Social Philosophy

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By Kishore Mahbubani

KISHORE MAHBUBANI has been hailed as "an Asian Toynbee, preoccupied with the increase and fall of civilizations" (The Economist), a "Max Weber of the hot 'Confucian ethic'" (Washington Post), and "a prototype twenty-first century chief" (Time). A must-read for an individual with even a passing curiosity in modern Asia, this choice of provocative essays is bound to problem how you imagine. Asia's societies have been extra culturally and economically complicated than Europe's on the finish of the 1st millennium. And but via the 19th century the West had leaped up to now forward that even a few Asians themselves harbored photos of inferiority. Mahbubani's research of the earlier and predictions for the long run volume to a take-heed call to Asians and Westerners alike. In assorted items corresponding to "The Ten Commandments for constructing international locations" and "The risks of Decadence: What the remainder Can train the West," he asserts that Westerners are mostly ignorant of their condescending attitudes and practices towards the East and keep that superseded worldview at their very own peril - Asia's economies are poised to surpass these of Europe and North the US in the subsequent fifty years. nobody who reads those iconoclastic, unabashed arguments will ever regard East-West family members within the related light.“If you're looking for perception into how others understand us—and the occasions of September eleven underscore that need—then i do know of no greater advisor than Kishore Mahbubani. His selection of full of life essays will either tell and problem your thinking.”-- Paul Volcker“This publication is a suite of completely first-class essays, elegantly written. . . . Mahbubani has an intuition for the jugular in terms of picking out a serious factor and atmosphere forth a robust thesis touching on it.”-- Samuel P. HuntingtonAuthor of The conflict of Civilizations“Interesting, provocative, and intellectually engaging.”-- Henry Kissinger

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Population numbers matter. When there are extreme differences, they create the sort of security dilemmas that, in their different ways, nations such as Israel, Mongolia, Nepal and white South Africa face. Even in the absence of such conventional security threats, this population imbalance, aggravated by the enormous disparity in living standards, will be the fundamental underlying cause of the new sorts of threats facing the Western world, ranging from migrations of the poor and dispossessed to environmental damage, drugs, disease and terrorism.

As the crisis is still unfolding as this essay is being written, it is too early to provide definitive judgements on the fundamental causes. But a few suggestions are worth making. On the economic front, many mistakes were made. In Thailand, for example, the decision to sustain fixed exchange rates between the baht and the dollar, despite the disparity in interest rates, allowed Thai businessmen to borrow cheap in US dollars and earn high interest rates in Thai baht. This also led to overinvestments in Thailand, in the property and share markets.

Soon, they will help drive it. Asians cannot be free riders forever. Yet few Asians have given thought to how they will reshape the world order. The world is keen to learn what new responsibilities Asia will take on. So far, the region has remained silent. On the cultural front, too, Asian passivity is surprising. Bollywood, the sole major exception, is growing in strength. But in virtually every other field, Asians have been consumers of Western cultural products, especially American ones. The Asian economies now produce almost 40 per cent of global GDP, but they have only a minority stake in the world’s cultural industries, from film to TV, from books to print media.

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