Markets and Minorities by Thomas Sowell PDF

By Thomas Sowell

ISBN-10: 0465043984

ISBN-13: 9780465043989

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Leaving aside the moral issue, one point is clear: consis­ tent and shrewd policy can mitigate the inequalities of the world economy or even capitalize on them. But this requires a strong state'�. It is to the crucial question of the state that we now turn. Increasing state power and capitalist expansion have long been intimately linked. In Western Europe, the modern state was born precisely during the Industrial Revolution. State-building, the creation of a centralized and hierarchical system of authority relations within a certain territory, required that local political units be subordinated to the 30 The politics of Africa's economic stagnation central government.

About a third of the countries under discussion have less than two million inhabitants. Two-thirds have less than 10 million (Table 2) . Some are equivalent in size to small cities; Cape Verde, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe and Seychelles all count under 500,000 . Only Zaire (29 million), Ethiopia (32 million) and Nigeria (80 million) contain reasonably large domestic markets. Thus, part of Africa's problem is clearly definable; its countries are burdened with the worst of all possible worlds - population pressure on the very limited arable land and a small (in numbers and income per capita) total market.

This is the result of primordial identities extended and intensified by uneven development and group competition in the new territorial arenas. Ethnic conflict raises the costs of state making; the loyalty of the subject 40 The politics of Africa's economic stagnation population is in doubt. Patriotism in these circumstances is of limited use as a mobilizing ideology. Personal rule, a form of patrimonialism, is the best­ adapted system of governance to these conditions. Unable to depend on the willing compliance of bureaucrats and citizens, rulers turn to mercenary incentives and force.

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Markets and Minorities by Thomas Sowell


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