In which Nauru and Tuvalu are the most moral nations in the world

[17:30 This post has been edited slightly since a number of errors of fact and thought were pointed out to me.] Ever since the coup in Mali a few weeks ago I’ve been waiting for my thoughts to crystallise into something coherent that I could post.  As it is, things have changed a little and now I suddenly have far too much to say. The initial Communist President of Mali, Modibo Keïta, was overthrown in 1968 by a military coup headed by Moussa Traoré.  Traoré then stayed in charge, consolidating power around himself while the economy collapsed in slow motion.  … Continue reading In which Nauru and Tuvalu are the most moral nations in the world

The Lessons of Nauru

The Pacific island of Nauru is among the most unknown countries in the world.  This is hardly surprising – it is the fourth-smallest territory in the world (ahead of only Tokelau, Gibraltar, Monaco, and the Vatican), and there are fewer ethnic Nauruans than there are Oxford undergraduates.  But, for a time, Nauru had the highest GDP per capita in the world, and the slow decline from the financial orgy of the 1970s and 80s to its current state as a virtual province of Australia contains some fairly frightful omens for the future of other such rentier states. Nauru is (or … Continue reading The Lessons of Nauru