The Difference Principle

Can ethnic identity and individual freedom coexist?


The end of the Cold War may have brought the demise of history's single most pervasive threat to liberty, but it has also reopened a debate about our identity as human beings and economic animals that is far more ancient and enduring. The argument turns on the issue of whether the differences between peoples—particularly religious and ethnic differences—represent a positive force for the future development of the world.

For generations, thinkers across a broad ideological spectrum from Karl Marx to Auguste Comte and H. G. Wells have predicted that economic and scientific progress would soon liberate mankind from all religious and tribal constraints. In contemporary times, social scientists such as Daniel Bell have predicted that a "continuous decline" in ethnic and religious identity was all but inevitable. "The ethos of science," noted Bell, "is the emerging ethos of the postindustrial society."

With the breakup of the Soviet Union, some analysts see tribalism as the new threat to liberalism, others as the expression of basic human urges superior to any universal concept of humanity—in both cases positing a fundamental division between individual freedom and ethnic identity. Yet although some of the most notable outbreaks of the new tribalism have been highly destructive, it would be dangerous to dismiss as essentially evil and essentially anti-individualist the whole notion of ethnic or religious identity. The freedom to explore one's historic or racial past has, in fact, been one of the great blessings—despite the excesses—of the post Soviet reality. From Moscow to Mongolia, among Jews, Muslims, Latvians, and a host of other repressed minorities, there is a new flowering of cultural diversity and individualism where once stood only the monotony of the ersatz Soviet identity.

In fact, ethnic loyalties are not only compatible with but essential to an international order based on individual liberty and the free flow of goods and ideas between nations. Throughout history, many of the most notable contributions in the spread of culture, technology, and commerce have come from precisely those transnational groups who have had the most intense sense of particularist identity and connection to their mythic past. These groups—or global tribes—have thrived by coalescing two principles that have been separated in classical liberal thought: an intrinsic "tribal" sense of a unique identity and the ability to adapt to a cosmopolitan global economy.

Far from being narrow provincials, these dispersed ethnic groups—often in the form of remarkable extended families—have played critical roles in the development of both market-based economics and free thought, exercising a disproportionate influence on the growth patterns of nations, cities, and regions. In this sense, global tribes should be cast as the historical protagonists on the world economic stage, carrying with them the incubus of individualism and creativity from one part of the world to another.

This is not to suggest the essential moral or racial superiority of any ethnic group. In fact, global tribes have developed largely through intimate contact with other civilizations. Global tribes such as the British or Japanese have been known as imitators par excellence. And the Jews, British, and Indians, far from being pure examples of a particular genetic stock, are among the most racially diverse of peoples.

Although their emergence can be traced to capitalism's earliest dawn, the story of global tribes is, if nothing else, a phenomenon of modern times. As we move into an ever-intergrated world economy and the conventional barriers of nation-states and regions collapse under the weight of global economic forces, these ethnic networks seem ideally positioned to shape the economic destiny of mankind. They will not do so by surrendering ethnic identity but by employing their historically conditioned values and beliefs to cope successfully with change. These values—in particular, the willingness to be different, a reliance on communal self-help, and an openness to innovation and international opportunities—are, in fact, the qualities that foster success for individuals as well as communities in an increasingly competitive world.

Since antiquity, the Jews have epitomized the global tribe. Against the consolidating might of Hellenism and the Roman empire, amid the rise of Christianity and Islam, the Jews maintained what the philosopher Martin Buber called "the vocation of uniqueness," the willingness to be different from the surrounding society. Members of a small and isolated community, they developed a culture that stressed individual achievement and self-employment. As the old rabbinic maxim had it: "Skin a carcass on the streets, rather than be dependent on other people."

Forbidden to own land in most of Europe, Jewish entrepreneurs in the Middle Ages instead relied on their own human capital—an international ethnic network and a command of languages as varied as Latin, Persian, Arabic, and early French and Spanish—to become traders throughout the known world. As capitalism began to develop in the later Middle Ages, the far flung, itinerant Jewish merchants, coin dealers, and money lenders found unprecedented opportunities.

As the American Jewish historian Ellis Rivkin has noted: "The fate of the Jew and of Judaism came to hinge on the triumph of the capitalist revolution and on its success in shaping a form of society which reliably augmented wealth, profitably liquidated poverty, and by the demands of its very nature educated the individual for freedom." From Spain to Italy to Amsterdam to London, Jews moved wherever commerce and religious tolerance flourished.

