Has the MSM fallen in love with Capitalism?

It seems Fareed Zakaria has. Responding to Mitt Romney's observation that some cultures keep their people in poverty, Zakaria says it's not culture but capitalism that makes for prosperity. Pointing out that Japan and China were once thought inherently backwards because of their culture, Zakaria says:

"Had Romney spent more time reading Milton Friedman, he would have realized that historically the key driver for economic growth has been the adoption of capitalism and its related institutions and policies across diverse cultures."

Milton Friedman's now a hero for a mainstream pundits like Zakaria! It's about time. Of course, it would be nice if our media types actually listened to him.

Japan and China had cultures that led them to pick the most authoritarian Western models before they tried capitalism--the first because of our military success and the second because it lucked out in inheriting British Hong Kong.

Today there is no doubt that the cultures in Islamic nations account for their continued reliance on failed political institutions. Perhaps that's an uncomfortable truth for a Muslim like Zakaria. The good news is that there are differences among the Islamic nations.

Arab nations produce next to nothing the world wants, other than oil. Excluding oil, their exports collectively are dwarfed by Finland. They defer to dictators and demagogues. Their fatalistic disposition (Inshallah) leads to a passivity, submission, and escapism. South east Asia, where their diluted Islam (more Sufi than Salafi) had a less pernicious effect, we see nations that are more willing to adopt Western free market examples. However, their crony capitalism (like Japan and China) severely limit these nations from reaching their full potential. And sadly we are starting to follow their examples.

If Zakaria drilled down and looked at the details he'd see the Islamic world going backwards into fundamentalist Islam with its inherent totalitarian disposition. After all, Islam means submission. That's the problem. To give Zakaria his due he does backtrack towards the end of his article:

"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."

Zakaria's preference for Japan and Germany as examples of change seem to leave out one important detail: WWII. Let's hope that's not his model for cultural change.

It seems Fareed Zakaria has. Responding to Mitt Romney's observation that some cultures keep their people in poverty, Zakaria says it's not culture but capitalism that makes for prosperity. Pointing out that Japan and China were once thought inherently backwards because of their culture, Zakaria says:

"Had Romney spent more time reading Milton Friedman, he would have realized that historically the key driver for economic growth has been the adoption of capitalism and its related institutions and policies across diverse cultures."

Milton Friedman's now a hero for a mainstream pundits like Zakaria! It's about time. Of course, it would be nice if our media types actually listened to him.

Japan and China had cultures that led them to pick the most authoritarian Western models before they tried capitalism--the first because of our military success and the second because it lucked out in inheriting British Hong Kong.

Today there is no doubt that the cultures in Islamic nations account for their continued reliance on failed political institutions. Perhaps that's an uncomfortable truth for a Muslim like Zakaria. The good news is that there are differences among the Islamic nations.

Arab nations produce next to nothing the world wants, other than oil. Excluding oil, their exports collectively are dwarfed by Finland. They defer to dictators and demagogues. Their fatalistic disposition (Inshallah) leads to a passivity, submission, and escapism. South east Asia, where their diluted Islam (more Sufi than Salafi) had a less pernicious effect, we see nations that are more willing to adopt Western free market examples. However, their crony capitalism (like Japan and China) severely limit these nations from reaching their full potential. And sadly we are starting to follow their examples.

If Zakaria drilled down and looked at the details he'd see the Islamic world going backwards into fundamentalist Islam with its inherent totalitarian disposition. After all, Islam means submission. That's the problem. To give Zakaria his due he does backtrack towards the end of his article:

"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."

Zakaria's preference for Japan and Germany as examples of change seem to leave out one important detail: WWII. Let's hope that's not his model for cultural change.

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