“This Chinese girl says, ‘China will come apart if we have democracy.’ But India is a democracy, and probably far more diverse then China. In spite of our many separatist movements, we have managed to find solutions without breaking up.”
“But, help me on this, who is economically better off?”
“They are, undoubtedly. But many democracies in the West have much higher per-capita incomes than the Chinese. Besides, why should there be a trade-off? Would you agree to a trade-off in England?”
Unsaid: “Don’t be silly. How can you compare Chinese and Indians to white men? We can have democracy and good economies; you can’t. You have to choose.
And while we worship in the church of free trade, our high priest and intellectual forefather is Marx. As he proved, only money matters. So make some money, you beggar, before you open your mouth about sacred ideas like democracy.
At the end of the day (as in its beginning and high noon) men live by bread alone, more so if he is yellow, black or brown.”
Unsaid on my part: “There may be more democracy in certain countries than outsiders think. In fact, those unanimous votes may be targeted at outsiders.
If you know that your opposite party in a negotiation is over eager to exploit any disagreement within your ranks, what would you do? Surely, you will work out compromises internally and present an united front.
It may be the same with China and some Arab countries.
When the usual causes of change (elections, free press) are absent, we must play sleuth every time something changes.
Remember, the market is free because customers can vote with their feet. You don’t always need secret ballots.”