Even today Jews everywhere show an exceedingly high proclivity to start, own, and operate their own enterprises. And they gravitate toward those fields—such as apparel, entertainment, and precious metal dealing—where dependence on the state or on dominant institutions is weakest and the benefits of the individual entrepreneur's sechel (street smarts) the greatest.

"The primary reason people [got into the garment business] was every refugee wanted his own business, and this was a business you could go into for very little cash," recalls Bernie Brown, whose Russian immigrant family in 1938 founded Koret of California, still one of the top manufacturers of women's sportswear in Los Angeles. "You have contractors, shippers who can do the business. You don't need big machines or a load of money and a big office. As long as you have fabric and you have something worthwhile to sell, you can do it."

Like the Jews, Britain's Protestant dissenters created a unique culture that stressed both individual achievement and their differences from the mainstream. Generally outside the world of inherited wealth, the British Calvinists—as well as such later groups as Quakers and Methodists—developed attitudes closely attuned to entrepreneurial capitalism. These Nonconformists scorned ecclesiastical hierarchy, affirming "the priesthood of all believers." Rejecting the very idea, implicit in Catholicism or the Anglican Church, of society as "an organism with different grades," they were by nature contemptuous of the aristocratic notions of noblesse oblige and "knowing one's place." They were extraordinarily motivated, by both religion and temperament, to strike out on their own.

Looking for the secret of British success, Alexis de Tocqueville fixed firmly on the culture of individualism as the key element. He noted the Anglo-American's capacity of "relying on himself and [being] unaware of any obstacle except the limits of his powers, acting without constraint….I am in no hurry to inquire whether nature has scooped out ports for him, and given him coal and iron. The reason for his commercial prosperity is not there at all: it is in himself."

In recent decades other groups, most notably from Asia, have displayed these basic individualist tendencies on a global scale. Even the Japanese, often thought to epitomize the extremely hierarchical Asiatic stereotype, have built their country's economic success largely on the work of determined individuals. Father Maurice Bairy of Tokyo's Sophia University, a leading scholar of Japanese economic and social life, suggests that Japanese society operates like a wheel. At the center, conformist instincts are strong and things change only slowly. Near the edge of the wheel, however, lie the innovators, eccentrics, and entrepreneurs—the marginal forces who nevertheless force change.

This pattern of outsiders creating change goes far into the Japanese past, notes Hidetoshi Kato, one of Japan's leading social theorists. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the man who united Japan in the 16th century, was the child of unknown, poor peasants. The architects of the modernizing Meiji period were largely lower class samurai. And many of Japan's early entrepreneurs—the Mitsuis, Iwasakis, Sumitomos—came from less than aristocratic backgrounds. More recently this tendency shows up in individuals such as Soichiro Honda, Konosuke Matsushita, and Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita of Sony, classic outsiders who have driven Japan's global economic expansion.

In the last decade, new and potentially even more potent global tribes—the Chinese and the Indians—have entered the scene, each producing large numbers of individualist achievers. Conditions of chronic insecurity, much like those facing the Jews in Europe, have fostered in both the overseas Chinese and Indians an almost unparalleled passion for self employment. As the old Chinese saying has it: "Better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of an ox."

The power of this self-reliant attitude can be seen most notably in such Chinese capitalist havens as Hong Kong, where local entrepreneurs start businesses—most with fewer than 100 employees—at roughly twice the rate of Americans. Critically, the value system of both Indians and Chinese puts primary emphasis on achieving success for one's family rather than on any broader concept of company, society, or state. In one 1980 survey, Hong Kong Chinese ranked their families more important than society by a margin of better than five to one.

Even the most globally influential contemporary Chinese and Indian capitalists still follow this general pattern of enterprise. Most of their most powerful economic entities remain essentially in family hands and are motivated by family values. Explains George Harilela, the 70-year-old eldest brother and head of trading operations for his Hong Kong-based Indian family, "We have no real skill other than being traders and working hard….We work for our children. Without that, there's nothing. If not, why not drink? Happiness is one thing: working for them, for the future, for the family."

