[ExI] are all cultures equivalent?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Apr 14 00:48:32 UTC 2009

Damien Broderick wrote:

> At 03:46 PM 4/13/2009 +1000, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>> >Economic freedom creates wealth.
>> And, in the final analysis, the efficient and productive systems shall 
>> prevail over the less efficient, less productive. So what would you 
>> say if in a few decades the wealthiest, most powerful nations are not 
>> following a pure free market economic program?

Memes can conquer all. History is rife with superior systems
that lost out.

> Actually, I'm more concerned about an orthogonal issue. Let's assume 
> that unconstrained market freedom does indeed maximize wealth especially 
> if it doesn't pay any attention to externalities, as was the case (I 
> gather) in its heyday. But does that tide of wealth really lift all 
> boats, or is the extra wealth channeled into few and fewer hands (as has 
> happened, I gather, in the last decade or more in the US)?

I would insist that if the *median* wealth is not rising,
then it should not properly be said that a system was
increasing the wealth of a society. My impression is
that the median person today is richer in real terms
than 25 years ago.


P.S. John Clark writes

 >    Can you think of anything that the Islamic culture has
 >    done since they invented the zero 800 years ago that
 >    you personally think they should be proud of?

No, the Arabs got the concept of zero from India, where it

So as to not exaggerate, however, do recall that Muslim
civilizations did far surpass totally primitive societies,
and that there were a number of scientific and technical
originations. It's only in *comparison* with other cultures,
especially the West, that their accomplishments look puny.

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