Why Nations Fail: Ideologija in razvoj

Zadnjič sem se v postu Zakaj bo Slovenija bankrotirala? navezal na eno izmed argumentacij Darona Acemogluja in Jamesa Robinsona v čudoviti knjigi “Why Nations Fail“. Acemoglu in Robinson dinamiko razvoja držav razlagata z institucijami, ki so lahko inkluzivne ali ekstraktivne, spodbujajo ali zavirajo razvoj. Pri tem korenine ekstraktivnih institucij razlagata z (ne)uspešnostjo kolonialnih strategij. Ker mnogi knjige zelo verjetno ne boste kupili (kar je sicer škoda), lahko na spletni strani knjige spremljate nekaj diskusij obeh avtorjev o posameznih determinantah divergentnega razvoja držav. Da vas spodbudim k branju in razmišljanju, bom v prihodnje dal nekaj povezav na meni zanimivejše teme. Denimo, ali lahko ideologija vpliva na gospodarski razvoj?

Veliko je anekdotične evidence o tem, da lahko napačne ideje oziroma ideologija (denimo marksizem) vpliva na dolgoročni razvoj držav. Toda ali lahko res? Acemoglu in Robinson pravita, da ne:

Rodrik similarly argues that many policies and arrangements should be understood as outcomes of mistaken theories rather than consequences of some powerful groups to mold them for their interests. Interestingly, his view is not that dissimilar from Anne Krueger’s but with one difference: the sign is reversed!

When we were students, almost every undergraduate textbook contrasted the efficient way that markets allocate resources to the massive inefficiency associated with central planning, usually in the Soviet case.

But why on earth did the Soviet Union adopt such inefficient system? Textbooks usually resort to ideas and ideology as the explanation.

Pa je bilo centralno planiranje posledica maksistične ideologije? Ne, centralno planiranje je bilo značilno za mnoge države ali skupnosti v zgodovini, denimo v Grčiji v bronasti dobi, andski imperij Tawantinsuyu itd. Centralno planiranje ni mehanizem za učinkovito gospodarjenje (alokacijo resursov), ampak – kot pravita Acemoglu in Robinson – učinkovit mehanizem nadzora:

Essentially central planning is not about the efficient allocation of economic resources, it is about control.

Central planning maximizes the extent of control that the state, and the people running the state, exercise. The desire to control others is a constant in history and is part and parcel of the construction of states. If the state can grab all the land and resources and control who and on what terms people get access to them, then this maximizes control, even if it sacrifices economic efficiency.

This sort of economic and political control — not Marxist ideology — is what central planning is all about. This is not to deny that Marxist ideology supported and legitimized central planning in several 20th-century societies. But it is to emphasize that the emergence and persistence of central planning is often a solution to the central economic and political problem of many elites: to control and extract resources from society.

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