THE MYTH OF A NEW ASIAN CENTURY- WHY IT IS WESTERN NOT ASIAN
Posted on January 13th, 2011

DR JANAKA GOONETILLEKE

A recent study done in the United States confirms that the Asian brain responds differently to a western brain to the same stimulus. A study that confirms the existence of two different thought processes. It is in this context that one needs to asses the western media hype of the new Asian century. What Asian century? ,Should be the Asian reaction. In reality the Asians has been brain washed to  feel it is their century but they follow the age old western philosophy of Might is Right, constructive destruction and creative accounting epitomised by urbanisation and industrialisation. Progress is assed in the proxy of money created by the western banking system. It makes a mockery of the savings of Asia when Obama created over a trillion dollars in one stroke for quantitative easing. Asia needs to get real. After 200 years of western domination the world is left with depleted resources, environmental pollution increased gap between the rich and the poor, increased Malnutrition etc. In the globalised age the transfer of production has not been free. Production has been transferred with pollution to Asia and cheap labour has been exploited.  When Wen Jiabao the Prime Minister of China states in an interview on CNN that a ipod costs only 4 Dollars to make and that it is sold by the company at $299 what he is talking about is slave labour. This is Neo Colonialism. The best way to asses the future of Asia is to asses Japan the leader of the flock of Geese

JAPAN

                          “But surely” I said “the real Japan must till exist some place

                              Or other if you look for it”

                             He shook his head

                             “Is there no way to save it?” I wondered

                             “No,” he said, “there is nothing left to save”

–         Donald Richie, in conversation with

–                                  Yukio Mishima (1970)

–                                  (Author, Poet, Playwright

–                                     Nominee for the Nobel

–                                      Prize for Literature etc)

   The Japanese were forced into the western economic system by the forceful entry of Admiral Perry in the 1860s when Japan was at ease with itself. This was no different from the entry of Vasco Da Gama into Calicutt. At that time the Muslims, Hindus and Arab traders were trading in harmony. The death and destruction and taking over spice trade was the result. The Arab traders had to make a retreat back to Arabia. The philosophy of the might is right was enforced on the Asians who believed in harmony. With the introduction of Science by Jesuit priests started the belief that a futuristic approach was to imitate the west. When in 1885 Fukuzawa  Yukichi expressed the new wave of thinking in an article titled Good Bye Asia (Datsu-A-Ron) In it he said that the western civilisation has extended East. That started the alienation of the Japanese from Asia. Today Japan is a western country geographically in Asia but is  ill at ease.  A country best described by some as a country to be admired but not loved. The advocates of the theme Rich country and strong army had taken over. The cries of nationalists like Okakura who longed for One Asia was ignored. Thus started the futuristic Japan with gradual elimination of the past. The Buddhist Philosophy of Moralism ,Harmony and the emphasis on the moment  was abandoned for objectivism.  

In this plan militarisation, Urbanisation and Industrialisation with the abandonment of humanism and morality took hold of the country.  Unfortunately this philosophy is the driving force of the so called Asian Powers of the 21st century

 MILTARISATION

Since the late 19th century and early 20th century invasion of china and Japanese Russian war was the result. With the taste of victory the foundations were laid for world war two which resulted in catastrophe with the Nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The butchery in Nanjing will be a scar on every Japanese mind for centuries and the suspicion an impediment to the Relationship with the fastest growing Asian country China. Until today the country is under occupation by the USA who refused to leave although the Government requested them to do so. A result of abandoning a basic Asian philosophy of Violence begets violence.

It is disconcerting that India and China and most Asian countries are arming themselves to the hilt. Asia has the longest ongoing war in Afghanistan and another terrible war in Iraq. Islam phobia is rampant in the west but Islamic terrorism is funded by Saudi Arabia an agent of the west ( as indicated in Wikileaks)as they did against the Russians. There is a anti Iran and anti Korea campaign. The USA is not hesitant in talking about India being the barrier against china. There are plans for permanent contingents of American troops to be placed in Afghanistan and Iraq. All is set for shock and awe.  Has the battle scene been already set? Has Asia learned the lesson of History from Vasco Da Gama  and Admiral Perry. Unity is an essential element in the security of any continent. Last 50 years was the destruction of Africa by Proxy wars Is this now the turn of Asia?

