How democracy affects technological development


How democracy affects technological development

For as archaic increases resistance to modernity, and trump wins Clinton, the interdependence of democracy and technological development are increasingly attracted public attention.

The contradiction between democracy and science

According to one definition, democracy is a political system characterized by a high level of civilian control over significant decisions, and political equality. The tension between democratic values and the rapid development of science did not arise today. This was written by Machiavelli, Hobbes and Rousseau. Growing impact of scientific knowledge on daily life of people with a lower level of understanding of the essence of what is happening is a growing public tension and fear. Suffice it to recall the mass demonstrations of the opponents of in vitro conception or genetically modified plants.

The development of science and technology is impossible without free choice of subject of research, the free exchange of ideas and the lack of external pressure. In addition, the level of human well-being depends on the level of technological development of countries. At the same time, civil society in democratic countries, recognizing the social importance of science, aims to monitor the implementation of its achievements.

Why full-fledged development of technologies is possible only in a democracy

The relationship of the nature of the political regime and the level of technological development is a popular subject of study both in democratic and autocratic countries. According to the results of most of the works, the long-term technology development is possible only in conditions of democracy.

Legal protection of property rights, including copyright, is one of the most important advantages of democracy. If we are talking about private entrepreneurs, not public corporations, the main economic units of autocratic regimes, to invest in the development of production will be only those who believe in the inviolability of their property rights.

The independent judicial system that ensures property rights and the equality of all social groups before the law. In a democracy, the redistribution of property in the interests of supporting the power of elites is more difficult.

Democratic institutions lead political elites to send money to improve education and health, which contributes to the development of science.

Open and free exchange of information is one of the main conditions for effective decision making in production, management, and policy, because it allows you to learn, compare and evaluate different production and management methods, selecting the most appropriate to solve a specific problem.

Autocracy and economic growth

Despite the fact that democratic countries in the long term demonstrate higher economic growth than countries with authoritarian regimes, there is an opposite point of view. A number of scholars and politicians strongly believe in the so-called “theses of Lee Kuan yew”, former Prime Minister of Singapore for 31 years of authoritarian rule turned backward British colony into an economically prosperous state. As did Lee Kuan yew, to accelerate economic growth in developing countries is vital rigid authoritarian regime.

Why the Singaporean model is not universal

Li Quan was able to create a unique control system, the balancing between authoritarianism and democracy, state capitalism and the free market. But authoritarian politicians who want to emulate the success of Singapore, forget about some important characteristics of the city-state that made his situation is special:

  • small territory and population;
  • the lack of established national traditions and the influence of the British metropolis;
  • the Anglo-Saxon system of justice;
  • partial preservation of the institution of free elections;
  • tough fight against corruption.

Neither Chile, where political dictatorship of Pinochet was accompanied by liberal economic reforms, especially China, whose economic growth in recent years has slowed significantly, do not have even a part of these characteristics. The example of South Korea is also not relevant, for 26 years of dictatorship the country has only managed to overcome extreme poverty and hunger. The real growth that has made South Korea a developed, began only in 1987, when the first free elections.

As autocracy ensures economic growth in the short term

  • the governments of authoritarian regimes are not subject to public pressure and, therefore, can freely pursue the economic policies that you consider necessary;
  • autocracy can increase investment, forcibly increasing the rate of savings and using the accumulated money according to the chosen policy elites;
  • autocracy usually impede the activities of civil organizations and labor unions, which reduces the wage and increases the profit of business owners which they can allocate to investments;
  • the absence of free and equal elections and reduces public pressure on the political elites of autocratic States and not forcing them to increase social spending. Autocracy can freely pursue a policy of financial constraints in restraining the growth of incomes.

Why the autocracy cannot provide the long-term development of science and technology of the Autocracy cannot provide the level of educational development and creativity required to achieve a high level of technology and science. Not accidentally, the Soviet Union in the recent past, and China in the present, were the leaders of industrial espionage. General inefficiency of an economy with a low level of competitiveness, can not effectively use the funds allocated by the government for research projects. A striking example is the recently discussed supercomputer made in China. As it turned out, it collected from the chips produced by Intel and Nvidia. According to Chinese scientists, it is best suited for playing computer games. The autocracies can not be the administrative system and mechanisms, necessary for successful development of science, because of their inherent corruption and academic dishonesty are not effectively creative development. You can not seriously talk about the development of science, if, according to the portal Discerned, more than 40% of the theses of the leaders of Russian universities falsified.

Technological progress challenges both democratic and autocratic regimes. The increasing complexity of scientific knowledge reduces the opportunities of public monitoring and the development of computer technology provides any state of total control. The average UK resident gets to film cameras almost as often as North Koreans. This fact can not but cause concern. The technology is developed, disseminated and implemented everywhere, irrespective of the political regime. The only question is how effectively this is happening and how it affects the lives of citizens. While in this competition, and win democracy.

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