Is the Age of Democracy a passing Phase in the History of the West and the World?
Monthly Market Commentary: November 1, 2019
One of the most widely held beliefs around the world is that democracies are far superior political systems than other forms of organizing societies such as monarchies, theocracies, oligarchies, etc.
Having only lived for three years of my working life in democracies and for most of the time in Hong Kong and in Asia, I can say that even though I could never vote in any of the Asian countries I worked in and did business with, I have enjoyed far more freedom in Asia than in highly democratic Switzerland and in increasingly socialist America.
The freedom Asian countries enjoyed without democracies has also produced some economic benefits. Hong Kong's GDP per capita growth has vastly outpaced European growth since the 1960s.
Patrick Buchanan asks in an essay Is Democracy a Dying Species? He further asks, "what happens when democracy fails to deliver? What happens when people give up on democracy? What happens when a majority or militant minority decide that the constitutional rights of free speech, free elections, peaceful assembly and petition are inadequate and take to the streets to force democracy to submit to their demands?"
From an investment point of view I believe that the demonstrations around the world are bringing MMT and the implementation of a Universal Basic Income a step closer. Expansionary fiscal and monetary policies should be mildly negative for sovereign bonds and net positive for corporate profits.
I wish my readers a wonderful festive season and I hope they will remember the words of Michael Parenti who wrote that,
“If Big Brother (of Orwell's 1984) comes to America, he will not be a fearsome, foreboding figure with a heart-chilling, omnipresent glare as in 1984. He will come with a smile on his face, a quip on his lips, a wave to the crowd, and a press that (a) dutifully reports the suppressive measures he is taking to save the nation from internal chaos and foreign threat; and (b) gingerly questions whether he will be able to succeed.”
My friends Dee and Richard Lawrence recently sent me a report about their last visit to Honduras where they are actively building stoves through Proyecto Mirador (see enclosure). On behalf of my readers and myself I shall make again a small donation to Proyecto Mirador.
[You may contact Dee at dlawrence@] proyectomirador.org
Honduras is one of the poorest (and most corrupt) countries in the world and spending time there is not as comfortable as staying on the French Riviera. However, it gives Dee and Richard great satisfaction when they receive a message from a housewife such as Ada Marina Salgado Escobar who writes
“Yo me siento encantada con mu estufa y que jamás había tenido una cosa tan bonita como esta y que gracias.”
“I am delighted with my stove and I have never had such a beautiful thing as this and thank you.”
When I read above message I felt deeply humbled.
With kind regards