Monday, June 28, 2010

The Poverty of the Third World

“Schoeck exposes the disadvantages many cultures impose on those who would otherwise be innovative and productive. The ubiquitous fear of envy destroys economic incentive, for anyone who receives what his neighbors do not have makes himself vulnerable. This is not an environment that fosters innovation. Agricultural improvements come at a glacial pace, confined to the limits set by the fear of envy. Such are the reasons that lead to Bauer’s conclusion that economic development “requires modernization of the mind.” It requires, that is, changes that are cultural and therefore religious in nature, not those that are primarily technical.” (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, p. 71).

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