it's easier to tell and believe narratives about heroic individual leaders than about complex self-reinforcing political and economic systems;
Read the whole thing. It summarizes a talk by Bill Easterly. Pointer from...Easterly's co-blogger, Laura Freschi.
It is not just in the field of development that people have faith in benevolent autocrats. John Goodman's piece on Government Failure to which David Henderson alluded tries to challenge the faith that people have in benevolent autocrats running health care policy in the U.S.