Hernando de Soto on the Entrepreneurial Roots of the Arab Spring


Writing in The Financial Times, Hernando de Soto highlights the entrepreneurial frustrations at the root of the Arab uprising:

A few weeks ago I met Salem, the younger brother of the brave Tunisian fruit vendor [Tarek Mohamed Bouazizi] whose self-imolation triggered the Arab uprising. When I asked him what his brother in heaven would say if we asked what he hoped his sacrifice would bring to the Arab World, Salem did not hesitate: "That the poor also have the right to buy and sell."…

In the wake of the overthrow of three autocrats, not enough credit has been given to the mighty consensus that triggered the uprising—the desire of a vast, underclass of people to work in a legal market economy. In the culturally diverse Middle East and north Africa, the one common thread is its informal economy. This is the key to future growth and indeed stability.

As is his forté, De Soto describes in detail the arbitrary barriers that prevent micro-entrepreneurs like Bouazizi from legally engaging in peaceful exchange.

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the link.]

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  1. are frequently used by libertarian city-STATISTS to restrict the free movements of peoples about land. They need the state to keep people off of their “private” property.
    Officer, am I free to gambol about forest and plane?

    1. White Indian’s Property Manifesto.


      If you require a State protect your property “rights,” it’s very likely because your property is illegitimate, and needs the force of naked aggression to take and keep.


      White Indian embraces property, legitimate property, as human have for hundreds of thousands of years.

      What’s the difference?

      ? Legitimate property is the stuff one needs to survive or personally enjoy, honored for hundreds of thousands of years by humans living in Non-State sociopolitical typography.

      ? Statist-enforced abstract ownership of Earth’s resources well beyond what an “owner” can personally use or enjoy.


      Libertarians justify property as the things and resources that are necessary to human *survival.* Examples are as follows:

      ? …if he must use and transform material natural objects in order to survive, then he has the right to own [property]… ~Murray Rothbard

      ? [Property] Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. ~Ayn Rand


      The bait-and-switch chicanery that capitalists/libertarians engage in follows:

      ? BAIT: I need to own some things on earth as property that I need to *survive* (or would enjoy personally.)

      ? SWITCH: I need government to protect my “right” to own vast amounts of resources, *well beyond* what would ever be needed for a person to survive or enjoy.


      ? How do the 1% need 40% of the wealth to survive (or personally enjoy?)

      ? How do the 10% need 85% of the wealth to survive (or personally enjoy?)

    2. Officer, am I free to gambol about forest and plane

      1. …and contact New York Center on 128.17.

        1. accidentally gamboled right into the world trade center

  2. White Indian describes in detail the arbitrary barriers that prevent Non-State society bands and Tribes like the Haudenosaunee from legally engaging in peaceful gathering.

  3. Pixelated diarrhea. Banhammer. Etc.

    1. WI legitimately beats anything R.C.Dean can offer in the realm of ideas, and runs to Washington D.C. Reason mommy dearest for help.

      Just like a fucking capitalist to be able to outcompete an Injun on a level playing field without big gun firepower.

      1. But it isn’t whining when we do it!

  4. OT:…

    Shithead cops are shitheads

    1. On Topic: The Arab Spring entrepreneurs have been taken over by the Koran thumpers with guns.

  5. “That the poor also have the right to buy and sell.”

    Anyone else hear Mel Brooks’ voice when you read that?

    Good luck to those prosperity loving entrepreneurs from System D. Unfortunately, I’d bet on Africa before the ME.

  6. OK, I give up. Can someone please explain the “gambol” meme to me? Or at least point me to a URL where I can begin to piece together the explanation on my own?

    1. We have been under a low-tech DDoS attack for the last month or so, attempting to make the threads so full of stupidity that no one posts any longer. “Gambol” is something the ACORN/Soros-funded anarchoprimitivist sockpuppet chants. It handle-hops constantly.

      Please don’t respond to it and maybe it won’t be profitable enough for her to continue to spam-troll the board.

      1. For one reason:

        Reason commenters will steal the name if I use it.

        Guess what? You can have it.

        Ya’ll have given me the private incentive to use the “name” as an post heading.

        ~White Indian

        P.S. I think the paranoia bullshit is funny. I’m just a former reason subscriber who figured out the free market bullshit was a not-so-free fraud.

      2. We have been under a low-tech DDoS attack for the last month or so

        the ACORN/Soros-funded anarchoprimitivist sockpuppet

        Paranoia: not just for leftists anymore.

