Capitalists in Cairo?
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  • Jim.

    Is it possible to see the sort of literacy, sense of vocation, hard work, initiative, scrupulous honesty, and tendency towards accumulation (rather than dissipation) of capital among the devout Muslims of Turkey as it was to see those characteristics among the devout Calvinists of the English-speaking world?

    Or are there equivalent characteristics that might allow capitalism to grow?

    You should have a little more faith in your old theses, WRM.

  • Steve

    Prof. Vali Nasr’s book “Forces of Fortune” gives a great overview of the new muslim middle class and their implications for local and international politics. The new turkish commerical classes definately have the same dedication and careful management as did other commercially sucessful groups (most of whom have not been Calvinist)

  • Charles R. Williams

    When Muslim armies conquered the middle east they were a, tiny isolated, backward military elite. They replaced corrupt, oppressive, bureaucratic elites and opened borders, bringing peace and prosperity. As the middle east gradually islamized, high culture sank into a deep hole. Sharia law, however, has always been compatible with small scale commercial activity. What changed in the 20th century was the technology that permitted the autocrats to dominate the economy to their own advantage. Autocratic gov’t is universal in islamic countries. It is now empowered to oppress. Now we come to the 21st century and new technologies that undermine autocratic governments. Who knows what will happen?

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