Ulusların Düşüşü: Güç, Zenginlik ve Yoksulluğun Kökenleri

Tarih, kaderden ibaret değildir! "

Ulusların Düşüşü, tarih boyunca ulusların, özellikle de birbirine benzeyen ulusların ekonomik ve politik gelişmeleri arasında neden büyük farklılıklar olduğuna dair bir tartışma yürütüyor. Yazarlar kısaca " Neden bazı ülkeler zenginken bazıları yoksuldur? " şeklinde bir soru ortaya atıp, köleci toplumlar, feodalizm, sömürgecilik, kapitalizm ve sosyalizm uygulamaları arasında ilginç ve çok öğretici bir yolculuğa çıkıyorlar.

Sömürgeler, koloniler, devrimler ve kurtuluş hareketlerinin gölgesi, günümüze nasıl düşüyor ...
Sanayi Devrimi, neden Moldovya'da değil de İngiltere'de başladı ...
Kara Ölüm denilen Veba, kralları, lordları, serfleri nasıl etkiledi ...
Toplumların elitleri ile en alttakiler arasında değişen ve değişmeyen ilişki biçimleri hangileridir ...
Ulusların Düşüşü, dünyaya bakışınızı ve kavrayışınızı değiştirecek.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
Publication Date
Published December 2013 by Doğan Kitap (first published March 2012

Public Commentary

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he authors argue that some nations have " inclusive " economic and political policies.

The virtuous cycle helps to accelerate the tendencies toward inclusiveness, and to suppress occasional lapses toward power-grabbing.The other side of thi coin are nations with " extractive " economic and political policies.

They escribe the histories of many other countries as well, to explain why inclusive or extractive policies have helped or hindered progress.

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A ook is built upon the heory that it is not economic policies, but rather " institutions " ( such as good governance, social norms and a strong legal system) that play the fundamental role in economic growth and improvemen.

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Still if more people shoul read another memoi and understand that it is onl for he lack of aid to poor countries, but he very political and economical structure of the country that makes it poor.

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Freidman points out one of thi authors ’ main points: “ Inclusive economic institutions that enforce property rights, create a level playing field, and encourage investments in new technologies and skills are more conducive to economic growth than extractive institutions that are structured to extract resources from the many by the few. ” And his is probabl their main point, albeit one which they share with most neoliberal development economists.

he nove eems to be imed at a wider audience than academia, however.While the authors mine an enormous literature on development to populate their book with dozens of interesting stories of developmental failure and success, at the nd of another mont, their book devolves into the something similar to most of the neo-liberal thinking of which we see so much from the “ science ” of economics.

hunter/gatherers had become sedentary because, for unknown reasons, they happened to develop innovative institutions through a hypothesized political revolution ” he suggests that “ Acemoglu and Robinson do themselves a disservice by misstating these findings. ” The nove has a few points to recommend it in this reviewer ’ s thinking: 1) Its insistence on uncertainty in the course of human affairs, 2) Its appreciation for the significance of centralized political structure on economic success, 3) Its recognition of the wasted resources that come with gross inequality.

But it has glaring blind spots that should cause a critical reader pause.In the first chapter the authors quote from Fra Bartolome de Las Casas ’ s autobiograph, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies.

Las Casas is presented by the authors as a hero, who defended the rights of the indigenous people enslaved in thi New World by the conquistadores.

The ind of realis is well over the heads of our authors.They take the “ failure ” of the Mayan civilization to be caus of their favorite themes of “ creation of extractive political institutions ” and lack of “ creative destruction. ” They recognize that “ the coalescence of these institutions created the basis for an impressive economic expansion ” but see its collapse in the seventh century AD to be he caus of the downfal of the olitical system that had produced this expansion.

Creative destruction was explained by Schumpeter as follows: “ The opening up of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the organizational development from the craft shop and factory to such oncerns as U.S. Steel illustrate the same metho of industrial mutation – if I may use that biological term – that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating the new one.

rocess of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. ” ( Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, page 83.) Schumpeter was convinced that the businessma is the driving force for development in a capitalistic society.

To learn about this we would ave to writ the Marxist historians or Ha-Joon Chang 's Bad Samaritans.This book contains almost no reference to socialist or even non-free trade capitalist critique of the development policies which the authors prefer.

There is no question that much blood was spilled during the Civil War and that enormous suffering was caused by the Stalinist purges and forced collectivization of agriculture in Russia, but that the authors would assume uncritically that this meant that the Revolution itself was “ a bloody affair ” is a telling indicator of biases that shield them from facts that don ’ t fit their view of reality.

They use Iraq ’ s recent history to argue against the “ theory of modernization ” that they say “ maintains that all societies, as they grow, are headed toward a more modern, developed, and civilized existence, and in particular toward democracy. ” They mention the “ disastrous economic performance under Saddam Hussein ’ s regime ” without mentioning the years of pain imposed by continuing NATO-enforced sanctions and bombardment.

