Democracy within Reason: Technocratic Revolution in Mexico

Democracy within Reason: Technocratic Revolution in Mexico

Democracy within Reason: Technocratic Revolution in Mexico

Democracy within Reason: Technocratic Revolution in Mexico

Excerpt

Answers are enticing. Often it makes no difference whether an answer is right or wrong, as long as one exists. The more precise and decisive, the better; all the more so if the problem is complex. I remember my enchantment with linear programming during my first year in business school. One could enter as many variables as necessary, assign appropriate prices, choose what to maximize or minimize, write a few lines of instructions, and magically the most intricate management problem was reduced to a single quantity. The tools of modern management and economic analysis could dispel doubt, calm anxiety, and guarantee efficiency.

After my initial fascination I started wondering who chose what to maximize or minimize. As in Douglas Adams's novels, the significance of the answer "42" depends on the question. It was only after starting graduate school that I realized that power was not about producing solutions but about which questions were posed and how answers were verified. While studying the debt crisis in Latin America, for example, I read that populist policies were not viable and that proposals to share the costs of the crisis were clearly demagogic. What was important was responsibility, realistic appraisals, and truly feasible solutions. But, responsible to whom? Feasible for what? I found it difficult to accept that all these requirements coincidentally shifted most of the sacrifice toward the poor. Why would the debtor countries be so willing to take on such a burden? With all the talk of free riders in contemporary academic parlance, it struck me that the Latin American debtors behaved quite irrationally in paying their bills.

Perhaps the leaders of these countries were simply stooges of interna-

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.