Driven by their passion for individual and family success, these global tribes have succeeded in virtually every country they have settled in, displaying extraordinarily low rates of criminality, poverty, and welfare dependency. But although they eschew state aid, they do not expect individuals to succeed by themselves. All of the successful global tribes, particularly in their ascendancy, have relied heavily on communal self-help and voluntary cooperation.

In most cases the tradition of self-help grew from necessity. Throughout most of their history Jews could count on little but grief from the governmental or ecclesiastical powers, leading them to emphasize the economic self-sufficiency of Jewish families. "He who increases the number of his slaves increases sin and iniquity in the world," wrote the 12th century sage Maimonides, "whereas the man who employs poor Jews in his household increases merits and religious deeds." Maimonides also deemed giving someone the capital with which to start a business to be the greatest form of charity.

As they began their mass migrations in the early 20th century, newly arriving Jews, whether in Britain, France, Israel, or America, built their own, largely self-contained economies. Following Maimonides' advice, Jews tended to hire as well buy from their own community. In turn-of-the-century New York, Jews went to their own doctors, butchers, dry goods dealers, shoe stores, coal-men, and grocers; both their apartments and their places of employment were owned largely by fellow Jews. In 1914, there were 514 Jewish benevolent societies in the United States, providing everything from insurance and burial plots to summer camps. Many immigrants learned English not in the public schools but in special programs within the Jewish community.

In the process, Jews also created the essential nongovernmental infrastructure for the growth of industries. Within the diamond business, they set up a network of self-regulating institutions that effectively monitor trade from Antwerp to Tel Aviv and New York. In Hollywood, they developed a powerful interactive network of entertainment producers, talent agents, and scores of other specialized related professions. Much the same process took place in fields such as the garment industry.

To acute observers, the primary role of ethnic culture, tradition, and skills in the development of these industries seems obvious. Writes economist Thomas Sowell, "One academic writer, for example, said that the nineteenth century Jewish immigrants to the United States were fortunate to arrive just as the garment industry in New York began to develop. I could not help thinking that Hank Aaron was similarly fortunate—that he often came to bat when a home run was due to be hit."

No more mysterious was the role of communal self-help in the development of North America and other regions under the control of the British. Wherever they migrated, the "Calvinistic diaspora," as Max Weber described it, established informal networks between kinsmen and coreligionists. The 19th-century entrepreneur Samuel Slater, for instance, established a thriving network of textile mills all over New England by drawing on his Quaker family and friends, who owned, managed, and provided capital to mills. Through such associations, Anglo-Americans transferred technology, capital, and entrepreneurial skill from Great Britain to New England, the American Middle West, and later the Pacific Coast.

Throughout the 19th century, such informal networks helped create many of the key institutions—such as accounting firms and investment banks—that made the Anglo-Americans the preeminent economic powers in the competition among the various European ethnic groups. Simply bringing underdeveloped regions such as South America under European control was not enough. Without the attitudes and institutions of the industrial revolution, white men in regions such as Latin America did not produce a similar rush toward progress and development.

More recently, the primary Asian global tribes have employed deeply entrenched traditions of communal self-help to pace their rapid penetration of the world economy. Like the British, the Japanese have transformed themselves into a global tribe of enormous importance through the cultivation of a capitalist system uniquely dependent upon intra-ethnic cooperation.

Across a broad spectrum of commercial and crafts institutions, the Japanese as early as the 17th century created the basis of today's system of cooperative business networks. Japanese manufacturers, from traditional village garment makers to multinational auto companies, rely heavily on specialized subcontractors. And the international trading companies, or sogo shosha, have developed worldwide networks to distribute raw materials, manufactured goods, and, most important, information about new products and markets. As a result, a small flatware maker in a Japanese village can, through an alliance with a trading company like Mitsui, sell its products from Java to Johannesburg. Such private innovations—not the ballyhooed role of the Japanese state—explain most of Japanese economic progress.

In fact, Japan's economy is highly dependent on its tightly connected smaller producers, who account for some 70 percent of industrial value added, compared to the 40 percent that small companies contribute to the U.S. economy. As Japan scholar David Friedman suggests in his landmark The Misunderstood Miracle, Japan's economy is hardly a "command" economy directed by a few genius planners or large companies; instead, its economic system resembles a web without a spider, characterized by strong horizontal and vertical linkages but lacking a central controlling element.

