Culture Matters

As unacceptable as the notion is to many in a relativistic age, culture is a--if not the--determining factor in the economic progress of countries.

Issue: Summer 2000

The decades-old war on poverty and authoritarianism in the poor
countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America has produced more
disappointment and frustration than it has victories. The deprivation
and despair that prevailed in the mid-twentieth century persist in
most of these countries, even a decade after capitalism's ideological
triumph over socialism. Where democratically elected chiefs of state
have displaced traditional authoritarian regimes, a pattern most
notable in Latin America, the experiments are fragile, and
"democracy" often means little more than periodic elections.

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