Culture: Persistence and Evolution

Lambert here: We’ve discussed cultural change as a prerequisite for political and economic change, so a discussion of the rate of change for different cultural traits – for example, attitudes toward redistribution ˆ– is germane.

Francesco Giavazzi, Professor of Economics, Bocconi University; and Research Fellow, CEPR, Ivan Petkov, Ph.D. student in Economics, Boston College, and Fabio Schiantarelli, Professor of Economics, Boston College and Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). Originally published at VoxEU.

Are a person’s values and beliefs persistent, or do they evolve – possibly rather quickly – in response to the economic and institutional environment? This is a central question, for instance, if one is interested in assessing the likelihood of success of reforms that change rules within a country. Are such reforms doomed because a country’s culture cannot be changed, or can they succeed because they can change cultural attitudes by altering incentives, and if so, over what time horizon? It is also a central issue in forecasting and assessing the changes associated with significant immigration flows – for instance, how will the cultural and social make-up of the receiving country be affected, and what are the challenges posed for policymaking?

Evidence on the dynamics of culture

One way to gather evidence on the dynamics of culture is to study the behaviour of immigrants once they move to a new country – in our case, European immigrants to the US. Immigrants provide a useful laboratory for the study of the evolution of values and beliefs because their cultural attitudes are likely to bear the mark of the country from which they, their parents, or their grandparents emigrated, but are also influenced by their exposure to US society and its political and economic institutions – often very different from those of their country of origin. They thus provide an interesting quasi-experiment for the effect on cultural attitudes of a change in the economic and social environment.

In the literature there are two views on this question.

  • One argues that values and beliefs are deeply rooted in the country or ethnic group to which a person belongs and evolve very slowly over time (e.g. Guiso, Sapienza, and Zingales 2006, Roland 2004).
  • The other holds that cultural attitudes can change rather quickly in response to changes in economic incentives and opportunities, in technology, and in institutions (e.g. Fehr 2009, Gruber and Hungerman 2008).

Both views of culture (slow- versus fast-moving) have truth in them, in the sense that while some cultural traits certainly go back to the distant past and affect today’s economic and institutional outcomes, it is also true that values and beliefs (‘culture’) evolve in response to changes in technology, economic environment, and in political institutions. These changes can affect attitudes not in historical time, but in the space of a few years or few generations.

In Giavazzi, Petkov, and Schiantarelli (2014), we have investigated empirically the speed of evolution (or lack thereof) of a large number of cultural attitudes about religion, family, gender, sexuality, cooperation, redistribution, etc. – distinguishing between first, second, third, and fourth (or higher) generations of European immigrants to the US. The focus on European immigrants is largely imposed on us by the availability of sufficient data for multiple generations distinguished by country of origin. We use data contained in 21 waves (although the exact number varies across attitudes) of the General Social Survey collected between the end of the 1970s and 2012.

‘Epidemiological’ approach to the analysis of culture

Relying on the experience of descendants of immigrants from various countries of ancestry who live in the same country – in order to assess the effect of culture on economic or other social outcomes – is often referred to as the ‘epidemiological’ approach to the analysis of culture. Just like epidemiologists try to distinguish the effect of genetic and environmental factors as causes of a disease, similarly economists have used the experience of immigrants to a country to separate the effect of pre-existent beliefs and values from the effect of the technological and institutional environment.

There is indeed a vast and interesting literature that focuses on the experience of immigrants to analyse the dynamics of culture and its effects on outcomes. However, most existing contributions focus on the persistence of cultural traits for second-generation immigrants and on their effect on economic and social outcomes. We go beyond the second generation and show that this leads one to a richer and more nuanced conclusion on the evolution of attitudes.

We measure the speed of convergence of cultural traits over multiple generations in several ways. We first compute the evolution over generations of the standard deviation of each attitude across countries (sigma convergence) and test the equality of country-generation effects. We argue, however, that the number of countries of origin whose immigrants’ descendants have converged towards the dominant norm is more informative. More specifically, we focus on the proportion of countries whose immigrants’ descendants, by generation two or four, have cut at least in half the distance from the norm observed in generation one. We also conduct robustness tests allowing for a stricter or looser criterion.

Key findings

Our paper has three main findings.

  • First, we provide evidence of heterogeneity across cultural traits in the speed with which they evolve across generations.

