The Fatal Conceit of Foreign Intervention
AbstractThe fatal conceit is the assumption that the world can be shaped according to human desires. This paper argues that the logic of the fatal conceit can be applied to foreign interventions which go beyond the limits of what can be rationally constructed by reason alone. In suffering from the fatal conceit, these interventions are characterized by: (1) the realization that intentions do not equal results, (2) a reliance on top-down planning, (3) the view of development as a technological issue, (4) a reliance on bureaucracy over markets, and (5) the primacy of collectivism over individualism. These characteristics explain why interventions extending beyond the limits of what can be rationally constructed tend to fail.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 09-06.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
fatal conceit; foreign aid; foreign intervention; rational constructivism;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B53 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Austrian
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
- P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-12-19 (All new papers)
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