    2. Don’t, just don’t…

    3. I think it started in this thread:…..cotti-park

      this is the phrase that seemed to set it off:

      Thomas Hobbes famously noted that in the SON life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” because everyone was at war with everyone else. Jean Jacques Rousseau thought that Hobbes was full of it because, in his view, SON was a lost Eden where noble savages full of natural goodness roamed the bountiful earth free and happy.

      I think the contention was that the noble savages did not roam but in fact “gamboled on the bountiful earth free and happy.”

      note: SON = State of Nature

      1. Rather and her now verified alter ego white Indian have taken the meme and ran with it.

        1. ran with it.

          the 3 inch spear head embedded in my hip wonders if she ran or did she saunter?

          The spear tips hope that it was a saunter…all that dimpled flab quaking accross the bountiful plain turns its stomach.

          1. At least you’re not melted into the pavement.

        2. How/when/where was it verified?

          1. I did today when I read this:

            are frequently used by libertarian city-STATISTS to restrict the free movements of peoples about land. They need the state to keep people off of their “private” property.
            Officer, am I free to gambol about forest and plane?

            This is clearly Rather and unmistakeably her writing voice.

      2. You thought wrong. The gamboling has been going on for weeks now.

        1. Where?

          Link or it did not happen.

    4. Rectal, aka rather, is determined to destroy this place and has been spamming/DoSing it relentlessly as herself and as White Indian. See her blog for a terrifying example of malevolent insanity.

      1. Christian Fundamentalist (as well as Islamic Fundamentalist) conjure the same bullshit, thinking unbelievers are empowered by Satan.

    5. White Indian is a poser who pretends to want to return to a hunter-gatherer existence. He sees work as a form of enslavement which supposedly did not exist prior to it being forced upon primitive man by the agricultural state. He wishes to be “free to gambol through forest and plain.” By his own writing he seems to think while “gamboling” he will stumble upon golden glades untouched by man’s defiling hand filled with smoke-roasted bacon-covered pork loins stuffed with tapenade.

      I offered him the chance to go to a very large piece of land out west and try out living there. He didn’t even begin to consider it. Immediately attacked the very part of the land which would be of best use to him. No curiosity. No inquiry. Nothing. He’s just funny or sad or both, that’s up to your attitude. But he doesn’t care to take even one tentative baby step toward his supposed dream.

      1. Even the “very large” pieces of land have been cleared of hunter-gatherers, and you know it.

        Your offer is either a fraud, or completely stupid. Likely, knowing Libertarians, plenty of both.

        But you’re making the fraudulent offer so you can dismiss the very real challenge I offer to your philosophy apologizing for the city-STATE, and you cannot even begin to meet.

  7. Why don’t Arabs strap dynamite to themselves and blow up their oppressors?

    This is a serious question. Why isn’t this tactic being used in Syria/Egypt/Libya?

    1. Apparently, it only works on Jews.

      1. Is it because Jews actually care that youths blow themselves up? and tyrannical dictators don’t so therefor the tactic would be useless against them?

      2. Didn’t they do it to each other in Iraq in the ongoing competing mosque rivalry?

    2. Capitalists tend to not resort to violence against others. The Arabs that strap dynamite to themselves and kill others are the ones who want to make the government more oppressive. They don’t target Syria or Saudi Arabia, because those countries brutally retaliate against terrorism. Hezbollah attacked many targets in Lebanon a few years ago until they won the political concessions they were looking for.

  8. Yes, but what do Ponce de Leon and Fransisco Pizzaro have to say on the subject?

    1. I like De Soto.

      — De Soto? What did he do?

      Discovered the Mississippi.

      — Yeah, like they wouldn’t have found that anyway.

      1. Plus, he had a cool car.

  9. OT:…


    Ever met a weirder cop?

    1. Yes. Back in the early ’80s I used to get stopped on US Route 1 every Sunday afternoon after work. Officer Lovelady (real name) wanted to know why I was driving there. Then he would ask to search my car, I would say no (10 boring paragraphs omitted) and after something short of an hour I would get to go home.
      That kept happening until I complained. Then I couldn’t change lanes in that town without getting a ticket until I sold that bright yellow car.

  10. It’s Springtime for Assad and Syria.

  11. Ain’t no such word as fort?. In fact, you can even pronounce “forte” as “fort”. You’re welcome.

  12. It’s amazing how this site always misses the obvious – the Islamism.

    And in Egypt, it was a military coup

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