Some are very persistent – for instance, deep individual religious values (as reflected in the answers to the questions regarding belief in life after death, frequency of prayer, approval of prayer in public schools), some family and moral values (ease of divorce, obedience of a child as an important quality, access to abortion for any reason, views of homosexuality), and general political views. As a result of such persistence, values of fourth or higher generation immigrants still bear the imprint of their ancestors who migrated to the US many decades earlier, and have not converged yet to the prevailing US norm.

Others, such as attitudes towards cooperation (the trustworthiness, fairness, and helpfulness of others), the importance of effort for one’s success, cultural attitudes towards redistribution, children’s independence, premarital sex, and access to abortion – with restrictions – converge rather quickly, as successive generations adapt to the norms of the new society in which they live. The same relatively fast convergence is observed for the frequency of attendance to religious services and the intensity of affiliation with one’s religion. The former reflects the social dimension of the religious experience and the latter its role in defining identity. Interestingly, they both differ from the personal religious values mentioned above.

Finally, results concerning the speed of convergence of cultural attitudes towards women’s role outside the home are mixed, with attitudes towards women in the workplace converging faster than those related to general women’s role in society.

  • Second, time since the original immigration of the ancestors matters – results obtained studying higher-generation immigrants differ from those obtained from analyses limited to the second generation.

Thus, finding that the attitudes of second-generation immigrants still closely reflect those of the country of origin, does not imply per se that attitudes are very persistent. Actually, limiting the analysis to the second generation would bias the results in favour of the conclusion that cultural attitudes are persistent, while many of them display substantial and often significant further evolution from the second to the fourth generation.

  • Third, we find that persistence is ‘culture-specific’ in the sense that the country from which one’s ancestors came matters in defining the pattern of integration (or lack of) with respect to a specific cultural trait.

Moreover, the strength of the family in each country of ancestry, the ease or difficulty in learning English for its immigrants, and the degree of residential segregation are important determinants of the speed with which cultural traits evolve through generations.

‘Vertical’ vs. ‘horizontal’ cultural transmission

Our empirical evidence can be looked at through the lens of the theoretical literature that studies the evolution of culture. A fundamental distinction in those models is between ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ transmission of values and beliefs (see Bisin and Verdier 2011).

  • Vertical transmission denotes transmission within the family – its intensity may be purposefully chosen by parents, and tends to induce persistence.
  • Horizontal transmission refers to the mechanism through which values and beliefs are transmitted via social interactions with peers or with adults external to the family, responding to incentives such as the net reward from adopting a dominant trait, and thus may change more rapidly.

We find that the attitudes that converge more quickly across generations are those for which horizontal transmission is likely to be more important, while those for which differences tend to persist are those for which transmission within the family is likely to be comparatively more effective.

Our paper also has a bearing for the economic and sociological literature that analyses the cultural and social integration of immigrants. For the US, the fundamental and long-debated question is whether the ‘melting pot’ metaphor is accurate or needs revisiting. The implication of our results is that the melting pot was certainly at work for European immigrants for many cultural traits and beliefs. However, descendants of immigrants from different countries of ancestry have maintained over several generations a degree of cultural distinctiveness along some other traits. Thus, the temperature in the melting pot was hot, but not uniform throughout.

Concluding remarks

One must be very cautious in transporting these results through time or space. What they suggest, however, is that the differential speed of evolution of different cultural traits, their evolution over multiple generations, and for different countries of ancestry (and receiving countries) are issues that certainly deserve further investigation.

References

Bisin, Alberto and Thierry Verdier (2011), “The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization”, in Jess Benhabib, Alberto Bisin, and Matthew O Jackson (eds.), Handbook of Social Economics, Vol. 1A, Amsterdam: North-Holland: 339–416.

Fehr, Ernst (2009), “On the Economics and Biology of Trust”, Journal of the European Economic Association, 7(2–3): 235–266.

Giavazzi, Francesco, Ivan Petkov, and Fabio Schiantarelli (2014), “Culture: Persistence and Evolution”, NBER Working Paper 20174.

Gruber, Jonathan and Daniel M Hungerman (2008), “The Church Versus the Mall: What Happens When Religion Faces Increased Secular Competition?”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123(2): 831–862.

Guiso, Luigi, Paola Sapienza, and Luigi Zingales (2006), “Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20(2): 23–48.

