Theodore Dalrymple writes:
Many governments, not just those of undeveloped countries, have made the mistake of thinking that if rich societies are educated, educated societies must be rich, and the more educated they are the richer they will be. They have therefore expanded, more or less by fiat, the numbers of the educated in advance of the expansion of the economy in the hope that the latter will follow, as the night the day.
This is a kind of magical thinking. Another manifestation of such thinking in the Third World is a fondness for skyscrapers even where the electric supply is unreliable and where, therefore, no less suitable style of architecture could be imagined. If skyscrapers are modern, modernity is skyscrapers; and therefore if we in a backward society build some or enough of them, we shall have caught up.