The statement “only democracy leads to development” seems untrue. It is a fact that many developed countries are democratic. However, their development cannot be attributed only to their democratic system. Most of the Western countries’ success stories are presented to prove the necessary link between development and democracy. Nevertheless, in doing so, the proponents of democracy overlook other factors responsible for the development of the West. Western European states, for example, had been colonial powers in the past. They overexploited their colonies. Through this looted wealth, they developed infrastructure and dynamic institutions needed for development. Another factor also proves this claim is ill-founded. Several Asian countries, including Singapore, China, South Korea, and Thailand attained development without democracy. Even Lee You Kuwana, Singapore’s charismatic leader, used to consider it anathema to development. In Lee Kuan Yew’s words,
“democracy is an obstacle to economic success”
Author: Rana Amir Iqbal
-Writer’s view may not necessarily reflect views of the Moderate Thoughts Research Center.