Roland, Gerard (2004), “Understanding Institutional Change: Fast-Moving and Slow- Moving Institutions”, Studies in Comparative International Development, 38(4): 109– 131.

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About Lambert Strether

Lambert Strether has been blogging, managing online communities, and doing system administration 24/7 since 2003, in Drupal and WordPress. Besides political economy and the political scene, he blogs about rhetoric, software engineering, permaculture, history, literature, local politics, international travel, food, and fixing stuff around the house. The nom de plume “Lambert Strether” comes from Henry James’s The Ambassadors: “Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.” You can follow him on Twitter at @lambertstrether. http://www.correntewire.com

17 comments

  1. Keith Ackermann

    I think there might be a category error here. The question is posed: “… if one is interested in assessing the likelihood of success of reforms that change rules within a country. Are such reforms doomed because a country’s culture cannot be changed…”

    But then the study primarily focuses on the individual in vertical and horizontal transmissions. A country’s culture and an individual’s culture are completely different.

    There’s no general “box” for this stuff. A family emigrating from Italy to Boston’s North End and another one emigrating to Orlando will probably experience significantly different cultural shifts.

    Heck, a family with liberal views on raising their children vs one with a father who rules with a strap will probably see a significant change in their generational cultural shifts.

  2. John

    Discussion appears to need a bit of refinement. Perhaps stick to a specific social norm like politics ? Do we see a melting there? Obviously, there is loads of data to back a study.

  3. Swedish Lex

    Very interesting.

    Atheism/agnosticism is rising slowly in the U.S. although fast among younger people. Compared to the situation 150 years ago and from there to the dawn of humanity, atheism/agnosticism has exploded however. 23% of Swedes believe there is some kind fo God. This particular meme does indeed take time to evolve.

    As regards the willingness of immigrants to maintain certain cultural traits; I wonder to what degree “an original sin” contributes to maintain a cultural divide, for instance as regards African Americans and Native Americans in the U.S. Or second or third génération of immigrants to France from former French colonies in Africa; the French wanted them as long as they were good business but has since been unable to create cultural living space for these category of the populuation withing the Republic, which, as we know, is supposed to be run under the principles of liberté, égalité and fraternité. Reality is quite different, France, deep down, remains xenophoic (and also homophobic), unable to free itself from its medieval shackles. Ironic that the enlightenment was partially born here.

    1. Keith Ackermann

      I think clan interests often top self interest. The Nazis rarely moderated their consideration of Jews based on economics, the same as businesses in the Deep South refused Black customers.

      I do think economic interests, though, are one of the strongest cultural moderators.

  4. Skeptic

    I met a young man the other day. He has a wife and two very young children. He was dressed in a Boston Red Sox Official Shirt, Boston Red Sox Official Hat and, mirabile dictu, on his right arm, a Boston Red Sox Tattoo. Don’t know if the Tattoo was official or not, was afraid to ask. He described to me in wondrous terms having seen the actual World Series Cup. He is one of the millions of Americans, men and women, who are slaves of the American Sportz Kulture. I will suggest that when you tattoo yourself with a corporate brand that indicates pretty extreme cultural influence.

    As a humble non-academic, it would be my observation that the Kulture generated by the Info/Reality/Sportz Industrial Complex is evolving faster than the academics can measure it. They also seem oblivious to it.

    Take thee out to the Ballgame, Professors!

    1. Banger

      I think the sports-fan Sportz Kulture is a very powerful force and, at the same time, is largely meaningless. People must have a mythical (more important than conceptual) framework to live in even if it is obviously bogus. It is like thumb-sucking–a substitute for real meaning. For many men the world of sports gives them a chance to touch an enchanted world of magic that they wouldn’t allow themselves to indulge in otherwise. For example, in the world of paganism and spirituality of all kinds men are relatively rare since spirituality is culturally identified as weak and effeminate–compassion, for example, is seen in male culture as a deficit and not a virtue. And, in the end, it is competition that forms the basis of male culture–you see this most dramatically at the top of the power-pyramid–most of these people (including the women) are in the game not for riches (other than a way to keep score) but for the competition.

