And on the third hand, while today's Russia may be a crazy quilt of capitalist czars, mobsters, nationalists and aspiring democrats, it is not the totalitarian Soviet Union. It has more than a touch of the authoritarianism of postwar Gaullist France and a large spoonful of the corruption and messiness of postwar Italy -- when those countries emerged from World War II as less than perfect democracies.
But 60 years later, after huge growth in their per capita incomes, France and Italy now help to anchor Western Europe. For all of their shortcomings, their postwar governments provided the context for the true democratic agent of change to come of age -- something that takes 9 months and 21 years to produce -- a generation raised on basically free markets and free politics. I still think Russia will follow a similar path -- in time.
Hey, France and Italy did it, Russia can be free too. This is an open thread. You are free to say what you want, even nice things about Friedman.