Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Nigeria recruits Zimbabwe farmers
A group of white farmers expelled from their land in Zimbabwe reach a deal to start farming in Nigeria.

One reason historians give for Europe's technological and intellectual advances over the rest of the world is its political fragmentation.

If a local ruler decided he didn't want Jewish or Protestant businessmen in his lands, they could go somewhere nearby. This didn't work in, for example, China.

During Japan's period of isolation, firearms were regulated almost out of existence. It became almost impossible for soldiers to get them. (See _Giving up the gun: Japan's reversion to the sword, 1543-1879_. Noel Perrin. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1979. ISBN: 0816130108.) No part of Western or Central Europe was isolated enough for this to be workable. And if the local ruler wasn't keeping up with the latest military technology, unfriendly neighbors would be only too happy to bring it to his attention.

Perhaps Africa's current political fragmentation can also serve the cause of progress?
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