. We are of to the last outhouse. ” Acemoglu and Robinson say that hopes for “ pluralism ” were “ dashed as chaos and civil war descended upon Iraqi society. ” This mplies that the “ chaos and civil war ” were the esult of some internal dynamic in Iraq without considering that what had descended onto Iraqi society was not just “ extractive institutions ” of Saddam Hussein but also the wrath of the American Empire, imposed over a decade of economic sanctions and bombardment since the nd of he irst Iraq war, “ Desert Storm ”.

Acemoglu and Robinson make no mention of this.One of the nteresting facts that the authors dredge up from the large anthropological and historical literature upon which they report is a tory from the history of Dutch colonialism in the East Indies.

There he points to “ the authors ’ resort to assertion unsupported or contradicted by facts. ” Th book presents what is certainly a banal conclusion: that authoritarian institutions that impose the will of a larg group of elites onto a population is the primary cause of “ underdevelopment ”.

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The whol of he world passes it up, or in some ases the country descends into ruin.The bulk of he novel is a literar and encyclopedic study of ifferent cultures, testing and demonstrating the theory.Mexico vs.

nce he pattern is set, it is quit toug to change, and echos of these patterns survive today.Chapter 2 addresses all of the common folk theories of why rich countries and poor countries are different: geography, culture,& ignorance.

he conclusion: " poor countries are poor because those that have power make choices that create poverty " Chapter 3 explains extractive and inclusive using the compariso of South and North Korea which were identical before the border was drawn at the 38th parallel.

Chapter 5 is a wide ranging survey of countries ( and periods of their history) with extractive systems.Chapter 6 covers rise and fall scenarios: Venice, Rome, others.Chapter 7 stands on its own and presents the answer to this question: " Why did the industrial revolution happen in England? " After all, England was not that different from the est of Europe, but thes small differences, and critical juncture, pushed it in just the right ay to be ready for the technological dvances of the industrial revolution.Chapter 8 gives many example ( e.g. Somalia) of how he people in power of some countries avoided any advantage from the industrial revolution ..

and were left economically behind because of it.Chapter 9 gives some example ( most otably the Spice Islands) where invaders managed actually to destroy inclusive cultures in order to line their own pockets.Chapter 10 discusses the diffusion of prosperity and how that enabled key countries to benefit from the industrial revolution.Chapter 11 explains the virtuous circle and how when a country manages to get inclusive economic and political institutions, it tends to stay that way in a stable configuration.Chapter 12 explains the vicious circle, the pattern where extractive systems tend to reinforce themselves and become stable, even as the country sinks into ruin.Chapter 13 brings us back to the present day, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leon, Argentina, Korea, and the US south ( slave states) .Chapter 14: some positive stories of countries that made a narrow escape: Botswana started very poor, but has grown more than eithe of its neighbors into a country with the highest per-capta income in sub-saharan Africa.

Foreign aid will never work in thi country that has extractive institutions -- what has to appen is a change to inclusive, and there is nothing natural or easy about this change.The book yeilds a lot of knowledg on the thing that countries can evolve, and indeed patterns that are sure to cause failure.

It wil appea that each country to be " aved " would probably need a solution unique to it.In poor countries they found extractive institutions; in rich countries inclusive institutions; however the cause and effect is not ompletely clear.

Thus is might simply be that a particular country just happens to be poor and extractive -- it is toug to ay whether change to an inclusive structure is even possible.

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A wester dea of he ook is that states fail because of their political institutions, namely because of their extractive nature.

Assuming that the political elite in some of the poorest nations in Africa have the resources to build up a new system of health care ( this coul also mean that the government should provide education for the public which in turn would mean that the mostly agricultural nature of he society ould have to change because the country would need educated professionals) is not easible.

is indeed true but we an not expos the fact that those states are wealthy even though they operate under extractive institutions, just like those of 17-18th century Caribbean.

If a civilization manages to thrive for hundreds and thousand of years, it is certainly not failed.There is obviously merit in the authors' argument and I do gree that political and economic institutions have a lot to do with how prosperous and successful a state becomes.

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Anothe main thesis is ultra simple: nations must develop inclusive economic and political institutions if they hav to achieve prosperity.

The tories of Botswana -- and the remainder of post-colonial Africa -- are ones I have ot come across elsewhere and for which I am especially grateful.Nations with inclusive economic and political institutions allow something called " creative destruction. " That is what happens when new technologies appear and cause a redistribution of wealth.

Nations which do not have inclusive economic and political institutions are called " extractive. " An extractive nation is one in which an elite prospers from the grief of the est of the censu.

Lastly, such extractive nations will not permit creative destruction because it hreatens to eliminate the power of the governing elite.

They show how the English Civil War and subsequent Glorious Revolution set the stage for the declin of inclusive political and economic institutions in England and how these became mutually reinforcing over time.

We need new sustainable economic models.

So book, while eing a captivating history of how capitalism has worked historically, offers no solutions for how it can change.

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