to Gain Power in Next Quarter Century?
End of Western Dominance?
Europeans to End Up Biggest Losers? Refusion of Arts & Sciences Should Help
Nov 12, 1994 -
A little item tucked in the survey section of the ECONOMIST's
October 1 issue caught our attention. Entitled
"The Global Economy,"
the three charts, based on the World
Bank's economic forecasts, epitomized what could have been entitled "End
of Western Civilization."
If the term "civilization" is perhaps too strong for
Western tastes, how about a more professorial expression - "End of Western Dominance?"
it still boils down to the same thing.
If the World Bank is
right, it looks like our grandchildren, if not our children, will have to
be able to write "kanji" so as to get somewhere in life.
They will live in a world in which the U.S. will be a second-rate
state. Europe will be a
third-rate continent (see the charts). Long immigration lines will form in front of the Chinese
embassies in Washington, London and Paris, not at the Western diplomatic
missions in Beijing.
the World Bank it right, 2020
will also be the world in which the sun will rise in the East, and set in
the West. After almost two
millennia, the economic order may actually resemble nature!
frightful thought, isn't it?
what do we (the Westerners) do about it?
hard! (But that alone won't
be enough. The West is
unlikely to beat the Asians at their game).
smart. (This is vital!)
The Western ability to have fun while working hard (i.e., being creative) is the best defense against the Asian discipline and hard work. The flight of factories into Asia and South America is inevitable (see ANNEX BULLETIN 94-42, 9/30/94). So rather than buck the trend, we should help it. The same goes for the telecommunication highways.
industrialists of the 21st century will be the farmers of
the 20th century! (i.e.,
low on the food chain).
there be work left for us to do?
will be plenty of brain work needed to provide the traffic on the global electronic
"superhighways" by the time the "Third Wave" economies (as defined by Alvin Toffler) are in full
swing. But we must revamp our
government and educational institutions to better prepare our work force
for the new challenges.
short, the World Bank economists
are wrong to look at the past, and extrapolate it to predict the future.
Using the same methodology, John Akers predicted that IBM would be
a $180 billion-company by now (his January 1985 forecast).
of Arts and Sciences
major flaw in World Bank's logic
is that the leading economies of
the 21st century will not be industrial.
They will be an information-driven mixture of arts and sciences.
By the way, that's a blend which a 16th century great (Western)
mind also possessed. If a TV
reporter stuck a microphone in front of Leonardo daVinci, and
asked him to separate his "art" from his "science"- he
would probably have trouble doing it!
It's the industrial era's
penchant for compartmentalizing
things so as to be able to mechanize
them that has driven us to differentiate between the two. Artists lived in a world which could not be mechanized.
Until now, that is. With
the advent of information technology, the (re)fusion of arts and sciences
is also inevitable. In a way,
man will be returning to nature courtesy of the silicon.
frightful thought, isn't it?
worry. The universe is
unfolding as it should...
week, Bill Gates bought daVinci's "Codex
Hammer" for almost $31 million.
Was he banking that the "good spirits" of the great
medieval master will make him "another daVinci?"
"Codex Hammer" (now
about to become "Codex
Gates?") could be a bad omen, too.
When the chairman of Occidental
Petroleum bought daVinci's Codex
in 1980 for $5.6 million, Arnold Hammer was at the apex of his personal
power and influence (he died 10 years later).
Gates' fate, the information technologies of the 21st century will become
the fuel of new innovative "science-artists."
As a result, come March 2020, we bet that the "Oscars" will still be handed out in Hollywood, not Beijing or
Tokyo; that the Broadway, London and Moscow's live stages will still be
the places to make one's world debut.
Happy bargain hunting!
Can you afford not to know such things if you're a global competitor? If you agree, call us as (602) 824-8111.
Editor: Bob Djurdjevic
5110 North 40th Street, Phoenix, Arizona
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