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Is there any plausible reading of the DoT terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol under which they are not self-defeating?

No it's not self defeating. The checks could maybe be so non-intrusive that no significant diversion of trade would be observed. Or the diversion of trade actually happens but for a different reason ...
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Can the difference in development between India and China be explained on one of them (China) embracing free markets before the other?

The system that we call "democracy" is a Western idea. More precisely it is called the "liberal democracy" or "Western form of democracy". This idea originated in ancient ...
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Can the difference in development between India and China be explained on one of them (China) embracing free markets before the other?

You are taking things out of contexts and picking up some conditions that might determine the situation and ignoring the other ones. You compare Zimbabwe and Botswana ignoring that the second has a ...
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Can the difference in development between India and China be explained on one of them (China) embracing free markets before the other?

One of the issues with authoritarian regimes is they tend to be kleptocracies where those in power benefit, but not the majority of the population. One significant factor that holds India back is it's ...
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Does neoliberalism aka free trade across borders with necessitate/demand austerity?

No, free trade does not require austerity in government social spending. However, protectionism leads to higher consumer prices, and some governments have spent a lot of money on subsidies to keep ...
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