 URBANISATION  AND INDUSTRIALISATION

Creative destruction is the theme.  In the name of modernity villages are dismantled , people who had little but was content with each other have now moved in to high rise flats as in china .In these high rise flats people are cut off from each other. Karma has been replace by aspirations poverty by enmity. The old quarters have been destroyed.  Human relationships have suffered all in the name of modernity a concept borrowed by the ruling classes from the west.

Urbanisation of course has added problems with regards to utilities, health care, education etc which are not accounted for in this new found growth where a trickle up theory is the main theme. Disruption of the rural economy and the added problems of rural deprivation as exemplified by the increased suicide rates of agricultural workers in India are well known. The GNPism as exemplified by the Japanese for catching up with the west use creative accounting to negate the effects of urbanisation.  Growth rates so blatantly used in the west and depict this new Asian century has failed to take into account pollution, human sacrifice etc for the benefit of a few. Transfer of pollution from the west has resulted in China and India having the first four most polluted cities in the world. In the list of the first ten .there is not a single western city An adulterated GDP is published for consumption. Interestingly most of the profits from the major Industries go to large corporations in the west.

CORPORATE MEDIA, CORRUPTION AND BANKS

Corruption and democracy/communism work hand in glove. The present day Democracy can be defined as a government of the crooks by the crooks for the crooks. Whilst the corporate media propagates a sense of well being as rising house prices etc which is part of the boom and bust phenomena of the present economic system it fails to take a holistic assessment of the situation. Wikileaks have confirmed the hypocrisy of the media that propagates lies and misleads the masses in the name of this corrupt empire. Whilst the sense of well being is propagated the ordinary people have to live a hand to mouth existence. This incestuous relationship permeates all borders and are closely  connected to the international banking system

FUTURE OF ASIA

The new Asian Century is only an illusion. A world economy run with Fiat money from the western banking system, speculation not supply and Demand the determinant of prices, a world banking system that is corrupt and not accountable, A Islamic rebellion funded by Saudi Arabia ( well known friend of the west), American Forces well placed surrounding the continent from Iraq to Japan, the propaganda of threat of Asians against Asians, Asia is trapped . If Asia has to have a future their needs to initially be Nation Building. Nations cannot be built by ruling classes in a casino world economic system.  The welfare of the many with propagation of a one Asia and change of strategy on development from a consumption economy to sustainable economy is a must. Nation building said Renan the French intellect amounted to moral consciousness, a daily plebiscite. Security of Asia is in its unity and not on the basis of Might is Right and hegemony by the big powers of Asia. A common Security pact between India and China is a must to nullify the American Threat. Internal dialog not jingoism in dealing with Islamic terrorism and narrow nationalism is necessary. It is said that India colonised china for centuries not by might but by the export of compassion and spirituality of its native philosophies that built friendship and trust.

The Asian century will continue to be an illusion with divided societies the rich getting richer and the poor sacrificing with the environment destroyed unless there is a change of heart of the ruling classes.  For that we need a ruling class with a vision and willing to learn from history, a ruling class that looks towards Asia and abandons the servility to the west.  The lawlessness that has pervaded the early 21st century can only be fought by morality and a policy of welfare of the many.

It is appropriate to take note of the advise given to Japan by the great Indian nationalist Rabindranath Tagore when Japan was embarking on alienating itself from Asia. He noted the distinction between modernisation and modernity. Modernity he said meant freedom of the mind not slavery of taste. He meant independent thought not servility to the European colonialists; He meant proper application of science not to the abuse of it. In contrast modernisation he said was blind imitation.

BY THIS DEFINITION ASIA IN THE 21ST CENTURY HAS BEEN MODERNISING BUT IS NOT IN THE PATH TO MODERNITY.

