By 2014, some thirty years after we began publishing our work and conducting reforms at home and abroad, we were under the impression that we had been quite successful in convincing most leaders in both developing and former Soviet Union nations on the importance of property rights for growth and peace. Around 40 Heads of State have called upon us, dozens have at least partially implemented our programs, and four international organizations have officially adopted our programs (e.g., Doing Business at the International Financial Corporation, Titling and Anti-corruption at the World Bank, Legal Empowerment for the Poor at the United Nations, and Opportunities for the Majority at the Inter-American Development Bank).
Despite all of this apparent success, we have been unable to break out of the ghetto that walls in “development economics” and as a result of this we have not been able to break into western-run mainstream economics where we can give it the attention, validation, and the funding required for us to be an indispensable ingredient to growth. Our main barrier is that Westerners generally take property rights and capital for granted and have not yet fully realized what it takes to develop these two institutions in countries where these are not available to the majority.
This Western indifference has serious consequences: It dampens the enthusiasm among the convinced, and stimulates active resistance among those who oppose property rights in developing and former Soviet countries. Despite finding conclusive evidence that proves badly designed property systems, which lead to a lack of credit and capital, are at the root of most conflicts, we cannot change the fact that the rich and powerful are not interested in changing the system that benefits them.
That is why beginning the second semester of 2014, we decided to focus on three specific research and advocacy programs that are not only good projects on their own but are also tailored to show Westerners that what underpins all successful political and economic systems in the world is the “hidden order” that property rights networks produce. These are illustrated in the following research and advocacy programs: the Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Property Rights Project, the Capital Project, and the MENA Growth and Victory Project.