Thursday, August 2, 2012

What really drive economies

The Washington Post

Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Zakaria
Opinion Writer

Capitalism, not culture, drives economies

Culture is important. It is the shared historical experience of people that is reflected in institutions and practices. But culture changes. German culture in 1935 was different from 1955. Europe was once a hotbed of violent nationalism; today it is postmodern and almost pacifist. The United States was once an isolationist, agrarian republic with a deep suspicion of a standing army. Today it has half of the world’s military power.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan once observed: “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change culture and save it from itself.” That remains the wisest statement made about this complicated problem, probably too wise to ever be uttered in an American political campaign.

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