17 Responses to “THE MYTH OF A NEW ASIAN CENTURY- WHY IT IS WESTERN NOT ASIAN”

  1. sarathk Says:

    Writing your name as “GOONETILLEKE ” also a wrong influance of westerners. It seems to be that you have changed your name such a way that doesn’t hurt white man’s tounge. The right spelling should be “GUNATHILAKA” in order to bring up the meaning of your Asian name. You should correct white man’s mistake. I did so. They can pronunce our names properly if we teach them correctly.

  2. nandimitra Says:

    sarathk,
    spelling of sinhala words and pronunciation for that matter any foreign word is not exacting in English . Gun- ———-athilaka is another way of pronuncing it.It certainly does not convey the sinhala pronunciation. Whats more important is the comments SarathK makes on the article The way the author spells his sername has very little relavance.

  3. Sirih Says:

    There are some silver lining to Asian as well.. Do you know that American studies based on IQ says Asians have higher IQ than the western people? Westerners are 20 points behind Asians..

  4. sarathk Says:

    nandimitra
    I do NOT agree with you. Some Sri Lankan people change the spelling of their names just listening how western man is “trying” to pronounce their foreign strange name. So the person who owns the name listen and thinks that is the english way of pronouncing my name and change the spelling accordingly even though the name is not a English one. ‘English is white man’s language and therefore mistakes cannot be happen to him, so change our own word such a way that he pronounces it.’ So.. That is the mentality some people have -including JRJ. It is true that one language cannot replicate same exact sound in another language but it is better to go closer as much as we can to the original sound in order to maintain our heritage.

  5. maverick Says:

    While it is good to see Asian countries emerging , one must not make the mistake of assuming Chinese style totalitarian model is the best form of government.
    We have to follow western liberal democracy

  6. Sri Rohana Says:

    Janaka! Exactly correct. Asians tried their best to imitate westerners. Japan, S.Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and whole of Asia want to follow west. This ideology is common from Japan to Saudi Arabia.
    Coca Cola, Mc Donald’s, Benz, BMW, KFC culture is thought as best. Asians wants to make their metropolis as New York, London and Paris. Asian development is measure with five star hotels, Motorcars, Mobile phone and Tie and Jacket etc. Communicate in English consider as an extra qualification and communicate in their mother tongue consider as a disqualification (in Sri Lanka). Ultimately they are another kind of Coconuts. Outer skin is brown but their interior thinking as white westerners.

    Unfortunately from Japan to Saudi Arabia, Asians are still crawling to west. They don’t try to take their Asian ideology above the Western ideology.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    A brilliant analysis by Dr Janaka Goonetilleke for which we thank him. What’s in a name, when the writer writes the absolute truth on how things are in this world !

    Yes, all Asian countries are caught in the bind of East vs West thinking. The push to be westernized comes from a FEELING of wanting to belong to the perceived ‘success story’ of the world, the so-called safety net. Here the mass psychology of avoiding feelings of vulnerability, of being ‘left out’, of wanting to feel secure, plays its part. Thus, the Ruling Groups of each eastern country plays its role of appearing to be ‘westernized’ in order to be Accepted by the “Might that is Right” !. It is a question of Survival in a world that has learned to create weapons of mass destruction. Thus, we have blind imitations of western thinking, Conversions to Christianity/Catholicism, thinking in terms of western marketing, GDP as a measure of wealth of a Nation, amassing Money as a measure of Success, etc. Admittedly, there are some western ideas that could safely be incorporated into Asian thinking, and vice-versa.

    India herself is vulnerable right now, trying to win over her Dalit population of some 165-200 Million. May India succeed in her mission !

    But, strangely, all man made systems have a way of imploding or disintegrating over time by the very nature of their inbuilt falseness, unless accompanied by high ethics & morality.

  8. anura seneviratna Says:

    “The present day Democracy can be defined as a government of the crooks by the crooks for the crooks.”

