Saturday, January 30, 2010

Para reflexão : Niall Ferguson

Is the Indian model of growth, which is democratic but also chaotic, more viable than the Chinese one?

Yes, partly because it's more chaotic. In the end what India did inherit from Britain and what India since 1991 has developed are the key institutions for the successful development of capitalism - private property rights, a court system where the rule of law is upheld, a system of administration which is not too corrupt though there is room for improvement and, crucially, representative government , which allows grievances of the population to be aired in a non-violent way. That's a pretty impressive list of institutions. Now nobody is saying India is perfect. Democracy in the US has corruption too. Surprise, surprise!

But it's a lot better than what the Chinese come up with for their people, which is essentially a oneparty state, private property rights up to a point when it suits the authority and a programme of breakneck industrialisation based on infrastructure building, which while its impressive in comparison to the Jaipur-Delhi road, ultimately isn't a model which will carry China into the mid-21 st century without very serious problems. Demographically and also politically major problems lie ahead of China. India started economic reforms much later - 1991 as compared to 1978. It's a big difference. That's why the comparisons that are often made don't make sense. It's not that this race began at the same moment. If India had had reforms since 1978 we would be in a very different country. I say give India time. Allow the benefits of a relatively free society, of the rule of law, of democracy, allow those benefits to play out. Because I think it's inconceivable , on the basis of my historical understanding , that those institutions don't give India an advantage over China. They must, really must. It may take 20 years to manifest, but I'll still be around in 20 years.

(Entrevista de Niall Ferguson ao "Times of India", hoje, 30 de Janeiro)

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