Thought Archive

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How the Rest should Beat the West

During the 19th and 20th century the West arguable dominated the World affairs in areas of commerce, culture and of scientific progress - creating liberal paradigm, and the discourse we currently are part of. The “other” – at times colonial, at times dependedant or peripheral nations did not participate in the creation of wealth and resulting achievements, but were in fact sucked of their wealth, robbed and plundered by the rising power of Western Europe and US. Non-Western civilizations were sidelined and did not contribute to the intellectual developments of the modern thoughts, beyond Russia, Latin America and, much later, Japan.

The lives of 21 century could not be more different. Despite the so called unipolar world with US firmly at the top, we are also presiding over moral and intellectual decline of the Western-generated ideas. While absorbing certain practices of the west like in Japan, the World is still preserving its diversity and should, in fact overcome the inferiority complex over much richer, but declining West. I have outlined few thoughts on how to overcome this, and not by belligerence, rhetoric and other actions, that are harmful to our common Home.

To me the biggest limitation of the non-Western countries, is their limited technological progress, with all great universities and research institutions located in the West. The education should become truly global, in par with World’s population as is its funding and atmosphere should be created that helps innovation from an early age. Here everyone is still losing to US by a mile – only truly global effort will help to turn the tide.

Takeover of English language

It is important that people of the world take the language of Shakespeare as rightfully theirs and own it. It has become worldwide language, and if this is so - the World – not UK or US have a right to modify and improve the structures of it. It should, while still governed by set of rules, become ever more flexible and disassociated from its Anglo-Saxon heritage. We should think of English as a link that binds us all together, and not as a of tool of domination.

Adoption of Western Business practices
Western-owned businesses and financial instituations were extremely successful in all of the fields of human endeavour, and their wealth generating methods should be copied by all. Static economic system, with limitation on private initative, do not work, as was proven. Gradually, “Global Boardroom” will become ever less male and “white”-dominated, and with passing of the age, we will be able to create our own, truly global, business culture.

Substitution of democracy paradigm.
Currently, the ideas behind so-called liberal societies of the West have not lived to expectations of the peoples of the World. Now, alternative, “illiberal” societies present themselves as plausible “third way”. Despite the claims to the contrary China, which over last decades created its own system of checks and balances is out there in force. Other hybrid societies, with different structures of power are in the ascendance from Russia to Malaysia. They are creating their own institutions with only a token respect to the Western concepts of democracy. Yet these societies are fair in their own way. Future societies may look different, and may be free but not liberal.

Stealing their Thunder

The developing countries should take charge of their own affairs, lead and be aware of issues of poverty, climate change and terrorism, work together overcoming petty squabbles. And most importantly, the inferiority complex - disease that hundreds of years of Western domination of the World brought - should be healed.


CatWoman said...

Hear hear
From your lips to the world's ears

Hazar Nesimi said...

Yeah! I am tired that everything comes from the West. I want Chinese, Indian, African, Brazilian physicists getting Nobel prizes. Why everyone is wearing western clothes?. If I wear a long tunic on the street, people will think I am crazy. This is not fair :-)

CatWoman said...

Hey don't mind me. But people who are wearing western clothes are also crazy.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I think most people who wear western clothes wear them because they like them. I'm not talking about people in the west. I'm talking about people in the middle east or Asia who wear western style clothing.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Dear atwoman - I do wear western clothes as well (no tunics -)), but now i bought some lovely multicolored and bright batic shirts from Malaysia, BUT I cannot come to the office in them! Because it will be against office ethic. So..I have to conform (I am not in college -). Outside West, people just copycat cuz they think it makes them closer to Paradise. In my country McDonalds is the symbol of chic and affluence, it is the status symbol to be in one. Sorry if u are McDonalds aficionado though.

NoolaBeulah said...

Hazar (is that your given or family name?)
What you're talking about is globalisation, which is happening anyway. What is globalisation? The expansion of the Western economic model to all parts of the world. The Nobels will come for those countries that put the effort in.

Politically, you are right. There is, and will be, a resurgence of the authoritarian state, whose models will be China and Russia. (On that, if you have an hour or so, read Robert Kagan's End of Dreams, Return of History, which I briefly summarised this week.) The great question is, can a liberal economy flourish and last without a liberal political system? That, we will not know for many years.

On English, a language doesn't belong to anyone. However, the prestige of being the source of that language is quite durable and, if the source culture(s) continue to be creative, that will give them great cultural influence.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Hi, no that is my "nome de guerre"
Well - I am not sure that globalization, especially the aspects of it, are entirely in developing world's favour. And there is a lot of hypocrisy (subsidies unequal aid distribotion etc), for there is nothing worse than a sinful preacher. I am talking about something similar, but with everyone setting the agenda. All should feel that there is there benefit, otherwise it is westernization.

NoolaBeulah said...

When in history was there ever a situation with "everyone setting the agenda"? It has never happened and never will. Too many are too weak to be capable of setting any aganda, or any part of it. That is not to say that the strong have it all their own way and just get stronger. Countries like Japan, Singapore and South Korea have shown how it can be done. Be 'exploited' for your cheap labour, but learn fast. Use the stronger economies' dependence on you to build your own economy.

In Africa, they haven't been able to do that thanks in large part to aid-dependency and corruption. That is not the fault of the West and the West can do very little about it. Similarly, in much of the Middle East. But globalisation can work for the weak if they are 'strong' enough to make it do so. The benefit is what they can take from the process. Not what other people give them - that is just charity.

Hazar Nesimi said...

I have many reservations against this kind of globalisation, for I am in favour of things that make us closer, but I dont think the world is ready to accept Western cultural influence. Hence the autocracies' ascend and Islamic radicalism. Whereas I have, as I underlined have nothing against economoic liberalism and free trade(provide it does not harm traditional lifestyle to a degree it destroys it entirely) I do not think that it should go hand in hand wtith adoption of Western paradigm. The liberalism and democracy rings hollow for me. I lost faith long time ago.