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Capital And Culture

by Dickson Igwe
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Contributing Author Dickson Igwe

Culture means way of life of a people. Culture affects capital mix. Capital Mix is the various combinations of capital- land, labor, management, technology, enterprise- that drive prosperity, and social wellbeing.

The most critical component of social prosperity is culture. The reason is that culture, drives up or down, the value of capital mix.

Culture is the way of life of a society that has evolved over centuries. Culture is human behavior. Culture can also denote the behavior of an organization from the largest to the tiniest. Leadership is the crucible that preserves a culture.

Social behavior is culture and culture decides the destiny of a society. The destiny of the Virgin Islands for example primarily depends on its culture, before any other consideration.

Now, culture is a word used loosely. It can denote many things. Specifically, culture is the customs, traditions, and way of life of a society, as depicted in the society’s geography, history, art, learning, technology, law, and governance. The preceding terms are a motley of what composes the culture of a community and society.

Culture is omniscient and omnipresent, even omnipotent. Culture is ubiquitous. Culture is also difficult to change, and changing a culture can take years.

A society is wise that recognizes the power of culture. Investing in culture and related subjects such as folklore, theater, music, writing and cuisine, and so on, helps define and enrich a society. I like to think of culture as the software that drives the hardware of a country.

One reality that this writer has been asserting in past months is the power of capital and the management of capital to drive up wealth and prosperity. What he omitted was the even greater reality that a society’s culture is crucial in wealth creation. Culture decides the value of the capital mix.

History reveals that a society that possesses a rich culture, that adopts effective values such as honesty, good work ethics, and a zeal for arts and learning, prevails over others in terms of its prosperity.

Culture type decides capital mix, and culture can increase or decrease the value of a country’s capital mix. In other words, culture drives social and economic growth.

Culture also drives national power. A people with a rich culture, and the wherewithal to use that culture to achieve a national purpose, rarely fail. Culture and unity of purpose plays a part in economic and social success.

The Virgin Islands possesses a rich culture of freedom that is a broad reflection of the freedoms enjoyed in the wider Caribbean. This is a freedom derived from a tragic history: slavery, the Plantation Era, Post-Slavery- Colonialism, nationalism, and independence. The preceding are the cauldron that has shaped the culture.

The Virgin Islands culture coupled with its geography is what increases the value of tourism and the offshore services industry, and other aspects of the society’s capital mix. That capital mix is what pays the wages and drives up profits and balance sheet values.

We must never fail to understand the power of culture to improve all of our lives. Art, learning, cuisine, community, sport, and more, push up social and economic productivity. Investing in culture in creative and intelligent ways is not an option for a society that hopes to become an El Dorado.

Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe

Dickson Igwe is an education official in the Virgin Islands. He is also a national sea safety instructor. He writes a national column across media and has authored a story book on the Caribbean: ‘The Adventures of a West Indian Villager’. Dickson is focused on economics articles, and he believes economics holds the answer to the full economic and social development of the Caribbean. He is of both West African and Caribbean heritage. Dickson is married with one son.


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