- (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
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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