      1. Vatch

        Is big time sports culture largely meaningless? It should be, but it isn’t. During the later Roman Empire (and the Byzantine successor empire), political parties were closely associated with teams of chariot racers. From Wikipedia:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nika_riots#Background

        The ancient Roman and Byzantine empires had well-developed associations, known as demes, which supported the different factions (or teams) under which competitors in certain sporting events competed; this was particularly true of chariot racing. There were four major factional teams of chariot racing, differentiated by the colour of the uniform in which they competed; the colours were also worn by their supporters. These were the Blues, the Reds, the Greens, and the Whites, although by the Byzantine era the only teams with any influence were the Blues and Greens. Emperor Justinian I was a supporter of the Blues.

        The team associations had become a focus for various social and political issues for which the general Byzantine population lacked other forms of outlet. They combined aspects of street gangs and political parties, taking positions on current issues, notably theological problems (a cause of massive, often violent argument in the fifth and sixth centuries) or claimants to the throne. They frequently tried to affect the policy of the emperors by shouting political demands between the races. The imperial forces and guards in the city could not keep order without the cooperation of the circus factions which were in turn backed by the aristocratic families of the city; this included some families who believed they had a more rightful claim to the throne than Justinian.

        More recently, the riot and murderous arson in Odessa in early May were closely associated with the festivities surrounding a soccer football match.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_May_2014_Odessa_clashes

        A rally at 14:00 for national unity was held in Sobornaya Square by about 1,500 people, including many FC Chornomorets Odesa and FC Metalist Kharkiv fans, along with some right-wing Right Sector members, and many ordinary people. Joint marches among the sports fans are a regular tradition before all football matches in the area.

        During the Cold War and in Germany in 1936, the Olympic Games had great political significance.

  5. Lafayette

    ARISTOCRACY REDUX

    whereas others – such as attitudes towards cooperation and redistribution – change more quickly

    Anybody want to have a relook at Godfather I, the part where we see a mafioso gunned down in the middle of a religious parade?

    I think that sums it up well, immigrants bring with them cultural values that remain largely throughout the first American born generation – except when they are obliged to change. No Italian-American was obliged to become a crook, but the social forces of a new country where “money is the be-all and the end-all of everything” urges them to get rich, and get rich quick.

    Not only, but the Wealth Game is open to all who try – because the Tax Code is so lax, and Gating Factors exist but are largely reduced to chance. Overnight success is not an oddity.

    The European difference is that the hierarchy was well established since very long by nobility, and reinforced by the church in cahoots with that nobility often for considerably long periods of time. After all, the rule of Divine Right was not made in heaven but in the minds of men who wanted to maintain control at all costs upon the land which provided the agricultural riches that were an economic bedrock, and a rather ignorant serfdom that mostly worked the land.

    None of that aristocracy existed in America, so it had to forge its own. Which it did in rather quick fashion by transiting from the Agricultural Age to the Industrial Age in the latter half of the 19th century. Great fortunes were made, and the infamous manipulation of politics was born. Gerrymandering has existed since that time.

    Which is still very much alive and well to this day.

    We may no longer have a psychopantic aristocracy surrounding an hereditary King or Queen, but if there is any difference today between the T-Party benefactors (like the Koch Bros and their ilk) and European aristocracy then I fail to see it. Perhaps there is no declared “King” of America, but a duly elected PotUS every four years fills the bill well enough.

    All that need be is the ability to influence elections sufficiently that they become manipulable – then make it very well known that the status-quo of the present Tax Code must not be altered and the Trickle-up Economy in place not change its course. That’s child’s play in a democracy specifically designed to obviate the concentration of governance in any one branch (Executive, Legislative, or Judicial).

    Thus, the power-brokers employ their ill-got gains to time-wise guaranty the continuance of their disreputable gains – and the rest of us peons can take a long walk off a short pier …

    1. hunkerdown

      The Constitution serves the same function as the Crown (to whom the soldier, in particular, owes allegiance), and the ~550 people whose seats it names are functionally a monarch-by-committee. Which has worked out about as well as one might expect it would.

  6. Working Class Nero

    This is a very complex subject and there are many reasons for which I would find it hard to make such a study. One problematic assumption seems to be that the various groups of European immigrants practice endogamy (only marrying within their ethnic group). For a generation or two there may be such a trend but intermarriage (exogamy) is pretty much the norm among descendants of European immigrants who in the end are all a bunch of mutts who can list off about ten different ethnic groups they descend from.

