If Saudi Arabia Reforms....
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If Saudi Arabia Reforms....

By Heraclitusstudent following x   2017 Nov 16, 11:09am 329 views   3 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/opinion/saudi-arabia-reform-islamists.html
"It took the West being heavily hit by Islamist terrorism for it to appreciate fully the measure of this menace, long camouflaged. Indeed, even as Saudi leaders were shaking hands and smiling at their Western counterparts, they were hosting preachers advocating jihad to the hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Mecca for the annual pilgrimage. Today, everyone sees through the facade better."

>See through the facade? WAT? You mean, this is not a religion of peace?
#religion
1   TwoScoopsPlissken   ignore (0)   2017 Nov 16, 11:14am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

King Salman is stepping down for reformer Crown Prince Muhammed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5089229/Saudi-Arabia-king-set-hand-crown-son.html
The pledge made over the Orb of Cofeve continues to bear fruit.
2   Strategist   ignore (1)   2017 Nov 16, 12:28pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Heraclitusstudent says
"It took the West being heavily hit by Islamist terrorism for it to appreciate fully the measure of this menace, long camouflaged. Indeed, even as Saudi leaders were shaking hands and smiling at their Western counterparts, they were hosting preachers advocating jihad to the hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Mecca for the annual pilgrimage. Today, everyone sees through the facade better."

>See through the facade? WAT? You mean, this is not a religion of peace?


I'm hopeful the changes are real. Trump seems convinced they are real. I'll go with him.
3   BayAreaObserver   ignore (1)   2017 Nov 17, 6:23am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)     quote      

Saudi Arabia’s populist temptation. In the past, political stability in Saudi Arabia rested on three separate deals: within the royal family; between the royal family and the Kingdom’s traditional elites; and between the state and the population.

The population, meanwhile, was offered economic security in exchange for loyalty – an arrangement institutionalized through a patronage network of high-paying public-sector jobs and a broad array of generous welfare benefits and consumer subsidies. As a result, more than 75% of Saudi citizens work for the state, and much of the rest of the public budget is spent on cradle-to-grave social support.

But with per capita revenue from oil exports now only $5,000 a year for Saudi Arabia’s 20 million nationals, the system has become too costly. The challenge for Prince Mohammad is to oversee a transition to a less expensive political order, while generating sufficient economic-efficiency gains to prevent the necessary adjustment from fueling instability and civil unrest.

Other autocratic regimes in the region, with larger populations and less oil – such as Iraq, Egypt, Algeria and Syria – followed a “republican strategy” that appeased the poor with various forms of patronage, and repressed economic elites. This blocked the rise of any credible opposition, at the cost of entrenching an anemic, largely informal, and consumption-based economy.

Such a Venezuela-style approach could appeal to Prince Mohammad, because its populist fervor aligns with his purges of elites and neutralization of any serious opposition. Foreign and state-controlled firms could replace the notables in delivering necessary private services. And the balance of payments could be stabilized with lower consumption and imports, particularly that of the royals and the rich.

The alternative of an authoritarian ruling coalition of traditional elites is even less attractive to Saudi Arabia’s current rulers, as it would entail lower levels of consumption for ordinary people – and thus, in all likelihood, higher levels of repression. Domestic strife is the last thing the crown prince needs.

The populist temptation promises at best an authoritarian, middle-income welfare state. Saudi Arabia would be better served by a strategy of economic and social inclusion that broadens the basis of political support by convincing all influential groups – royals, notables, and mere mortals – to view their short-term losses as an investment in the kingdom’s future.

Much More: http://www.atimes.com/saudi-arabias-populist-temptation/

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