I am concerned about the fact that ex communist countries such as China and Russia are outgrowing the USA and the EU by a big margin. USA and EU grow at a combined rate of around 3% now rapidly falling as a result of recent financial turmoil while Russia and China are growing at a combined rate of over 7%. At that rate former communist economies double in size every decade. As the democratic West accumilates debt the former communist countries pile cash and grow faster. Watching Russia for example moving away from democracy with most Russians actually in favor of Vladimir Putin´s consolidation in power reminds us that it was not lack of freedom that brought communism down: it was lack of prosperity. Many of us were simply wrong when we thought that the fall of the Berlin Wall was about democracy. People who were leaving Soviet Russia and its satellites were not really looking for freedom, they were trying to make a decent living. At the same time as recession approaches it is sad to remember that it the main driver of Nazism was rapid economic decline. And while in the EU and in North America there´s little risk of moving away from democracy it is in the swing states of the world where we now see that given a choice between prosperity and freedom most choose prosperity. The latest example of this trend is Serbia, a country in the heart of Europe that has chosen to align itself more closely with Russia than the EU.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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