Culture & The Wealth of Nations

Alexis Tocqueville’s understanding of how a vast North American frontier was to shield and induce American exceptionalism isn’t studied in today’s Universities, those overpaid laboratories of social engineering have long since abandoned the classical insight of the informing relation between national character, growth and geography in favor of a dreary positivism.  For anyone whose travelled far outside western civilization, the invite to rediscover the synoptic vision of the founders statesmanship is daunting.

Today we find numerous tenured radicals exposing what Arnold Toynbee articulated with refined grace and panache, namely cultural irritants that stimulate growth.

Israel stands as the premiere example of how Judeo-Christian ideas of liberty and reason liberate the human person from the atavism of the tribe. Israel alone throughout the near east illustrates the primacy of civilizing culture. With absolutely no natural resources, surrounded by militant enemies with billion dollar petrodollar budgets, Israel alone stands in stark contrast to the failed autocracies that dominant Islamic civilization.

Just walk throughout its cities and the quotidian, the mundane is shaped to invite the very social habits that foster thriving citizenship. The positive voluntary associations, the high respect afforded both education and labor, the British inspired meritocratic principle of equality before the law, the transparency that fosters both criticism and innovation. All are missing from a strident Islamic rise.

“The Wealth & Poverty of Nations” is an audacious report inviting the very requisite insight needed to reform the sons of Ishmael.

Not even the enormous influx of petrodollars can change the cultural intransigence as witnessed throughout the Arab world. Instead, what’s required is liberty shaped from within the invitation that is globalization.

Given our impending election and the expectation of domestic reform, we should not forget that entire regions of the world are politically hapless and in need of stern leadership. We here at Lumaj Group can’t expect a domestic consensus for an Arab Marshall Plan, but Americans have never shrunk from the most formidable challenges confronting both ourselves and the international order.

It’s time.


About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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