India, China and Egypt

07 February 2013 |permalink | email article

In New Delhi, Thomas L. Friedman is comparing India without someone asking you to compare it to China. This visit is no exception, but I think it is more revealing to widen the aperture and compare India, China and Egypt. India has a weak central government but a really strong civic society, bubbling with elections and associations at every level. China has a muscular central government but a weak civil society, yet one that is clearly straining to express itself. Egypt, alas, has a weak government and a very weak civil society, one that was suppressed for 50 years, denied real elections, and therefore easy prey to have its revolution diverted by one group that could organize, in the one free space, the mosque. Friedman cites Gurcharan Das, the former CEO of Proctor & Gamble India, whose latest book is “India Grows at Night: A Liberal Case for a Strong State” as an aspirational state which has no one to vote for, because no one is talking the language of public goods. That is what Das means by India grows at night, when government sleeps. “But India must learn to grow by day, “he said. “But if India fixes its governance before China fixes its politics that is who will win.” A stunning thesis, but one that could shape the world in the future.

Perry vs. Brown

One day after Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a radio ad in California criticizing the Golden State’s business climate an encouraging businesses to relocate in Texas, California Gov. Jerry Brown said the Perry’s campaign is “barely a fart.” “It’s not serious, guys,” the Democratic governor told reporters at a business event. “It’s not a burp. It’s barely a fart.”



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