2. The impact of resources on economic systems.
Conventional wisdom holds that capitalism is responsible, not only for the economic prosperity enjoyed in the West, but also for the political freedoms provided by democratic governments. The belief is that economic systems are a matter of choice. The evidence suggests however, that resources play a large role in determining the type of economic system which will emerge in any given country.
Market systems demand large quantities of resources to operate efficiently. It is possible that the success of capitalism is not due to capitalism, rather it is due to the availability of cheap raw materials. Raw materials, not the entrepreneurial spirit, provide the real foundation for industrial success. Industrial superiority is as dependent on access to resources as it is on innovative technology.