Arnold Kling  

Greg Clark and Jane Jacobs

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Competitive Government... Beating the Dead Horses...

Wolfgang Kasper weaves them together in an interesting essay.


Anyone who has spent only a few days working in different cultures will realise how influential and pervasive these differing attitudes are. During three days’ work, say, in Shanghai, you will have had several discussions about moral principles and been asked numerous times for advice. During three days in Nairobi or Lima, you will have been informed repeatedly by the privileged that they expect donors to provide aid and that the condition of the country is the consequence of colonialism; you can also expect to come across some dishonest double-dealing. And everywhere you will probably observe some hair-raising maltreatment of machinery.

Note in particular his table 1, in which he extracts from Jacobs the list of cultural attitudes that goes with Malthusian societies and the list that goes with commercial societies.


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CATEGORIES: Economic History



COMMENTS (2 to date)

I had this discussions with several Africans. It seemed to be primarily the Francophone Africans who complained about colonialism. I and several Anglophone Africans argued that it's time to stop blaming colonialism (and stop reading Franz Fanon) and to take responsibility for the situation as it is now. There are many African dictators who are using colonialism to excuse the situation that they have put their own countries in. Only when people stop blaming others -- even then the blame is just -- will they be able to be on the road to improvement. That is true of any individual, group, or country.

reason writes:

This is a horrific misuse of Jane Jacobs Systems of Survival which was dealing with moral systems that are part of the same society and which people in sophisticated societies can swith between.

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