The success of such networks depends on a cultural ethic that stresses duty and obligation—to one's employer, one's customers, and one's employees—rather than formal, legal structures. Although based on such clearly Asian sources as Buddhism, Confucian familialism, and Shinto traditionalism, this Japanese ethic has produced in the business world an effective equivalent to Calvinist faith and commercial energies.

Looking back at these roots, historian William Hauser, who has studied the intricacies of the 17th-century Tokugawa economy, observes: "To describe the modern experience of Japan as 'miraculous'…is to overlook the realities of the Japanese case."

Communal self-help has proved equally important to the more recently emerging Asian global tribes. Hampered by government policies at home, the Indians and Chinese have developed their networks on a global scale, creating links between communities of more or less permanent immigrants. Like the Jews, Indians and Chinese found themselves usually discriminated against as outsiders by natives and dismissed as inferiors by colonial administrators, forcing them to rely heavily on each other for employment, sources of capital, and business intelligence.

Among the Chinese, these patterns can be seen most clearly in Southeast Asia and the West Coast of North America. Immigrants developed an elaborate system of huts, or informal credit associations, and local Chinese Chambers of Commerce to help newcomers adjust to the new conditions. As early as 1851 Chinese immigrants in San Francisco set up the Chinese Company, an organization whose purpose was to greet, protect, and find employment for newly arrived immigrants. Such associations still play an intermediary role in helping newcomers—familiarizing them with local business conditions, recommending immigration lawyers, finding housing, and so on. Within the estimated 20-million strong Indian diaspora, other means of resource pooling, largely within extended "joint family" corporations and informal kinship ties, provide the critical capital resources.

This emphasis on self-generated prosperity can best be seen in the Asians' emphasis on self-discipline and thrift. Both Indians and Chinese around the world boast savings rates that range upwards to 30 percent or 40 percent of gross income, better than twice that of the thrifty Japanese. When asked the reasons for their success, reports researcher Bernard Wong, old time New York Chinese constantly repeated the saying "Kan Kim Hay Ka," or "frugality is the key to success," certainly an apt parallel to the dicta of such Anglo-American writers as Samuel Smiles or Benjamin Franklin.

In the past, even such successful models of ethnic identity have been widely seen as fundamentally inimical to the creation of modern, cosmopolitan societies. Yet rather than serving as a retarding force, dispersed ethnic groups—from the Jews of antiquity to the Asian tribes of today—have flourished in and helped to develop tolerant, advanced commercial civilizations.

Throughout their history, the Jews have been widely regarded as narrow-minded and inner-directed, yet their historical circumstances drove them to create one of the world's most cosmopolitan civilizations. The real "secret" of Jewish success lay not in their insularity but in an openness to new knowledge and opportunity. Historian Leon Poliakov notes that Jews, faced with frequent threats to their trades by the majority populations, "took refuge in the dynamic security of acquiescence in change."

As a scattered people dependent on their skills at transactions, Jews became indispensable not only as traders but as transmitters and translators of knowledge in such ancient centers as Babylon, Alexandria, and Antioch. During the Middle Ages, they served as intermediaries between at least three major cultures—Christian, Arabic, and Indian. Indeed, according to at least one medieval account, it was a Jewish scholar sent by an Arabic ruler to India who brought back the Indian symbols thereafter widely known as "Arabic" numerals.

With the opening of the new world and the coming of the Enlightenment, this cosmopolitan and inquisitive spirit grew, influencing the development of such European trading communities as Venice, Amsterdam, Paris, and London. As the Jews moved, notes the great French historian Fernand Braudel, so they strengthened already nascent prosperous economies; their arrival, he notes, was a sure sign business was on the rise and their departure equally an indication of diminished prospects. Indeed, the extent to which the Jewish economy has operated on a transnational basis has long been cause for oppression by nationalists and statists, whether from the right or the left.

Even today Jewish success is most pronounced in those fields—apparel, entertainment, investment banking, diamonds—where an international mindset remains critical. Like their ancient predecessors, many of today's most successful Jewish business people still travel the world. "There are no borders anymore," explains Charles Dayan, the Syrian born Jew who owns Bonjour, a New York City based garment company. "China, El Paso, or Nashville—the only difference is that sometimes you have to carry a passport."

