What kind of political system produces the most World Cup winners?

Social democracy delivers more championships than the juntas — six in all. And even the worst social democratic teams — Belgium, Finland — win more consistently than their authoritarian peers. To understand this success, one must understand the essence of the social democratic economy. Social democracies take root in heavily industrialized societies, and this is a great blessing.

No country has won the World Cup without having a substantial industrial base. This base supplies a vast urban proletariat, which in turn supplies players for a team. Industrial economies also produce great wealth, which funds competitive domestic leagues that improve social democratic players by subjecting them to day-to-day competition of the highest quality. And, while the junta mindset nicely transposes itself to the pitch, the social democratic ethos is a far neater match. Social democracy celebrates individualism, while relentlessly patting itself on the back for its sense of solidarity — a coherent team with room for stars.

After 17 World Cups, we now can answer this vital question: What kind of governments produce winning soccer teams?” by Franklin Foer, Canada.com, June 9, 2006

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