Posted this over at Stumbling and Mumbling: A racist "European model"? which argues that market-driven societies lead to less racism. Will come back to this argument once again when I have time - probably in a few years... :)
"Reminds me of a BBC Radio 4 programme. I agree with what some other posters (e.g. stu) have said - money itself has no bias, just as technology or atoms don't. But I don't believe that profit-seeking and cultural bias are inherently mutually exclusive. I would say that markets and technology (moreso the latter) have meant that transactions have become more "anonymous", so that the possibilities for bias are removed (e.g. on-line commerce, finance by proxy, etc), but that would merely hide any racism that continues to exists in non-market society, without actually addressing the issue. Do markets, as another example, lead to a redressing of the imbalance in sexism?
If you were to argue that racism is less apparent because we're more isolated, and because we're forced less to interact with people that we don't want to... that's an interesting avenue."