The Culture Club

Not all cultures are equally conducive to progress.

Issue: Spring 2006

In the early 1960s, when I started my career in development assistance, the experts were convinced that tyranny, poverty and social injustice could be successfully combated by a combination of decolonization, good policies, and the financial, technical and moral support of the advanced democracies. Democracy and capitalism, many thought, were rooted in human nature, and all that was necessary was to remove the "artificial" obstacles to progress created by colonial powers, irresponsible and greedy oligarchies, and incompetent politicians, economists and administrators.

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