Dysfunctional States Have Decent Citizens, And Vice-Versa

Corrupt nations are dysfunctional, but their people have a much stronger sense of community than the less corrupt US and UK.

Here’s AP damning General Petraeus with faint praise:

Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker told Congress that while Iraq remains mostly dysfunctional, violence has decreased since the influx of additional troops earlier this year.

That conflates the behavior of bad actors – Al Qaeda, Iranian killers, and corrupt pols – with the poor devils who suffer their “violence”.

Many European governments are corrupt, as are their new masters in the EU. But Europeans still manage to earn a living and raise their kids to live decent lives.

They do this by avoiding or ignoring government unless it threatens them with violence, in which case they concede the minimum. That works quite well, since no government can police all of its citizens 24*7, and even the most corrupt regime wants to avoid outright insurrection.

A small example is an EU directive on washing floors in lodging houses, which requires resulting waste water to be placed in special containers for (expensive) disposal as a biohazard. This is no doubt the result of a deal with the waste removal industry.

As you’d expect, people just wash floors less.

Governments counter with snap inspections, but these just encourage their intended victims to carefully track the inspectors – if a team is spotted in the area, the news spreads like wildfire, thanks to the cellphones.

As a result, the social fabric in dysfunctional low-trust nations is strong, as people combine against the predatory state. Of course this environment is quite antipathetic to running complex businesses, so such states are poor (unless they can rob less corrupt nations via the EU).

Our low-corruption/high-trust societies get the flip side – we can build great enterprises and prosper, but our social fabric is weak and decaying. Here’s an example from the UK:

Elderly residents, including one aged 103, have been evicted from a Sussex care home under police guard after inspectors shut it down saying that they feared for the safety of the people living there…

Residents and staff were given less than an hour to pack their bags and leave on Thursday evening. Family members arrived at the home, which can accommodate up to 30 people, to find relatives sitting on the driveway in wheelchairs or sobbing in their rooms as police officers waited in hallways…

Residents at Trevine Court spoke highly of the home, saying that they were sorry to leave. Mr Adelphie, who has owned the care home for more than 28 years, could not be contacted. However, he told the local paper that he would fight the closure: “Half of my residents are going to die because of this. It is an absolute disgrace”.

All old folks eventually die, and it’ll be hard to prove their deaths resulted from this eviction, although some surely will.

But people in corrupt low-trust states look after their own, and would not tolerate the brutality the high-trust Brits visited on these old people.

So, Iraq may be dysfunctional, but its people will be working together to survive in spite of this adversity – just as Greeks and Italians do.

Which is why we should not consign Iraqis to the mass death proposed by the Dems.


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