In his classic 1776 book, the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, sometimes regarded as the founder of modern economics, argued that each individual, motivated by the pursuit of his own self interests, contributes to the public interest in a system that is self-regulating. Even as far back as then Smith was broad-minded enough to recognize that culture and moral sentiments had a role in the behavior of people. To affirm this, John Stuart Mill writing 70 years, stated that's cultural constraints on individuals could have a stronger impact on them than the pursuit of personal financial gain. Indeed the Western world long understood that culture or way of life of the people determined how their economy would be run and therefore how successful the economy would be. Every student of economics in the West learns the history of Western thought and it helps to shape his or her understanding of the original positions that have shaped the nature of economics in the Western world. Indeed Max Weber, the German social scientist writing in the early 20th century, provided strong insights into how cultural or even religious values could impact on economic output. Through his discussions along with those from others it became paramount for society to pursue and value hard work because this was the pathway to increased wealth. Indeed this seemed correct in those days as Protestants were seen to be more productive than Catholics throughout Europe. The evidence was found in significant disparities in output and income between Germany and Great Britain, on the one hand, compared to Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain on the other hand. So any lessons for Nigeria and the rest of Africa? If you look carefully around you may observe that even within countries, certain ethnic groups in general seem to be wealthier than others. Indeed, as we started earlier in our quick view, Yale Law Prof. Amy Chua, in her book â€śWorld On Fire,â€ť asserts that Chinese Filipinos comprise 1 percent of the population but control 60 percent of the economy. It seems clear that cultures that promote creativity, individualism, innovations and hard work will on average amass more wealth than those that don't. Original African cultures may have turned to dust, but their ashes are still useful and can be built upon for a much stronger Africa. I see Africa rising up to do this. I am Magnus Kpakol, and that's my view.
Posted: Jul 26th, 2017 @ 02:13:40 AM