Mongolia has been making great strides in democratization, and it looks ready to embark on a bold experience in land privatization. I’m a big fan of Hernando de Soto, so this strikes me as marvelous news. Nabetz at New Mongols isn’t as optimistic.:
The question of land-privatization is not a new one in Mongolia. David Sneath addressed the question from a historical perspective in a draft paper called "Notions of Rights over Land and the History of Mongolian Pastoralism" (2000). In this paper, Sneath speaks of historic and traditional Mongolian ideas of land ownership and their development and points out how land reform in the form of privatization has historically been met with strenuous opposition from herders. The emphasis of his article eventually becomes Inner Mongolia. Eventually, he concludes that the story of private ownership in Inner Mongolia (China) should warn us that market liberalism and land privatization (1) does not square with Mongolian sentiments with regard to land and (2) will ultimately cause environmental degradation (case in point, Inner Mongolia) because of the constraints that it places on traditional herding and grazing practices.
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Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.
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July 12th, 2005 at 4:06 am
Don’t get me wrong. The whole article should indicate that I’m cautiously optimistic. I was just presenting Sneath’s arguments (the paragraph you quoted) as a bit of background.
Some more of my thoughts on the topic can be found in another post on the same head at http://newmongols.blogspot.com/2005/07/land-privatization-2.html, where I talk about the idea of homesteading as a route to land privatization in Mongolia.
Any objections I have to land privatization in Mongolia is strictly emotional. For the long run, I think there’s no other option. Privatization it is.
July 12th, 2005 at 4:08 am
The link above was misformated (the final comma was fatal). it should be