Friday, February 12, 2010

Forces of Fortune by Vali Nasr

I know the West complaints a lot about the poverty we have. We, supposedly, have people who do not have enough money to buy food; hence, we have food banks. But these same people probably also have a big screen TV at home. What we really lack is the will to use our money better. We do have money. We spend incredible amounts on Welfare and such even though we have little to show for it.

We still have poor. We have families in the fourth generation on Welfare. Nothing has changed for these families. They are still poor, or still behave poor. However, on a whole world scale, even our poorest are far better off that most of the rest of the world. We should not put up any objections to the rest of the world getting a better living standard. They are not taking anything away from us.

Our world is very unequal when it comes to living standards. So, I think it is great that India, China, and South America are now using capitalism and mercantilism to improve their people’s lots in life. I know that it is probably politically incorrect to mention it, but we had the rise of the bourgeoisie before democracy. It was the Industrial Revolution, the rise of the middle classes and then the rise of democracy, (with Individual Freedoms and the Rule of Law). We in the West do not know our history.

The West has been very unsuccessful in trying to impose democracy on peoples and countries. This has not worked at all. It seems to mainly lead to corruption and things like election fraud. This author is not the only one to point this out. See books by Paul Collier of Bottom Billion and Wars, Guns and Votes, that I have also reviewed.

This brings us back to the Middle East, the Muslims and this book. We have been unable to impose democracy in this area also. What this author thinks we should do is support the rise of the middle class in the Arab world and things will turn out better for them and for us. The full title of this book is Forces of Fortune - the rise of the new Muslim middle class and what it will mean for our world.

Vali Reza Nasr is an Iranian-American academic and scholar, as well as Professor of International Politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University. He is on Wikipedia. For a book review see Council for Foreign Relations website. See also National public Radio for an interview. See him on YouTube.

On my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See Nasr. Also, this book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Book Reviews.

This blog is meant for educational purposes only, and is not to provide investment advice. Before making any investment decision, you should always do your own research or consult an investment professional. See my website at for a list of the stocks for which I have put up spreadsheets. Also, look at other investing notes on my website at Follow me on twitter.

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