Monday, February 21, 2011

Striving for political and economic freedom (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Striving for political and economic freedom - Unleashed (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), Chris Berg, Feb. 15, 2011:

"No amount of positive economic reform will excuse the absence of individual liberties, widespread government harassment, arbitrary arrest, political repression, a justice system divorced from the rule of law, rampant corruption, and restrictions on freedom of expression. And nor should it. An increase in GDP is no comfort for someone who has been tortured in custody just to fill an arrest quota, or someone who is unable to report a sexual assault for fear of being seen as 'fair game' by police.

"In the same period when Egypt was rapidly [moving] up the economic freedom rankings, its ranking by Freedom House, which measures civil and political freedoms, remained stagnant. That stagnation hides hundreds of thousands of individual human traumas at the brutal hands of the state.

"Dictators can’t always have it both ways. They can’t reap the benefits of economic growth -- with their higher tax revenues and more luxuries to hand to political supporters -- and maintain complete political control at the same time. No country can be both a police state and a market paradise."

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