I know that 95% of my readers do not believe in national or ethnic characteristics. I on the other hand, am a strong believer that culture dictates everything from the language you use to the worldview you hold. The variation within any culture is infinitesimal on major cultural issues.
I want to discuss national cultural learning capacity. I do not think that willingness and ability to learn is a universal cultural characteristic.
In fact my view is important on this subject because I am highly concerned about the vast number of small independent populations on the planet who deliberately refuse to join the modern world. I am comfortable accepting their position and have tried to create organizations that protect cultures and peoples who do not want to be part of the modern society.
Aside from that issue there are populations that want to be part of the modern world but do not seem to have the capacity for learning. I single out three populations in particular. First the Arabs, second are the Russians and third are the Latin American Spanish speakers.
My thesis is very simple. I have selected these three populations that have significant cultural cohesion because they all stand athwart the modern world, pretty much living with the skill and technology of 150 years ago.
There are some Russians and some Latin Americans, mostly immigrants, and virtually no Arabs who are competent in modern technology. I take this to mean that they are part of the society that does not have the capacity for learning.
We should not expect any cultural change in these societies. They may want to change but they are missing the key ingredient.
An opposite example would be the American Tea Party. The Tea Party is Americans rising in defense of democracy. This autonomous self organized group of nearly ⅓ of the adult population has learned not to form a third party and not to throw up leaders, but to be a flat grass roots movement. This group has learned what works in America and are doing it. Americans, at least a significant portion, have learned how to cope with politics, and therefore has a significant capacity for learning.