    Well defined Janaka and thanks for this enlightening essay. It can also be said that today’s government based on Western democracy model is a government without “conscience”. Everything has to be on Western model, is correctly blind imitation, is so rampant in the world, as you pointed out countries like Japan etc. plus now China and India following this destructive path, can ask the question, if humanity is bankrupt in wisdom now. The world has become only convenient followers of bright lights without rationality and originality, which calls for much effort and clarity.

  9. nandimitra Says:

    Pabasflaccidhead
    The ponzy money or monopoly money is used to buy up wealth in the east. What naivity ! to consider that money has any value except for the paper used. With regards to correction of the enviorment it is too late. The mayhem in in sri lanka after the recent rains is an example. With regards to china the landslides , flooding and the occupational health problems are only the tip of the iceberg. In china at tha moment the lives of the vulnerable and the poor are expendable. What inhumanity.The greatest achievement of colonialism is the servility of the colonised.

  10. Geeth Says:

    PrabasFlaccidHead,
    The cause of the article and your response to it, and to the comment of Nandimithra reflects the gravity of the problem we have. On the one hand there is a western threat of their neo-colonial juggernaut steamrolling entire planet under the clout of globalization. They will subjugate entire planet to that agenda by hook or the crook, without even hesitant to use maximum military force if needed. Under such background, yes Asia need to strengthen their military, make as many as nuclear arms, achieve western model of development; accumulate foreign reserves, (Dollars and Euros). On the other hand, we are reaching to the brink of ecological disaster and it is a fact.

    But under the model of western development, still many nations haven’t been able to rescue their masses out of poverty. This is valid even for the most developed countries such as USA. This uneven development is a defaulted failure of the western model.

    PrabasFlaccidHead, it was not the lack of our globalized way of thinking that paved the way for the west to dominate Asia. Asia was global visioned much earlier than the west. The trading activities between Asia and the west tell the whole story. West remained in the periphery of Asia until the discovered Amerindia in 15th century. Although Asia dominated the world at the time, Asian giants never wanted to colonize the world by excessive violence like west did. In the cause of competition between Asia and west, the much brutal force (the west) triumphed. There was another reason for the Asia to be vanquished by force and commerce. The unlimited supply of gold and silver from Amerindia to Mediterranean liquidated entire wealth of Indian, Chinese and the Muslim world. In other words, the west bought out the entire Mediterranean commercial apparatus that was earlier dominated by Muslims, by an artificial wealth came completely out of the system of commerce (from Americas) in the Eastern Mediterranean. Then Turkish Empire collapsed. All these reasons paved the way for the west to dominate Asia.

    I take the article of Dr. Gunathilaka as another expression of a concerned individual among many other concerned people of this western model. For that reason, I think it is unfair to brand him as another stooge of imperialists playing cheap game of double bluff; because he is not the only party who has been disturbed by the visible fact that western development will drag the planet into disaster.

    Your argument is valid in the sense of overcoming western threat. But if we are to follow western model and their economic theory of submission to their exploitation of resources, and their theory of globalization under the western center periphery formula, then the best way is to work together with the west rather than going against them. Now that is the thinking of Indian ruling class. But China being partly communist, they cannot do it. Asian argument arises when we think about development in relation to our cultural understanding. In which we have a different model, and that model is Eco-friendly, friendly to planetary life world.

    History demands something very specific from Asia. She has to fulfill her historical role. That is none other than reversing this western drive dragging entire planetary life world into end. Her duty is stopping this western mad cow. If stopping this western mad cow is the role of Asia, then of course she may need military strength. But the battle for this change however is not located in the military domain, but in mass movements and the cooperation between nations in the global south, entirely working together to dismantle and defunct western global system dominated by very few in the world. That is the reason why India and China must work together. That is why we demand them to make peace between them. The strategy will remains in the domain of creating a sustainable global system within global south away from western dictates. That is the reason why people think that India-China have to take the leadership. That is the reason why we must have to begin a development bank for the development of global south. Our development policies are not to satisfy western indexes, but to qualitatively uplifting of the lives of our masses. That is why Asia has to think differently about our entire policy of development.