Similarly, much British success grew from adapting to changing conditions and cultivating cosmopolitan attitudes. In their global expansion, the British borrowed shamelessly the best techniques from France, Germany, or Asia for everything from building ships to constructing waterworks to clearing land. As Daniel Defoe remarked, perhaps a bit unfairly, the British improved everything and invented nothing.

Driven by their sense of openness, the British tribe ultimately developed most of what became the basis of modern industrial, scientific, and technological processes. Between 1750 and 1950, Britons and Americans accounted for nearly three out of every five major inventions, discoveries, and innovations in the world. And they made Anglo-American cities such as New York and London the supreme arbiters of international finance, commerce, and business services.

In this sense, then, the Anglo-Americans have become the prime creators of the cosmopolitan world culture that so often chagrins nationalists, statists, and advocates of "trade blocs." As a top Bank of England official said over tea and cookies at his Threadneedle Street office: "We have a willingness, a desire, to operate on a global basis. Narrow national concerns, European concerns, are not nearly so important. We are interdependent with the rest of the world; they are our customers. Of course, we have to operate on a European level, but what makes London special is the overseas linkages. It is our heart and soul."

As we enter the last years of the 20th century, a similar cosmopolitan mentality is also emerging among the Asian tribes. Even the Japanese, whom sociologist Harold Isaacs has called "the truest nation on earth," have, as they have expanded their global presence, developed cosmopolitan and individualist tendencies that may play an important role in the gradual breakdown of state power globally.

Many of the so-called revisionist intellectuals—such as Karel van Wolferen and Clyde Prestowitz—reject the very notion that the Japanese may be evolving in a cosmopolitan direction. To the revisionists, Japan, as the CIA-sponsored Japan 2000 report put it, "is virtually impervious to change, and probably will remain so." Yet the reality remains that the Japanese, particularly those under 35, are indeed changing from the caricature of ultra-nationalistic automatons frequently proffered by the revisionists.

Critical in this change has been the younger generation's exposure to the world outside Japan—both through the media and directly through their tribe's global expansion. Having seen how others live and think, many now question the old ideas of loyalty to company and country above all. Asked in a survey conducted by Dentsu, Japan's leading advertising agency, to identify their purpose for living, fewer Tokyoites under 30 named work than did their counterparts in either New York or Los Angeles. Almost none mentioned service to company or society. And young Japanese named "self-improvement"—the supposed be all of Southern California's "me" oriented society—as their top priority twice as frequently as young Americans.

"The individualism is a product of the changes in the society," notes marketing expert Yohko Abe, who has done major research on youth attitudes. "They are less in rebellion against society as they are representative of a change in the stages of our development. It's less dramatic, but maybe more lasting a change because it deals with the basic values."

Over time these changes could create a new kind of Japanese presence in the world, one that stresses the more individualistic and creative side of their culture. The current career favorites among younger Japanese—design, entertainment, advertising, fashion—do not carry the competitive message implied in the old choices of electrical or mechanical engineering; rather than expand their national empire, the younger Japanese may well be set to humanize and enjoy it.

In the next century a likely even greater cosmopolitan impact—with enormous implications for the spread of individual liberty—will come from the Indian and Chinese global tribes. Already the overseas Chinese are dominating the rapid economic development of their ancestral homeland, creating in the process a new kind of postnational ethnic "Chinese-based" economy whose real centers lie in the ultra-capitalistic bastions of Hong Kong and Taipei.

"This is something new, a pioneering effort," observes Taipei attorney Paul Hsu, a leading deal maker among the overseas Chinese. "The old government ideology of nation-states will be outmoded….The government won't lead this effort. Until the late 1970s the government took the lead, but now the private sector is leading and creating this new thing, this Chinese-based economy."

Critically, this new transnational Chinese economy is already transforming the mainland's society, creating a new burst of individualist economic activity. Virtually illegal at the beginning of the 1980s, Taiwan's trade with the mainland has grown to as much as 10 percent of all Taiwan's "foreign" trade and now accounts for nearly one-third of its total worldwide trade surplus. In the process, the role of the state—both in Taipei and Beijing—is falling before the logic of markets and the pull of ethnic ties, particularly in the southern coastal province of Guangdong.

"I don't worry about [Beijing]," explains S. C. Ho, president of Yuen Foong Yu Paper Manufacturing, one of Taiwan's leading conglomerates. "The people in Guangdong just say, 'Beijing issues the regulations, but we interpret them.'"

