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Anytime you give a person group the ability to distribute necessary goods, you will organically create a patronage system.

That patronage system will out-compete other, non-patronage systems, because it will have a stronger internal power base.

There are only 2 classes of solution that work here, where “work” = “not accidentally create/enable a patronage scheme”:

1. Impose power from outside, non-locally. This is generally frowned on, as it’s basically colonialism.

2. Withhold the flow of outside aid, as this takes away the resources the local power structure is free-riding on to sustain its power base. This is also generally frowned on, as it feels like useful resources are being withheld.

Because both solutions are unacceptable, the status quo and its power structures persist.




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