Comparative Law Made Easy

One of the struggles that people organizations have is not understanding the other perspective. If you are a conservative, you refuse to learn the liberal mind. If you are a liberal, you refuse to learn the conservative mind. If you are libertarian, you refuse to learn the authoritarian mind, and so on. Most individuals score as authoritarian liberals or authoritarian conservatives on the political compass.

If you are trying to figure out governing style is most effective, it helps to look at countries that have each. Most national governments are authoritarian. A truly libertarian government, where the government does not apply force to achieve its objectives, is hard to maintain in practice. The continued battles for power between Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. is really one between two kinds of authoritarian political groups.

The advantage of authoritarian political systems is they can use force to achieve their objectives. Their government styles are quicker and more efficient. The negative of an authoritarian government is it often has extreme weaknesses. Authoritarian governments neglect and persecute the minority, ignoring the benefits that the minority can give them. When conservative authoritarians are in power, they block immigrants from entering the country, and begin a nationalistic campaign of glory with their military, fomenting wars abroad. When liberal authoritarians are in power, they place draconian regulations on commerce, which lower the economic vitality of the nation, all in the name of protecting the poor. They also impose a compromised moral system that leads to the degeneration of the personal character of the nation’s youth.

Libertarian belief systems have the advantage that they do not use force to achieve their objectives. They use persuasion and investment. An example would be Hong Kong. Hong Kong is an example of a conservative libertarian government. The Hong Kong government has China as its foundation power, but the Chinese government permits Hong Kong to have a very free trade friendly city. The result is tons of wealth and prosperity in a former little tropical fishing village. The disadvantage is Hong Kong requires an outside government to protect it militarily with force, because Hong Kong does not have a forceful government of its own. A progressive libertarian government example is India. India wants to maximize religious diversity and welfare, but does not impose force to do so. India has hundreds of languages and is the world’s largest democracy. The disadvantage is because India does not heavily impose force on its own population to make them socially progressive, some radical Muslims and Hindus sometimes hurt their neighbors in regional rebellions. India is also very poor, because the central government has low power compared to the size of its population.

Sujit Choudhry is happy to walk people through comparative law using tools such as the political compass. If you would like to contact Choudhry, you can reach him at his LinkedIn account.

Choudhry likes seeing people learning from other political systems.