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So much for "automation kills jobs"
Why Dictators don't Quit
Articles written before 2018


  • (september 2018) So much for "automation kills jobs": the countries with the most automation post record-low unemployment.


  • (september 2018) Why Dictators don't Quit.
    Arab kings ousted by republican revolutions and African dictators ousted by younger dictators used to find asylum in other countries where their wealth would guarantee them a decent old age. The shah of Iran did not risk his life when the revolution started in 1979: he simply flew to Panama and then Egypt. In 1979 Nicaragua's dictator Anastasio Somoza was ousted by the Sandinista revolution, led by current president Daniel Noriega, and he fled to Paraguay where he enjoyed a relatively nice life until the end of his days. Ferdinand Marcos left the Philippines for Hawaii, and JeanClaude Duvalier left Haiti for France. The terror years of their brutal rule were forgotten as their countries moved on to a more democratic future. Today, instead, it has become much harder for a dictator to surrender power and leave the country: there is an International Criminal Court at the Hague in the Netherlands (established in 2002) that can prosecute any former head of state. An unwanted side-effect of this court has been that dictators have no motivation to stop being dictators: they know that they will end up at the Hague, tried for many years, and sometimes incarcerated. Qaddafi and Hussein had no place to go and therefore remained in their country until the end, willing to destroy it rather than surrender. Today, Daniel Ortega has no intention of leaving Nicaragua before the end of his years and of his heirs' years, and Nicolas Maduro has no intention of leaving Venezuela. Wherever they go next, there is a strong chance that the Hague will come after them when proof of their crimes surfaces. Should Assad leave Syria, what chances does he have? He may get asylum in Russia for a few years but Putin may die or quite simply change his mind, and then Assad would be at the mergy of the International Criminal Court. What motivation does Sudan's Omar al-Bashir have to quit? He is already wanted by the court. Those who looted the national resources can't even hope to keep the loot because there are now international treaties to investigate and prosecute money laundering. It is very likely that their fortunes would be confiscated and returned to their home country. There are still several dictators (or, better, presidents for life) in Africa and Central Asia who are probably tired and would not mind retirement, but where? Where can they go without fear of being prosecuted for the crimes committed by their regimes? The new generation, like al-Sisi in Egypt and Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe, have a vested interest in creating a permanent dictatorship that will outlast them, which includes protecting the dictator who preceded them (respectively, Mubarak and Mugabe): it would be a really bad example if their predecessor ended up in jail at the Hague. The International Criminal Court was created with a good intention: to make sure that dictators don't get away with their crimes against humanity; but, indirectly, it is making it harder to get rid of dictators.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2018 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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