    One other issue would be social class. Different social classes have different political interests. For example if we were to assume a distinct ethnic group of European immigrants that managed to maintain some sort of imperfect tribal identity, despite serious exogamous pressures, the political outlook of this group may very well change as their social-economic position evolved. So for example if the first and second generations were poor and housed in urban tenements then it would seem likely they would tend towards a more socialist outlook. But if they were to as a group generally rise (obviously not all will rise to the same levels) in social economic status then we would expect to see a general evolution in their political outlook towards for example a much more capitalist-friendly (and redistribution-phobic) mode. Or if the fortunes of the group were strongly split (with some factions rising and the others staying put on the social economic scale) we would expect an ideological split as well among the members of this group.

    It is always interesting to reverse things and look at how American / First world immigrants act in their new countries. Luckily with the current surge of globalization we have often the phenomenon of bourgeois immigration where in the US and Europe where there are pockets of well-educated, internationally oriented workers who have switched countries. Most commentary on immigration focuses on the low-skill variety. But one difference between say high and low-skill immigration is that high-skill immigrants insist on their children become proficient in the parent’s language as well as of course mastering the new local language. In the old days in the US at least, new immigrants were encouraged to not speak their old country language at home and to instead switch to English. Living in Brussels, I know plenty of high-skill immigrant families who although they are quite fluent in it, forbid French at home and their kids are required to only speak the old language with their parents and siblings. And sometimes this means two “old” languages, since the mother and father are quite often from different countries. And I have several colleagues in the US from European backgrounds that insist their children speak the old language at home and take special classes to learn to write it as well. The key here though it that quite often these kids are fairly bright and so their multi-lingual status is not a handicap at all (as is sometimes thought to be the case with low-skill immigrants); they are frequently among the best in their classes in the local languages at school as well. But in terms of actual cultural transmission, it is hard for me to see much of that happening. The bourgeois immigrant kids I see don’t really reflect many (if any) of the cultural stereotypes associated with their home countries.

    On the other hand in low-skill immigrant families, on the condition that there are living in a relatively integrated manner) although the first generation may barely learn the local language, generally the second generation only acquires verbal skills (enough to communicate with their parents) and are often ashamed of the old foreign language. By the time the third generation roles around the old language is typically lost. It will be interesting to see what happens to the trans-national bourgeois immigrants. The one example I know of is a second generation American who is perfectly fluent and without an accent in American English (his American mother always spoke to him in English) but he speaks French with his kids (since it was the language of his schooling). His third generation kids have also lost the home language (although because it is English they will have to eventually learn it). My second generation immigrant son insists he will speak French to his kids, even if he ends up living in America as he mentions sometimes. So in the case of European and American immigrants, maybe it is not all that different between high and low skill immigrants in terms of long-term language and cultural retention. In the end by the third generation the descendants of immigrants will reflect the values and ideologies of the local social classes they inhabit.

    But we have to accept that in general American and European culture is fairly similar and assimilation occurs naturally and so these types of studies are going to be pretty limited. Where strong cultural clashes occur is when dissimilar cultures mix with a large enough number of a specific immigrant group to allow integration to slow down. For example in Sweden it was announced that many cases of female genital mutilation were recently discovered among “new Swedish” schoolgirls. And so the far more interesting study will be to look at these types of cases where there is so much cultural difference that immigrants are not assimilated. Differences, and therefore, perceived and real injustices appear and an “identity” is created to help create resistance to the dominant culture. Do the future generations tend towards accepting the dominant culture or do they create an artificial, cartoonish version of the old culture in order to stake out their cultural differences? Will third generation Muslims in Sweden be mutilating their little girls at the same rate as the initial generation? To me these are the more interesting questions.

  7. Skeptic

    I met a young man the other day. He has a wife and two very young children. He was dressed in a Boston Red Sox Official Shirt, Boston Red Sox Official Hat and, mirabile dictu, on his right arm, a Boston Red Sox Tattoo. Don’t know if the Tattoo was official or not, was afraid to ask. He described to me in wondrous terms having seen the actual World Series Cup. He is one of the millions of Americans, men and women, who are slaves of the American Sportz Kulture. I will suggest that when you tattoo yourself with a corporate brand that indicates pretty extreme cultural influence.

    As a humble non-academic, it would be my observation that the Kulture generated by the Info/Reality/Sportz Industrial Complex is evolving faster than the academics can measure it. They also seem oblivious to it.