    Problem is lying in the concept of modernity. As a communist country believed in Marxist doctrine, China believes in this flawed modern concept. Under that concept, man must dominate the universe, and the nature is exploitable object. It along takes China away from its traditional wisdom. India is the other leader entangled in the trap of same modernism due to its colonized ruling class’s faithfulness in modern development. But both nations traditional knowledge hides the path to our way-out. But as far as we think that western model is the only model, then world will never have a way out. Asia is the future and our own path will lead us to that future.

  11. Geeth Says:

    The main problem for many development issues is largely due to the lack of historical knowledge of our region among colonized ruling class in the region. They do not demonstrate any signs of having a vision in creation of a ‘southern global system’. Comparing to south Asian ruling class, Latin American politicians are much advance. President Lula De Silva of Brazil once even suggested having a development bank to help nations in the global south.

    Our administration of President Rajapaksa should organize a global conference of formulating a liberation philosophy inviting prominent thinkers in that field such as ENRIQUE DUSSEL an Argentinean, now living in Mexico. We must invite all African experts in the field, South Asians and other Asian countries, and all Latin American countries for a conference to begin a meaningful south-south corporation in terms of economical development. We must start a development bank for the development of the global south immediately.

  12. gunarat Says:

    This debate clearly shows that the Lankaweb has an enlightened readership who has a good understanding of global history, economics and culture. They have apparently read the literature on world-system theory (Wallerstein, Gunder Frank), Orientalism (Said), Asia-centric political theory (Mahathir & Ishihara, Mahubani), as well as esoteric others.

    These enlightened readers rise up from time to time but stay quiet while most others (the hoipolloi) waste their time trying to generate narrow nationalism and patriotism.

    Goonatilleke has stirred up a vital topic that deserves ongoing debate from all perspectives. But his defeatist and negative attitude toward his own people is a mistake.

    The erstwhile non-aligned nations should form a stronger alliance with China’s backing to terminate the European domination of the world. Sri Lanka must play an active role in this endeavor.

  13. nandimitra Says:

    prabasflaccidhead,
    sorry you have caught the wrong end of the stick as to the message of this article. The author does not advocate a subsevient behaviour to the west . Quite contralily advocates deviation from the west but criticises the asian governments for its corruption in the name of democracy and for its corporation with the west. Do not look far towards india or for that matter china. Look closer to home. If Asia is to survive then corruption must be eleminated. With regards to correction of the damage to enviorment karma cannot be retraced. karma will move forwards. Your criticism of the author is unfair and as seeta said earlier he does not deserve it. I would suggest you read the article properly.

  14. Geeth Says:

    Your comments are so forceful; but I like them. It is sad to here that you have nothing further to add. If you can change your mind please clarify a couple of things here. However with second comment, there are more to agree with you than to refute. Praba, we can see that you want to see our country to be developed, and I also want to see it, and Dr. Gunathilaka also no doubt want to see that happen.

    I agree with you about militarization, because Asia needs its own security. And I also agree that it will be utter stupidity if we are going to be naked in front of western wolves preaching spirituality like Thambaiah did (Buddhism Betrayed). But please clarify a couple of other stand points. Are you suggesting that there is no any other development strategy other than western one? Must we follow the IMF, WB formulas? Must we submit ourselves to this current version of globalizing drive? What is your stand point about greater south-south cooperation? How if India realizes her failures and make peace with China? We never expected that Colombo colonial class would have collapsed with the demise of Prabhakaran, like wise Indian ruling class maintaining Nehru legacy also might end up in near future.

    Actually for lot of things I agree with you. But as far as environment is concerned, I wouldn’t agree with you, because there are damages that can be reversed and there are damages that cannot. The entire planetary humanity with their natural and human resources have been destined to maintain the western population. Current development strategy of Asia is maintaining this bottomless western desire. However this existing environment depletion has been occurred just only for feeding and satisfying the west. Entire planetary humanity has scarified their present and future for the bottomless desires of the west, which is only a 20% of world population but consumes 80% of world resources . What is your answer of the situation that we are going to face when rest of the 80% also developed?

