The past is malleable and flexible, changing as our recollection interprets and re-explains what has happened.
So I think one can say on empirical grounds - not because of some philosophical principle - that you can't have democracy unless you have a market economy.
Even if one is interested only in one's own society, which is one's prerogative, one can understand that society much better by comparing it with others.
The negative side to globalization is that it wipes out entire economic systems and in doing so wipes out the accompanying culture.
It has been true in Western societies and it seems to be true elsewhere that you do not find democratic systems apart from capitalism, or apart from a market economy, if you prefer that term.
In a market economy, however, the individual has some possibility of escaping from the power of the state.
The basic fault lines today are not between people with different beliefs but between people who hold these beliefs with an element of uncertainty and people who hold these beliefs with a pretense of certitude.
When certain branches of the economy become obsolete, as in the case of the steel industry, not only do jobs disappear, which is obviously a terrible social hardship, but certain cultures also disappear.
Even in a society as tightly controlled as Singapore's, the market creates certain forces which perhaps in the long run may lead to democracy.
Our institute's agenda is relatively simple. We study the relationship between social-economic change and culture. By culture we mean beliefs, values and lifestyles. We cover a broad range of issues, and we work very internationally.
I think what I and most other sociologists of religion wrote in the 1960s about secularization was a mistake. Our underlying argument was that secularization and modernity go hand in hand. With more modernization comes more secularization.
One can't understand the Christian Right and similar movements unless one sees them as reactive - they're reacting to what they call secular humanism.
There is a continuum of values between the churches and the general community. What distinguishes the handling of these values in the churches is mainly the heavier dosage of religious vocabulary involved.
If you say simply that pressures toward democracy are created by the market, I would say yes.
Some people think that as the Chinese economy becomes more and more capitalistic it will inevitably become more democratic.
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