NYT story: "Monks Lose Relevance As Thailand Grows Richer."
Per my post yesterday about individualism: the connectivity afforded by globalization and the wealth creation diminishes the hectoring/exemplary power of religious leaders who, under past harsher times, were better positioned to keep the social peace by encouraging a certain morality.
When globalization comes in, the socio-economic change happens in a heartbeat, and the churches/faithes/religious leaders simply can't respond fast enough.
As one Thai monk is quoted in the piece: 'Consumerism is now the Thai religion."
He's wrong, of course, and he needs to get off his ass and stop whining. New spiritual challenges naturally follow.
The monks need to summon up their inner Joel Osteen - or just find one quick.
But yeah, this is EXACTLY what Iran's mullahs fear in any genuine opening up to West/globalization. Better to pretend it's all about the nukes.