    IMF and WB’s purpose is not to develop the global south but to systematically put them into a structure that ensures the sustainability of western economies at our cost. It is pretty clear, for western thinking, developing global south to the western standard is deadlier than all nuclear arms together. So for preserving west in their current position, our poverty is a necessary condition. If anybody believes that western financial institutions are there to help us in our development he/she must be living in a fairyland.

    Now you say that west purified their landscape by exporting pollution to other countries. But environment is not a matter comes under the boundaries of nation state. It is a universal issue. Exporting destruction of nature from one state to another is not a solution that global south can apply for their development. Where are we going to export environmental issues from Asia, to Africa? Because Latin America will never become anybody’s back yard any more.

    I agree with you that we must liberate from the west and it’s also true that this liberation might get violent. Therefore we must have strengthened our security. At the same time, liberating from the west is not only located in military domain, it is also an entire ideological departure. In which Asia will have to re articulate entire development strategy for the benefit of, not a minority, but entire population. As I said, western model is defaulted with uneven development. Our development strategy mustn’t be a tool to just taking revenge from the west just for our historical animosity against them. It will be a big ideological mistake if we go in that path. Instead we must plan our future for uplifting lives of our masses. In overall, it must be a meaningful for our people. That is why we need south-south cooperation.

    My argument of discarding western model means not discarding development as a whole, but discarding flip side of modern development. For example, there are issues we need to resist; such as current version of western centered globalization, development plans promoting uneven development, dollarization of internal commodity prices for the benefit of western producers, resisting to structural adjustments, and western profit-driven environment destruction in the third world to mention a few. That is the reason I said that we need to start a development bank in the south. But also we need to understand that there is a limit of following the western path even as a strategic reason; because this path only will lead to another world war unless we Asians start a counter mechanism to derail western drive of globalization in the global south with cooperation among southern nations.

    My argument is that, while acknowledging military power, the military might can be secondary option if the nations in the south can work together. Europe can never survive five years without our resources. Northern part of the globe is not like our part, where half of the year is cold and no vegetation. Current state of their agriculture is not self-sufficient to feed Europe. During Second World War USA fed Britain. This is a fact. They even never had little things like wheat, milk or eggs. But USA is a different place. It can stand without resources of others. Unlike USA, Europe will starve to death without our help. Currently they are blackmailing us by having monetary and military leverages. But we have more power than their finance or military if we utilize them.

    So please do not misrepresent critics to say that the critiquing current version of development is aimed to weaken Asian will. No! It is to strengthen it even more. Our entire dream is development, although we have differences in strategy of it.

  15. nandimitra Says:

    It is good to see a very robust discussion. I would like to mention a few facts from this article
    1)miltarisation. The article advocates a security pact between India/china to fight american agression. That is not spirituality . At the same time it advocates a policy that does not practice might is right in its dealings with each other. The best example is indian interterance in SL affairs by arming terrorists. Has it not destabilised India and SL both economicaly and politicaly. A balnce approach is what is advocated
    2) geet has expressed the views on devolepment/enviorment. I do not wish to add to it.
    3) The article also shows that political class has been working hand in glove with the system to the detriment of their countries.
    The long and short of it is unless the south unites like the europeans and devoleps a stratergy to the benefit of the many humanity is at risk.

  16. Fran Diaz Says:

    Now we have a choice of known ‘devils’ & unknown ‘saints’ ???
    Hobson’s Choice !

