I’m trying to finish that Fareed Zakaria book and it brings up all these absolutely fascinating issues. Like, how much do you think culture affects the economic success of a society? Some people say culture is everything. Lee Kuan Yew said something to the effect of Singapore is successful because they are Chinese. That Huntington article I read a while back made a bold claim that the economic success of the U.S. can be attributed to the fact that we were led by Protestant English speakers. Had the culture been dominated by Catholic non-English speakers, we would be Quebec or Mexico or South America – significantly less economically successful. I’m not sure if he explicitly says it, but his implication is that there’s something about the cultures in which Catholicism has dominated that correlates with laziness. Bold. Maybe racist. But untrue?
Zakaria disagrees, saying that one, culture changes, and two, countries fail/succeed at different times in history, and it’s always attributed to culture, which suggests faulty reasoning. When China was not doing well economically, it was attributed to their Confucianist culture which doesn’t lend itself well to capitalism. Now it’s doing well because of it’s hard-working culture. So maybe culture doesn’t determine anything.
I dunno, culture fascinates me. As a side note, Huntington words it way more strongly than I would, but I’m slightly with him in being against bilingual education, or at least the kind that perpetuates language differences. I’m all for celebrating ethnic diversity, but at the end of the day we need to all be Americans, whatever that means. It seems like some people want a completely separate America in Spanish, hence the movements to make Spanish an official language and stuff like that. That strikes me as not being good for the country. It’s like French-speaking Quebec and how they want to secede from Canada. I dunno.
This whole Latinos becoming the biggest minority group in the U.S. fascinates me also. Like studios and networks want to reach out to them more now. I think they’ve missed the boat. It’s already been done – it’s called Telemundo and Univision. I was shocked when I was reading the LA Times a while back and about half of the top rated TV shows for the week were from Spanish speaking stations. That’s crazy.