Democracies or Dictators?

From The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria:

“In the Middle East… when the region was ruled in a relatively lax and decentralized manner under the Ottoman Empire, trade, commerce, and innovation flourished…, but in the twentieth centry… dictatorships brought economic and political stagnation.”

This brief quote is a great analogy of the power of freedom over totalitarianism that challenges us as leaders.  Are we more democratic or dictatorial?

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Showing 4 comments
  • Mark Nicholson

    Hmmmm, the Ottoman Empire itself bought about interesting challenges…..one only has to read through the history books to see that. Trade and commerce may have flourished but at what cost?

  • Eric Bryant

    Perhaps the Ottoman Empire isn’t the best example of democracy. 🙂

    At least, Zakaria is trying to make the point that even the Ottoman Empire allowed more freedoms than the more recent totalitarian regimes.

    I guess we could say something like: If even a bit of freedom under the Ottoman Empire generated innovations and creativity, how much would come from even more freedom?

  • brian miller

    intriguing thought…is there merit in only one or is their a third way that includes elements of each. do the circumstances of a situation require the strengths of one over the other? i guess have something to think on today..thanks eric!

    brian miller’s last blog post..Hazard

  • Eric Bryant

    I like the third way as well. Democracy is misused at times. I like strong leadership throughout the organization with those with the most responsibility at the bottom of the organization.

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