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Brahma Chellaney’s July 9 article, “Spread of democracy stalls,” makes the disturbing prediction that “economies driven by a fusion of autocratic politics and crony, state-guided capitalism could gain the upper hand.”

Yet, according to different interpretations, “a state-guided capitalism” has the best chance right now, and Chellaney’s own country, India, has done well in this regard under the stewardship of Manmohan Singh, an economist in his own right. Where regulation was negligible or insufficient, as in Britain and the United States, all hell broke loose in the financial sector.

So, can capitalism be controlled without rigid state control? No one, except of a Stalinist mind-set, wants extreme control. Autocratic politics do not simply ruin the economy; they cramp and stifle by bureaucratic decision and edict. The public welfare should be the guiding light, not the interests of a governing elite.

n.r. williams

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