This slow process of economic integration with their capitalist cousins may do more damage to the Communists than the democracy movement itself. China's economic emergence in the 1980s also saw the precipitous decline of its socialist structures, as the state-owned share of industry nationwide dropped from over four-fifths of industrial production to barely half. In 1990 non–state-owned factories accounted for 70 percent of all industrial growth; the output from factories involving foreign, mostly Chinese investors grew at nearly 20 times the rate for government-owned plants.

The increasing personal contact between mainlanders and their diaspora brethren could prove equally corrosive to the Communist order. With more than 300,000 Taiwanese alone visiting the mainland every year, mainlanders have become more aware of the enormous strides taken by Chinese in places like Taiwan and North America, whose governments generations of mainlanders have been brought up to revile.

"It's a long process but we're making the channels to mainland China here," notes Steve Lu, a Taiwanese engineer who is part of a California-based group using business and technical ties to spread anti-Communist information. "When the time comes [to overthrow the regime], we'll have the direct contact. And direct contact is the Achilles heel of the Communists."

Much the same kind of transformation is taking place, under quite different circumstances, on the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally, Indians abroad have kept their man (heart) in India even as they placed their dhan (wealth) in Britain and their tan (body) in a third country, often in Asia or Africa. But overseas Indians, encouraged by recent liberalizations in their homeland, have begun to look for ways to break down the traditionally inward-looking socialist regime.

As with the overseas Chinese, the Indian diaspora looks to apply in its homeland the habits of self-help and individualism fostered abroad. Particularly suited to this task are those tens of thousands of Indian technologists who have migrated to areas such as Silicon Valley over the past four decades. Several hundred have become millionaires, playing prominent roles in the founding of such firms as Sun Microsystems.

But unleashing this intellectual power is possible only if the country removes its entrenched system of regulation, suggests Kiran Mazumdar, founder of Biocon, India's largest biotechnology company. Mazumdar, who was trained in Australia, doubts whether more Indians abroad will invest as long as they have to deal with such obstacles as 100-percent duties on high-tech equipment or seemingly interminable waits for export licenses. "Things always seem to be stuck in Delhi," she complains, adding with obvious disgust, "Maybe I haven't found the right people to pay off."

Yet over time Mazumdar sees India, particularly with the fall of its old Soviet ally, forced to adopt the attitudes of the global diaspora. The critical players in this process, she believes, will not be the traditional heroes of Indian lore—the religious saint, the military hero, or the charismatic political leader—but business and technical people returning from abroad.

One such returnee is Anupam Saranwala, who came home to India in 1991 after a decade working as an engineer in California. He now manages a new personal computer–board factory for Silicon Valley Technologies, a start-up firm founded by Anil and Sucheta Kapuria, a San Jose-based couple. The Kapurias, in turn, are bankrolled by the Harilelas and other leading Indian trading families.

Saranwala envisions enormous opportunities in an India invigorated by an individualist and cosmopolitan spirit. "We can transfer the results-oriented culture of California to the time-oriented culture of India," he says as he walks through Bhangel, the dusty Uttar Pradesh village near the new factory. "India has the people and the talent. What they need is the opportunity to perform. We know the Indians in America and elsewhere have done it. We know that model works. Then let India take off, inevitably, in its own direction."

The massive problems facing India, with its huge impoverished population and its legacy of monumental misrule and corruption, make it easy to dismiss the likes of Saranwala as hopeless dreamers, pushing against centuries of social and cultural inertia. Yet the history of global tribes reveals the enormous possibilities for change unleashed by the spread of individualist and cosmopolitan ideas even to the most destitute of settings.

A relative handful of people animated by a common heritage can change the course of history through contact with the global economy and the subsequent acquisition of new technologies, skills, and attitudes. As the spread of technology, satellite dishes, telephones, and jet aircraft further accelerates the process, telescoping the distance from Silicon Valley to Bhangel in a manner unprecedented in earlier dispersions, the growth of global tribes could help lay the foundations for the development of a workable global cosmopolis.

Joel Kotkin is a senior fellow at the Center for New West and an international fellow at the Pepperdine University School of Business and Management. He is the author of Tribes: How Race, Religion, and Identity Determine Success in the New Global Economy (Random House), from which this article was adapted.