Consequently, I propose that the most tenable position is to reject what Gany Rodan calls “false monolith^"'^ and to embrace a syncretist p~sition.’~ The syncretists argue that the issues with which proponents of liberal democratic sys- tems are concerned have universal implications and that a strong culturalist retreat would unilaterally exclude Asian cultures from playing an active, formative role in shaping positions around those issues. Although Western liberal democratic cultures have a longer history of contending with the challenges of moderniza- tion and economic development, those challenges transcend cultures. It is the responses to those challenges that need to reflect a plurality of cultural meanings. Through engagement with liberal democratic positions, Asian societies can arrive at culturally syncretist responses. As in the economic sphere, where East Asian countries have adopted capitalist policies and shaped them to respond to the spe- cific economic challenges facing them, Asian societies can adopt certain “politi- cal m~ralities”~~ that might have had a longer evolution in the West but never- theless can be shaped to suit the values and cultures of Asia.