Development is a complex phenomenon, and the central issue of development is the question of modernity, or "what it is to be modern." 1 The fundamental goal of all developmental efforts in the developing countries is to modernize their societies, and the image of modernity, insofar as it relates to material goods, is that of the more developed countries of the West. Generally, development in the developing countries has been evaluated by making comparisons with the present state of the more developed Western countries. Instead, Harry Eckstein advocates a universal approach to development based on "abstract theories regardless of time, place, and circumstance--theory that spans the whole of history, from primal origins to modernity." 2 Considering the complexity of the development process, however, it is highly unlikely that a general, universal approach to development can be found. Much of what has happened since the primal origins of humans to the present time is not really known. Such an approach, therefore, cannot have much validity.
A better approach for both the more developed and the developing countries is to focus on the present and to plan for the future. With regard to the developing countries, the more fruitful approach is to analyze the development process in any given polity and to identify those aspects that appear to hinder developmental efforts. For this purpose, the more developed countries of the West provide empirical evidence. The West can therefore serve as a useful developmental model. So far, the developing countries have been content with merely imitating the Western countries as they exist at present, without paying due attention to the processes through which the West had to go through to arrive at its present state of development. The developing countries are, in a way, at an advantageous position, for they have a model to learn from, to evaluate, and to modify the model if it is found wanting. The more developed countries are, on this score, in a precarious situation, for having come a long way and having materially developed to the extent that they have, and there