GRE RC Select Many SAMPLE QUESTIONS-3

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RC Passage

When Deng Xiaoping died a few months ago, the Chinese leadership barely paused for a moment before getting on with the business of governing the country. Contrast that with the chaotic contortions on India's political stage during the past month, and it is easy to conclude that democracy and democratic freedoms are serious obstacles to economic progress. When the Chinese leadership wants a power plant to be set up, it just goes ahead. No fears of protracted litigation, of environmental protests or of lobbying by interested parties. It is not held to ransom by striking truckers or air traffic controllers. Certainly there is much that is alluring about an enlightened dictatorship. But there the trouble begins. First, there is no guarantee that a dictatorship will be an enlightened one. Myanmar has been ruled by a dictator for decades and no one would claim that it is better off than Bangladesh which has itself suffered long stretches of dictatorship. Nor can Mobuto Sese Seko, much in the news these days, be described as enlightened by any reckoning. The people of Israel, almost the only democracy in a region where dictatorships (unenlightened ones) are the norm, are much better than their neighbors. Second, dictatorships can easily reverse policies. China was socialist as long as Mao Zedong was around. When Deng Xiaoping took over in what was essentially a palace coup, he took the country in the opposite direction. There is little to ensure that the process will not be repeated. In India such drastic reversals are unlikely.

Directions: Consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.

1. Which of the following provides evidence in support of the claim that democracy hinders economic progress?

  • A. 'In India such drastic reversals are unlikely'
  • B. 'Certainly there is much that is alluring about an enlightened dictatorship'
  • C. 'It is not held to ransom by striking truckers or air traffic controllers'
  • D. 'Dictatorships can easily reverse policies'
  • E. 'No fears of protracted litigation'
Answer

The correct answers are C and E.

The author discusses two main issues with reference to a dictatorship. The first one deals with how enlightened a dictatorship is and the second issue deals with how a dictator can easily bend rules. Options A and D refer to sentences that address the second issue being discussed with reference to dictatorships and democracies. They are not related to the claim that democracy hinders economic progress and hence, A and D are both incorrect. B simply refers to the fact that there are certain aspects of an enlightened dictatorship that make it better than a democracy, but it does nothing to support the claim in question and hence, B is incorrect. C and E clearly bring out how a democratic leadership can be blackmailed into taking certain steps by people who are protesting in different ways. This obviously is a hindrance to economic progress and hence, C and E provide the necessary evidence and both C and E are the correct answers to the question asked.

2. In the context in which it has been used in the passage, 'enlightened' can be best described as

  • A. uncivilized
  • B. liberal
  • C. acquaint
  • D. to shed light upon
  • E. moderate
Answer

The correct answers are B and E.

The general meaning of the term, 'enlighten' is to shed light upon or to educate someone about something. In certain contexts, 'enlighten' can also be used to mean educated, liberal or civilized. The author has used the term 'enlightened' to refer to a dictatorship that is moderate, liberal and civilized with no aspects of tyranny and despotism. In view of the above, it is evident that B and E are the correct answers.

3. According to the author Israel

  • A. has neighbouring countries with tyrannical leaders in most of them
  • B. has a more peaceful and happy society as compared to its neighbouring countries
  • C. belongs to a region where countries with dictatorships are much better than their neighbours
  • D. is a troubled democracy
  • E. is threatened by its neighbours
Answer

The correct answers are A and B.

The author describes Israel as a democracy which happens to be the only democracy in a region where dictatorships are the norm. In other words, most of the countries neighbouring Israel are ruled by dictators. The author also brings out that these dictatorships are unenlightened ones which means that the dictators are tyrannical and oppressive. The people of Israel have been described by the author as being better off as compared to their neighbours. Nowhere in the passage has the author referred to the relation of Israel with its neighbours. In view of the above, it is obvious that C, D and E are all incorrect and A and B are the correct answers.

4. The author mentions the death of Deng Xiaoping in order to

  • A. exemplify how events taking place in neighbouring countries affect India
  • B. highlight the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship
  • C. illustrate how the Chinese government functions
  • D. describe the merits of a democracy
  • E. highlight the demerits of a dictatorship
Answer

The correct answers are B and C.

The passage begins on the note that the death of Deng Xiaoping did not make the Chinese leadership halt in their functioning and this has been indicated as a sign of economic progress. Therefore, E is incorrect. This situation is contrasted with that prevalent in India for the past month in respect of the time in which this passage has been written. Therefore, D is also incorrect. It has been clearly brought out that Deng Xiaoping died a few months ago. It is obvious that the situation in India is due to some other internal events taking place in the country. These events have not been directly referred to by the author, but it clear that the situation in India is not related to the death of the Chinese leader. Therefore, A is clearly incorrect and B and C are the correct answers.

5. Based on the content of the given passage, it can be concluded that

  • A. in a dictatorship, the leader can change the rules at his will
  • B. not all dictators are tyrannical and authoritarian
  • C. Mobuto Sese Seko is a despotic leader
  • D. Dictatorships are always better than democracies
  • E. Democracies are always better than dictatorships
Answer

The correct answers are A, B and C.

Options A, B and C refer to valid conclusions that can be based on the contents of the given passage. The end of the passage clearly brings out how dictators can reverse policies and hence, A is correct. The author has mentioned the existence of enlightened dictatorships during the course of the passage and this implies that B is correct. D and E are referring to all forms of dictatorships and not the enlightened dictatorships alone and hence, D and E are incorrect. The author has brought out that Mobuto Sese Seko cannot be described as an enlightened leader at all. This means that C is correct. Therefore, options A, B and C are the correct answers.

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