As noted in my previous posting, any country not among the scientific trail-blazers will have difficulties in simulating the cultural background of the countries in the high-value trade network. It can only do so by making highly concentrated efforts — and also be lucky enough to choose a research or technological area where there are discoveries and commercial innovations yet to be made.
If not having a receptive culture is bad enough, what if there’s a predominant state religion as well. It can be a double whammy. Not only is the indigenous culture passively negative to change but a powerful religion can also be actively negative. And especially so — a triple whammy? –if it’s a centrally organised religion with a powerful individual at the top whose ideology may not line jp with the new scientifically-based strategies that the country needs economically if it is to improve the lot of its people.
Confucius’ advice of two and a half thousand years ago applies here: “The King should not allow any religion within his royal court. Sooner or later it will want to take power.”