    Take thee out to the Ballgame, Professors!

  8. hunkerdown

    [A]ttitudes towards cooperation (the trustworthiness, fairness, and helpfulness of others), the importance of effort for one’s success, cultural attitudes towards redistribution, children’s independence, premarital sex, and access to abortion – with restrictions – converge rather quickly, as successive generations adapt to the norms of the new society in which they live.

    Each of these matters have been the subject of moral panics induced by the political classes within the past generation or two (or three, if you count the Red scare) and of particular positions incorporated into political identity.

    Whereas these:

    deep individual religious values (as reflected in the answers to the questions regarding belief in life after death, frequency of prayer, approval of prayer in public schools), some family and moral values (ease of divorce, obedience of a child as an important quality, access to abortion for any reason, views of homosexuality), and general political views.

    have not been causes seriously advanced by the party duopoly, perhaps too personal, perhaps not saleable.

    I suggest that such fast convergence may be due in whole or part to their regular exploitation as planks in identity politics and to their pervasive appearance in popular messaging (at no small cost).

  9. Alejandro

    Where do ‘we’ distinguish between a desire to perpetuate mythologies and an authentic desire for truth and understanding? How can ‘we’ recognize when “academia” has been integrated to make the “magnificent myth” seem ‘magnifecenter’ or the “Noble Lie” seem ‘nobler’? One thing ‘we’ do know is that both myth and truth are propagated through repetition. It seems to me that the challenge we face is re-claiming and permeating the promise of enlightenment, while challenging the ethos of esoteric exclusivity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

    “If there is something you know, communicate it. If there is something you don’t know, search for it.”- Encyclopédie

  10. impermanence

    “Are a person’s values and beliefs persistent, or do they evolve – possibly rather quickly – in response to the economic and institutional environment?”

    It is this kind of question that makes people believe that economics is total bullshit.

  11. Jim

    One thing that is exciting about discussing the role of culture in politics is that this perspective often ends up challenging the economic reductionism inherent within tradition left/Marxist/neo-Marxist outlooks as well as a similar logic of economic reductionism (the supreme importance of the market economy) inherent in neo-liberalism.

    A careful consideration of the nature of culture and human consciousness may, in fact, reveal that global capitalism finally ends up being as much of a mirage as global communism.

    Is there a fundamental cultural dimension to living in a nation state?

    Is U.S. nationalism a form of consciousness, as argued by Liah Greenfeld, which consists of secularism, egalitarianism and popular sovereignty?

    Do these three dimension of nationalism affect the formation of individual identity in the U.S.?

    Do these features of nationalism in the United States place the individual in charge of his destiny, making him the ultimate authority in choosing his/her destiny?

    Is there a psychological price to pay (depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia) for living in a nationalist culture like the U.S.?

    Does the culture of nationalism have something to do with the inability of our culture to provide individuals with cultural direction?

    Is the malformation of the mind a function of the nation?

    It capitalism a function of nationalism?

  12. Tim Mason

    However interesting these results may be, they do not capture what happens when forces of social change hit a whole population, regardless of their origin. For example, attitudes towards homosexuality have changed immensely over the last fifty years, both in the USA and in Western Europe. And in those areas of Africa where FGM is a current practice, we see movements arising against it that are driven from within, rather than being propulsed by colonialist forces. And while patriarchy remains entrenched the world over, it has been greatly fragilized since the late sixties – to the extent that it frenziedly over-reacts.

    These are changes in what one might consider the deep, intimate self and its relationships. And they have occurred in the space of a blink.

  13. The Dork of Cork

    Multiculturalism = failure.
    However we must never forget that from the high priests viewpoint failure is success.
    It needs to replace deep spiritual bonds with gross materialism.
    Therefore if or when you get a chronic lack of purchasing power the failure becomes manifest.

    A one Desmond Fennell charted the replacement of a essentially Christian culture in Ireland during the 1980s when the liberal progressives gained total control of the doctrine of faith in his classic book “Nice People & Rednecks (Ironic title)
    Now the banking system has simply registered the losses apparent in the system after the total implosion of the previous society.
    The old residents that are now of no economic value (now the only value) must be replaced and are being replaced by a external population that has a different set of belief systems that can be more easily moulded.
    Needless to say this is the second time this has happened in the islands history.

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