Skip to comments.(Vanity) As the World Turns, or The Wild, Wild, East
Posted on 02/10/2007 6:32:33 PM PST by grey_whiskers
Much has been written lately about the inevitable decline of the West into insignificance. Between the cultural decline (watch any episode of Jay Lenos Jaywalking or American Idol), population demographics (thanks to gay marriage, fault free divorce, and the like), it is felt that the West has had its day in the sun.
The heir apparent for the West is still unclear. Is it to be Islam resurgent, mounting a late-inning comeback following their humiliating defeats since the Crusades? A new Caliphate, this time astride the decaying continent of Europe? Will it be China, home of over 1 billion people, and sporting an economy growing at over 10% a year, with no end in sight? Or will it be India, the Worlds Largest DemocracyTM, abandoning the Centralized Planning which stifled its economy for so long, finally assuming its rightful place on the World Stage?
These, it seems, are the choices, as presented by the chattering classes. Before we can answer the question, let is examine things a bit more. What has been the source of Americas strength and endurance, and what is present in these other cultures which will enable them to supplant us? And what are the unique Achilles heels of each of these cultures which may inhibit their ascendance? First let us consider the challengers strengths, and then the West.
As for Islamit is an ancient faith, though not nearly as old as its two rival monotheistic belief systems, Judaism and Christianity. There are two intrinsic advantages which the Muslim world has when confronting other, and one advantage which is merely an historical accident. The first advantage is a simplicity of faith. It is quite easy to recite, and to retain the Shahada. In Arabic, la ilaha illa Llah Muhammadun rasulu'Llah . Likewise, the other pillars (Prayer, the Zakat, Fasting, and the Hajj) give a lasting and strong sense of identity. The second advantage is youthlook at the Muslim birthrate throughout the Middle East, and indeed in Europe: in democracies, the group with the most votes wins. And of course, the historical accident is the geographical location in the strategically important Middle East, atop a veritable ocean of oil.
Look at China. Within a single generation, it has gone from being an impoverished backwater, to a regional power (and one assumes, soon to be a World Power). Vast quantities of money have been sent to China by the Democracies of the West or at least by companies within the West seeking to take advantage of a large supply of cheap labor, lack of burdensome environmental laws, and the potential for a huge market of over 1 billion consumers. The Chinese, on their part, seem to have adopted something akin to Tony Blairs Third Way, but approaching from the far left. The inefficient state enterprises are still present, and the potential for political persecution is there (remember Tiennamen Square?), but for now, the dragons fury is held in check.
And then there is India. They too have a large population, and their economy is growing at a fantastic rate. They are more open than China and the Muslim world; and have long had a history of multiple religious faiths in the same country. Being associated with the British Empire has given them a leg up in reading, writing, and speaking English, the lingua franca of modern commerce. The Indians are subject to tremendous internal competition: only the best students are selected for advancement in school. And they are hungry for knowledge and bettering their situation. As in China, many of the largest, most prestigious companies in the West are basing their manufacturing, research, and intellectual work in India: taking advantage of favorable pay scales, as well as the sheer numbers of available workers.
Against this, there are the democracies of the West: primarily Western Europe and the United Statesalthough the recently liberated Soviet Bloc states might fall within this category as well. For the past several hundred years, from the colonial days, through industrialization, and on, they have taken the lead in the cultural, monetary, and military affairs of the world. And this has been for a number of reasons, all of which are marvelously interconnectedfrom the Christian philosophical underpinnings, which insisted on the dignity of the individual and a rational foundation of the Universe; to abundant natural resources; and again to the Old West in the United States, providing a source of optimism and self-determination.
But things are changing: the West is losing its confidence. Not only that, but there are a number of Wormtongues aboutdulling the sensibilities, invoking guilt, making the West feel it is unworthy of all the blessings it has had: in fact, claiming that the wealth and the power the West has were wrested by unjust force from the poorer nations, via colonialism and exploitation. At the same time, the resurgent Eastern powers are beginning to wake up to the possibilities for their dominance.
There is an analogy between the East and the West which may mirror the relationship between America and Old Europe. America surged past Europe, not only because we were fortunate enough to be separated from World Wars by two oceans, and thus had a homeland unscathed; but because, as a Nation and as a Culture, we were founded by and for those seeking better opportunity. Europe, after the shock of millions killed, retreated into dusty memories of days gone by, dreams of their own departed greatness.
Similarly today, in America, many of the Captains of Industry, and others, feel that it is time that America be humbled, that the West should yield dominance to others. Under Jacques Nasser at Ford, executives made quotes disparaging of white males. The Vice President of product development and quality said, We are trapped in a mono-cultural environment that is dominated by old white males. Or, as Jesse Jackson chanted at Stanford University, Hey, hey, Ho, ho. Western Cultures got to go!
And the other cultures? They do not have a literal, physical, Wild Wild Eastas the United States didbut in coming from behind to compete with Europe and the United States, they have an opportunity to engage in their own frontier-building as it were. Go West, Young Man!to the University, to the multinational corporationprove your worth against Westerners who no longer believe in themselvesand make your new homestead there, or come back to your roots, bearing the knowledge and experience necessary to help lead your own culture past the West.
My next article will explore the emerging powers in the East from another perspective. Not that of the McKinsey & Co. marketers, hoping to lure Western money and jobs to the East: but a look at the structural and cultural weaknesses of other cultures, since political correctness has decreed that only Western Cultures can have faults.
Hey, g_w, be careful with posting that shahadah...some swarthy guy might get the idea that you've converted...
Bump for later.
I would just say your evidence of the inevitable decline of the US is a little thin. This thing ain't over yet.
Aye, stay tuned for part 2.
I did, just not to Islam.
IN NOMINE PATRIS ET FILII ET SPIRITUS SANCTI, AMEN.
There, *that'll* fix 'em.
Yes, I agree. If the Muslims are basing their opinions and beliefs about the American people on the mainstream media's representation of the average American, they will be very surprised when they try to actually take over this country. As an aside, isn't it interesting that the people who support this radical cancer (the leftists and media elites) are the very ones that they say they dispise.
One fundamental weakness is that "the Wild East" should be better viewed as a nation-level type urban renewal project rather than something of vast unexplored territory. These places were far richer than Europe 900 years ago, and in fact New Zealand or the United States as we know it didn't really exist yet. Free market, and variants of it, had been practised by accident or reluctance in some time during the early Western Han and Tang dynasties.
And as Will Hutton's new book "The Writing on the Wall" addresses to the Western audience that we Chinese know only too well, PR China is fundamentally not "socialism with a market economy" or what Westerners assume as unbridled free market policies, but rather a variant of old-fashioned Leninist corporatism. But rather than done in the name of state departments, they are done in the name of private enterprise that are controlled by the cousin of the Party boss in Zhejiang province for instance etc. And cracks are appearing that most Westerners don't know - yet. It is reported in Chinese-language media Hu Jintao warned the Party Politburo in December about a possibility of the economy coming down like a stack of cards in 2008.
Hey! You're stealing my thunder for Part II.
...thanks for the info :-)
Hey! You're stealing my thunder for Part II.
...thanks for the info :-)
Now you're talking about something I've been thinking and wondering about for a year or so. Hopefully you'll get pinged for the next article so you can elaborate further. Sounds like you have some very meaningful things to say. Love to hear them.
If old (haha) grey whiskers doesn't ping you I will.
Interesting thread, please ping me too. The nexus between the collective forces of Government, Corporatism and Ideology is fascinating.
You were spot on.
How's it feel to have scooped most of the civilized world?