The Uncolonialism

August 20, 2010

In Mark Steyn’s America Alone, he notes that relatively child-unfriendly Western nations prop themselves up to some extent through what is sometimes called “brain drain”—that is, by attracting some of the best and brightest from poorer countries to fill out the ranks of those Western nations’ doctors.  Thus the Western nations postpone the problems caused by poor birthrates and by policies that make it unattractive to go into medicine, but in so doing, they presumably further impoverish the source countries.  (Steyn: “Personally, I’ve never seen what’s so liberal and enlightened, rather than lazy and selfish, about fleecing the Third World of its doctors and engineers.”)

Elsewhere in the book, he notes that, although there were serious evils in colonialism, the British Empire also succeeded in spreading a certain amount of liberal democracy around the world.  Meanwhile, America, which I think has significantly improved on the English model of liberty and limited government, has made relatively little effort to share her salutary ideas with the rest of the world.

Perhaps the new concept of “Free Cities” could address both of these problems.  According to a piece in National Review Online, the idea would be to create, by treaty, safe zones of economic and political freedom within other countries, something like Hong Kong in China.  The idea bears some resemblance to colonies and “Free Zones”, but differs from them in important ways; while colonies and Free Zones have their dark sides, Free Cities might be a win-win-win.  Read all about it.

Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?

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