Thought Archive

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This Asian Century

The Asian Century may not bring the advance of the liberal democracy Sholto Byrnes writes in Guardian. The architect of Malaysian miracle – Dr Mahathir Mohammed - said once: ”In some countries sleeping naked on the beach is considered democracy – if that is democracy then it is not needed”.

What Asians value may not be necessarily what Europeans value. Westerners value the freedom and liberties of individual. For an Asian the values are for the government to be honest, effective and efficient. Ideas of Hobbs and Mills do not hold sway over the Eastern mind, and no local Peter Singer fights for the rights of animals to be recognized. Consensus and agreement is valued in the East above the conflict and antagonism. The source of the Asian culture system is directly from its beliefs and teachings – from the passivity of Buddhism, ingrained obedience of Confucian teachings and unconfrontational nature of South-East Asian Islam.

Europe and The Middle East may have lost its moral fiber and have become an area of confusion, depravity, war and disintegration but the Asia holds key to a virtuous future away from current conflicts. This Asia is now waiting to speak with one voice. Even the Islamic revival of the future will happen in Asia; and from Asia it will be preached to intellectually stagnated Arab and Persian-speaking world.

The West should recognize the fact that there may be autocrats out there with the real concern for the well being of their own people, concern they show in every action, deed and word. Not every Asian dictatorship is like Burma, for this to see one just needs to visit booming China, Vietnam, Thailand or Malaysia. The West has to stop criticizing and understand that there are nations out there with their own value systems that will not change, for they are perfectly happy as they are. Secretly it does.

6 comments:

Riri said...

Bloody hell mate, why are you going on about the virtues of autocracy all of a sudden.

Have you got yourself a wife finally? Is she an autocrat? That would straighten out a few bends that would.

Hazar Nesimi said...

I would like my wife to be a an autocrat, but over me only. This would absolve me of responsiblity to dictate to her. Are you a budding dictator by any chance?

Riri said...

I am a bidding wife and as such I am also a budding autocrat.

NoolaBeulah said...

Far be it from me to intrude on this courtship of the autocrats. Nonetheless, if you two can drag your hormone-awash minds towards what I (silly me) thought was the topic of this post, I think there is recognition that certain types of autocratic government do work well as a country modernises quickly. They can hold things together during what is a very destabilisiing process. It certainly seems to have worked that way in SE Asia.

This is not the case in other parts of the work where the group in power basically treats the country as its shopping basket and money cow.

Suddenly, I feel my strength leave me. Whyever would I rabbit on about these things when everyone else in this room is thinking about other ... things? The best move now is just to shut up and watch.

Riri said...

No Noola. Even in those countries where autocracy doesn't work so well, democracy would be even worse. Rather than one party milking the country, it'll be everybody milking it.

At least with one party, they steal and give something back to the people to keep them under the revolution and rioting threshold.

If everybody starts stealing, it is chaos. Happening in Algeria now, absolutely outrageous. Was much better before. These people need to be dictated to. By force.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Finally even gentle Riri accepts that force is necessary to keep up appearances of order. And I do believe in an concept of a just ruler, it seems there is a misconception that every strong ruler is bad. Yes the system will throw a crackpot once in a while, but i don't believe that emperors were a downfall of Roman Empire, it was a pretty stable 400 years i remember.