Governments in Transition Moving toward democracy from the right and the left Authoritarianism • Authoritarian implies: of, relating to, or favoring a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people (Franco’s Spain may be one example). And Totalitarianism • As a political system, authoritarianism is antidemocratic in that political power is concentrated in a leader or small elite not constitutionally responsible to those governed. It differs from totalitarianism in that authoritarian governments usually lack a guiding ideology, tolerate some pluralism in social organization, lack the power to mobilize the whole population in pursuit of national goals, and exercise their power within relatively predictable limits. (The USSR) We will concentrate on Authoritarian Left Wing Systems • Especially the former USSR and “Soviet-type” Eastern and Central European Countries and the Balkans. What is Communism? • AThe State owns and controls thethe system of government in which means of and controls the state plans production and distribution. economy, and a single, often authoritarian, government holds It is a state-driven form of social power, claiming to make progress engineering through economics. toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people. Cadres So, the public administration is overtly politicized, and is rewarded for loyalty. As the • system such a The “administration” of tolerates no opposition, they are also system is generally referred to as the part of the “Control “Cadre” system. Structure” • A cadre is a tightly knit group of zealots who are active in advancing the interests of a revolutionary party (which, under Marxism-Leninism, Communism is) Transition • Former Communist states are receiving a lot of “help” from us in making their transition to democracy. • We concentrate on the political and economic systems, and tend to forget about the public administration. • But this is what the public sees and deals with on a daily basis. It delivers democracy. Provenance, again Can I help • You cannot reform something you do not fully understand. you? • The bureaucracy of the Communist system is too easily seen as just a machine carrying out orders. But, the system gives it several characteristics that must be recognized and dealt with. Remember this • In a transition, you inherit the bureaucracy intact, and you had better understand how it works, how it was chosen, and what it thinks its role is. • First, let’s summarize the system that created the bureaucracy. Communism • It is based on a monopoly of political power, and monopolistic control of economic assets. • It takes over the functions of supply, demand, market and price. • Since it owns and controls the means of production and distribution, it needs to make all the decisions otherwise made by the market. • This requires everything to be planned, and centrally-planned at that. The fight against corruption is one of the biggest Accountability challenges facing • former Communist The only accountability is to the states. (Georgia) Party, not the people • Therefore, loyalty is greatly prized, and loyal (rather than necessarily capable) people are promoted. • Loyalty is also part of the control function. • Monopoly brings power and power provides the basis for corruption. Other Market Factors • There is, within these non-Market economy systems, no unemployment because jobs are created for reasons other than the need of the market. • Prices are totally controlled and, again, bear no relation to supply and demand except through the functioning of the “Black Market.” Incentives? • There is no monetary incentive system, so the “rewards” have to come through some sort of social recognition. • The “Black Market” brought more tangible rewards. Perspective • Hobbesian World View preventing exploitation of labor by capital, and the welfare of the individual is through the welfare of the state. The state is supreme in all things. • It is “perfect” thus no need for opposition (reactionary elements). Change is evil. Under threat from Capitalism, so ever vigilant (totalitarian control). Why Did Communism Fail? • Not accountable, so impersonal • Monopolistic, so potential for corruption, and miserable quality • Loyalty replaces ability • Obsession with dogma and procedures • Almost totally centralized, remote. • Rightness of system leads to cynical posturing—alienation of people • Stresses conformity and procedures Problems for Transition 1 • The inherited bureaucracy has been selected and advanced for all the things we just mentioned, most of which were overtly undemocratic • Putting the fox in charge of the henhouse • Democracy stresses local government, the cadre system was totally centralized Problems for Transition 2 • Obstructionism was important because it created the barriers that provided the opportunity for corruption. Nobody expects the bureaucracy to facilitate anything. • The system was totally politicized, and now has to be depoliticized, even though it was selected for its loyalty to the former system. • The issue of psychosis. Technical Assistance • Transition countries have looked for “models” to follow. Poland took France. • Technical Assistance always totally ignores the political dimension, stressing “SPEA-type” skills which make a bad system more efficiently bad. • People obstructive because their sources for milking the system are being dried up. Reform 1 • New basis of training and education for the “next generation” of bureaucrats. • Problem: salaries in the private sector are much lower. • The Transition countries should share experiences with each other as well as with the “West.” Reform 2 • You could not indict the entire civil service as being corrupted, mainly because there was no other civil service to replace it. • You could declare the former system bad and acknowledge that there are good people in it. • Set professional standards and give everyone a set time to match these standards.
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