Liberal Government for “Backward” States:
Is Only Dictatorship Practical?
“Mandamus and certiorari are flowers of paradise, and the whole length and breadth of Pakistan is not wide enough to confine their perfume. If, in England, judges can stretch certiorari even to a rate inspector’s assessment, we who are less conservative in interpretation and are often faced with a situation more fraught with political vicissitudes will have to go much farther.”- Z. H. Lari, President of the Karachi Bar Association (Manchester Guardian, December 13, 1958).
THE flight of the underdeveloped countries from liberal government has become a rout. Another period of disillusion, perhaps the last, is upon Americans of good will and liberal sympathies. The great hope that liberalism would evolve among the unorganized, ill-educated, and impoverished peoples of the underdeveloped areas can now be seen as one more failure of the well-meaning mind to cope with, or even recognize, the brutal forces at work in those areas. Whose fault was it? That of the United States for not spending enough money, and not insisting on the necessity of liberal government to the backward peoples? (But that would have smacked of imperialism.) Or is it simply that mobs are impossible material for liberal ways? . . . Except in Latin America (perverse as always), dictatorships are rising fast everywhere. Burma, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, the Sudan, are the most notable converts. Other states-like Ceylon-seem on the edge of either dictatorship or chaos. The liberal was not only wrong; he was one hundred per cent wrong. The expected progress from authoritarian to liberal politics did not take place; instead, most of the underdeveloped states started out with liberal politics (or at least aspirations) and moved to authoritarian politics. It is the end of an era, the beginning of a black night, etc., etc.
About the Author