  17. rhsuperfly Says:

    I think Asians should just “get over” the Asian inferiority complex (many have) and then they can see the “world” or “life” in more objective and historical terms, instead of “us vs. them”. The Asian inferiority complex (as with all the other non-caucasian inferiority complexes) tends to cause the victim of the complex to idealize their own culture’s past, and demonize Caucasians or Westerners. Thanks to the hard and boring work of professional historians (of all races) during many eras, but most especially during the last 100 years, we now know that the history of all the territories of the earth is one of war and criminality and suffering, interspersed with brief periods of relative peace. So as it turns out, no race or sub-culture has been found that is saintly, except for a few isolated cases in which the peace was connected with and dependent on the isolation, as with a few South Pacific islands, or some remote Amazonian villages. However the isolation also meant that they suffered disease like any animal, and shivered when cold, and languished during the times of high heat and humidity. And unfortunately, the course of nature had never guaranteed their isolation, and so the inevitable occured. That Europeans were the first to sail out across the world was a fate of nature unfolding, a result of their location that brought by caravan all the best texts of the day as well as knowledge of inventions. It took centuries for the Europeans to develope sailing ships that could travel large distances, and it took a lot of scientific effort to develope the navigational instruments, like the longitude device, that enabled open ocean navigation rather than the old method of following the coastline.

    Had the Chinese or Japanese developed centuries before Europe, things would be quite different today. It is not likely that India would have developed ahead of any others due to the caste system, which prevented the random distribution of cognitive talent from emerging to the forefront to make the necessary thousands of little contributions to intellectual capital that is necessary for any region to rise in prosperity, which then allows even more cognitive talent to flourish due to increased leisure time.

    Anyway, I am not going to recreate the history of the world here, I am only wanting to emphasize that thousand of clever individual efforts are required for any civilization to rise and keep rising so as to tame nature and make life easier and more comfortable. In the process of the rising, all personality types, like politicians increase in number according to their natural percentage that is likely due to genetic spread of traits. And the business tycoon is also a genetic variant. Every race, every ethnic group, has approximately the same distribution of personality types. Thus every group has its saints and sinners. While poverty will cause an increase in crime due to necessity of survival, crime does not go away with increased prosperity because the criminal type is likely a genetic variant. Note, for instance, the outrageous corruption and criminal activity of politicians in India.

    So anyway, there is not a Western Way that is so very different than the Asian Way, but the difference is time and distribution of knowledge. Westerners have never tried to lock up their knowledge, and have traditionally given it away for free or very low cost – obviously book publishers must earn a living also. A huge number of Asians have embraced so-called Western Knowledge, which is not Western, but universal, based on math used to model the physical world in order to tame it. Math is a firm sort of knowledge because every person has the basic understanding of it embedded in their psyches “a priori”, which means the brain is pre-programmed to understand math, categories, etc. Math is a universal language.

    All people are also pre-programmed to understand “THE GAME”, the understanding that enables one to know that work is hard, and it is that understanding that conjures up schemes to shirk work, such as “gold bricking”. We all understand intuitively the idea of the “excluded middle” when it is explained to us, and even before the explanation we are all aware of it, for instance, with regards the incompatibility of cost vs. time vs. quality.

    So we are really very much the same. The Indian historian has more in common with the European historian than the he does with the Indian furniture artisan. Many good friends are friends due to shared interests, transcending racial genetic differences.

    Modernization and prosperity are not easy to pursue, and the process does cause unintended unpleasant consequences. Math and science do not explain values, and all must evaluate values and figure out ways to pursue or preserve them. Hopes and dreams are nice, but must be accompanied with critical views as to how to make prosperity happen, like for instance, that prosperity requires high efficiency energy sources.

    Most people want to live peacefully and make friends. I suggest that it is beneficial to make “peace and friends” a mantra, and to put the mantra into action. More and more contact between people of all cultures will bring about more friendships and thus over time tend to spread out prosperity. Note for instance that professional cricket and futbol players enjoy good prosperity, and players are traded across national and racial boundaries. The same sort of cross-pollenation can be seen with music and musicians, with the Japanese being Beethoven-crazy. Bonsai gardening is known throughout the West. Yoga continues to spread eveywhere.

    I use the internet to make friends in far flung places. From here in the USA I have already developed friends in India – if I travel there, I will be very busy visiting all of them. Let us all make more friends, while still thinking critically about prosperity and values.

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