Why Nations Fail by James Robinson & Daron Acemoglu

wHistory lessons are so important as in that you have all the information that you require to know the answers on situation today and most likely indications on the future of human race, countries and people. Authors of this magnificent work have put in herculean amount of work to sift through enormous data and bring its readers a holistic perspective on why nations fail. They ask a very simple question – do they fail because of weather patterns, politicians, natural calamities, religion or race? 

Authors dissect each of those reasons for progress and failures of nations and end up pinpointing political setup. At the end of it all, does that country have extractive institutions – the one that believe in extracting money from its people and make its few elite rich or does it have inclusive institutions who believe in making commoners new rich and general progress of the country. The answers that you will get in this book will astound you and it will not surprise you why some nations are the way they are – rich or poor – progressive or regressive. 

Venice, jewel of Italy, has been turned into museum but if we go back in history all the wonders that you see in Venice is due to inclusive institutions that were created around the 12th century. They followed real democracy where each and every individual in the state had an equal chance of becoming a part of council who in turn decided what policies will be followed for trade. This made Venice prosperous and beautiful – what we can see today. Another example of is of US and Mexico border where one can see immense development on US side while there is little or no development on Mexican side. This is due to their political set up which believed in taking away from people but never giving anything in return. An example of which is that they changed 50 presidents in the 18th century in a short span of 35 years. Political instability and indecision led to this deplorable situation. This and many other examples are given in the book to reiterate the explanation for why some nations fail where other succeed. Happy reading !

 

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