Globalization and Instability

Kuro5hin has an interesting discussion on Amy Chua’s new book on globalization and instability. Her argument is that the rapid introduction of free-market and democratic ideals causes instability not because of Marxist class warfare, but because certain "market-dominant minorities" succeed first, leading to inflamed ethnic tensions.

Unlike many critics of globalization, Chua makes a case based on evidence rather than ideology. Her book is adapted from a piece in The Atlantic Monthly that’s well worth taking a look at.

I’m intrigued by her argument – as a conservative, I’m not necessarily predisposed to sudden and rapid societal changes. Capitalism and democracy are good things, that is for sure, but expecting such cultural changes to happen overnight is a fool’s dream. Democracy cannot exist without the firm base of civil society, and capitalism must be based on the firm rule of law and extensive rights to property and transparency. Any system that attempts to impose these values without those firm foundations invariably seems to falter and fail. In a time when nation-building has become a more important part of Western foreign policies, Chua’s warning may be more prescient than ever.

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