So nice to see observations I’ve been making for years now finally gaining some traction.
“If the differences between a tribal society and a modern state were purely cultural, it should be easy to modernize a tribal society by importing Western institutions. American experience in Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan generally suggests otherwise.” [Page 241.]
The British left their African territories with parliaments, universities, and judges in horsehair wigs; tribalism, corruption, and Big Man despotism took over almost immediately.
Cambodian students in Paris took the silly but harmless abstractions of Left Bank theorizing back to their now-independent country and made the killing fields.
Again and again Wade contrasts the speed of cultural change—Germans and Japanese switching from militarism to pacifism well-nigh overnight—to the comparatively slow changes in genetically shaped behaviors.
“The Malay, Thai, or Indonesian populations who have prosperous Chinese populations in their midst might envy the Chinese success but are strangely unable to copy it. People are highly imitative, and if Chinese business success were purely cultural, everyone should find it easy to adopt the same methods. This is not the case because social behavior, of Chinese and others, is genetically shaped. [Page 237.]”