Developing Countries into Democracies: Is it Beneficial?

If a developing nation is rioting to get the attention of its government it is most likely due to political, economic, and social tensions. Riots tend to fight for social equality, more benefits and services, or a change in fiscal or monetary policies. Chiapas is a small sovereign state, which is one of the 32 federal entities in Mexico. This story starts in La Reiladad in 1974. From 1974 to today, there has been unsettled peace in the region. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, there has been growing tensions between indigenous people and subsistence farmers. This revolution started in one of the poorest regions in the country, La Reiladad. In La Reiladad, it is statistically proven that one in five kids die from curable diseases, which gives a relatively good representation of the life standards in that city. The revolution started because the ruling party decided to stop giving land to the farmers working on it. The revolution happened on January 1st, 1994, the day Mexican officials were celebrating the implementation of NAFTA. In the eyes of the officials this treaty was meant to extend tariff-free, cheap labor, strong border-industry in all of Mexico and extend relations with the US. NAFTA held another important role, which is to continue the “liberal” pro-imperialist program of President Salinas, which would drive the country into more corruption. Sadly, to the eyes of the Mexicans, it meant to subordinate them to imperialist capital. In response, a revolution led by the Zapatista Army of National Liberalization (rural indigenous people) demanding cultural, social, and land reforms broke out. This caused for political and social unrest due to a division of power between the Zapatistas and the government rule. The political unrest has caused for foreign investors to leave the country, indigenous people still continue to live under harsh standards, and the marginalization of the indigenous population. Therefore, how can a government transition into a more liberal democratic nation while attending to its people’s needs? When transition causes no change in the living standards, analysts must ask why. In many developing nations, transition is met with corruption. Governments have an incentive to become globalized to increase the growth of their economies. In some cases, globalization only intends to increase the growth of the nation and profit only a small percentage of the population causing for no change in the development and the exploitation of workers within a nation. Every country has different goals for globalization and supranational entities, corrupt constitution or system, and low levels of development and growth can affect these goals. Although globalization is believed to benefit developing countries, it is not hard to see that many developing nations end up using globalization to deepen their roots of corruption, while developed nations use globalization to exploit goods and services from developing nations.

The cycle of a revolution is as follows; first, the nation realizes that the old regime is causing for society to be in disequilibrium. Second, the first stages of revolution occur through a series of events showing dissatisfaction, which is met by a failure by the government to restore authority. Thirdly, a new government starts forming, executing former leaders, which causes a struggle of power between the moderates and radicals. Fourth, the struggle of power will continue and extremists will attempt to access power in the government through acts of violence. Finally, the government gradually re-establishes a new equilibrium to return to normalcy under the protection of the “people’s man.” In a case like Chiapas the revolution happened to a new change in policy. Due to Mexico’s close relations with the US, it is under pressure to remain a democracy. Although the government feels that a democracy is the best fit for the nation, the people feel that they would benefit more from a social government. This can cause a conflict of interest to developing nations. A developing nation takes it as a priority to increase growth and increase trade and exports to more developed nations, which allows supranational entities and developed nations to control government and market policies.

Therefore, it is important to analyze whether a democracy is beneficial to a developing nation. Some of the benefits of democracy are that it promotes equality. It gives individuals the right to participate in social, political, and economic policies. Democracy also offers a feeling of obligation towards its citizens, authorities must respect their citizens’ needs if they wish to continue being elected. On the other hand, democracy can instigate corruption, cause for distrust, and authorities are not held accountable after elections. In developing nations where education is lacking, elections can be heavily leaning towards an incompatible candid. Democracy allows for authorities to implement policies for economic growth, such as privatizing the market. In many developing nations, this gives access to authorities to funnel some of the money from the economy for their personal needs.

Therefore, it is important to note all factors of government, economy, and society to denote whether a democracy is the best fit for a nation or not. It is important to also note that although democracy focuses on growth, in some nations this idea of growth can cause inequality and decrease their development rate. Whether a democracy is beneficial or not, it depends on the nations goals and intentions.

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