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This was obviously written by, guess what, a British Economist, and while many points given throughout the book offer a good insight, there is a quite over-simplistic and biased approach to history dynamics, proper of classical economics, which leads to contradictions.
I read the Spanish translation so maybe the wording is a bit different, but, for example, when speaking of inclusive and exclusive institutions he equates colonial Latin American institutions with contemporary communist North Korean institutions, in a bad light and with a superficial approach, without even considering the previous colonial rule of Japan tracing back to 1876 treaties, which were largely shaped by Western influence in Japan and China. The historical truth is that, the kind of INSTITUTIONS that were forced into the "East Indies" by the British drug empire and the fathers of "freedom and democracy", were also forced by the Japanese Empire into Korea and China, and it was what ultimately led to a communist revolution. A very similar causal process than that of Cuba and pretty much every other Nation that has ever "fallen into the fangs of evil communists": western forced institutions.
What solution does he offer? Or at least, what is the reason he points out as to why these nations failed? -> "Not having western institutions". So western institutions are the cause of not having western institutions (?).
Jared Diamond offers a WAAAY more detailed approach as to the WHY of this, which for obvious reasons cannot be narrowed down to a single specific set of causes (what economists try to do all the time) since it is a multidimensional and multi-causal process involving a lot of factors. Jared Diamond offers much better arguments based not on speculation or "common sense", but on environmental biology and history.
In Why Nations Fail there are a lot of contradictions in explaining the causes of these processes, naturally, because everything is over-simplified and narrowed down to "incentives", as if individual decision or "free will" was the only determinant, or, at least, as if it was in any way more relevant than environmental pressures and subsequent biological irrational reactions in individuals. Even Buddha was able to debunk this myth 3000 years ago, and scientists from all areas keep debunking it over and over again, but the Gay Science of Economics will never listen, because it is not even a science, but rather a moral philosophy.
 

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dank

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