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Truth, Errors, and LiesPolitics and Economics in a Volatile World$
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Grzegorz Kolodko

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231150699

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231150699.001.0001

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A Brief History of the World and What We Can Learn from It

A Brief History of the World and What We Can Learn from It

Why Some Countries Are Wealthy and Others Poor and Whether It Must Always Be So

(p.40) Chapter Three A Brief History of the World and What We Can Learn from It
Truth, Errors, and Lies

Grzegorz W. Kolodko

, William R. Brand
Columbia University Press

This chapter presents a brief overview of history, and traces the economic developments of previous centuries, in an effort to demonstrate the various and outflowing changes that took place in history and the history of civilization. A journey through time shows that progress and economic development calls for a critical attitude. For instance, the Roman Empire's ancient culture died out and the economy suffered stagnation as a result of institutional conflicts and the conservatism spurred by the dominance of Christian dogmas. The need for critical thinking developed exactly where trade and craftsmanship were thriving—among the Persians and the Arabs. The chapter also examines the so-called “Clash of Civilizations.” Political scientist Samuel P. Huntington argues that world politics will be shaped by confrontation among the major civilizations; international conflicts will emerge not from opposing economic interests, but from cultural differences, especially those with a religious foundation.

Keywords:   civilization history, economic development, critical thinking, stagnation, conservatism, Clash of Civilizations

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