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      From that post:

      Some Righties talk about the idea of a post-political world — the idea that a system with less citizen input, on the continuum from Singapore to monarchy or neocameralism — would be more stable. But in a world without elections, there would still be shifts in power. It’s just that the mechanisms by which power shifts wouldn’t have occasional moments of relative transparency.

      So, reflecting on that, I agree with his premises – that mechanisms by which power shifts happen would have less transparency. But I disagree with his conclusion. It’s not clear to me that autocratic states are inherently less stable than democracies. Yes, autocratic states crumble (as we saw in the Arab Spring revolutions). But democracies crumble and collapse as well. Russia was fairly democratic in the ’90s before collapsing into Putinist autocracy. Thailand had a fairly robust democracy before it was locked down by a military junta. Turkey and Pakistan have flipped between military rule and democratic governance multiple times.

      And on the flip side, dictatorial China, despite all its internal problems, actually appears to be a more responsive state to its citizens than democratic India. While Delhi still has the worst air pollution in the world, the Communist Party has quietly cleaned up Beijing, in response to citizen unrest.

      I think, up until a certain point, competence matters more than representation. As it turns out, people don’t really care by what mechanism the government listens to their needs, as long as it implements policies that improve their daily lives. The hypothesis is that once an economy has fully industrialized, it’s impossible for government to be appropriately responsive to all the diverse interests of the country without democratizing. But the continued existence of autocratic China makes me doubt that theory more and more with each passing day.

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