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GLOBAL TRENDS

"Indo-China" to Gain Power in Next Quarter Century?

End of Western Dominance?

Europeans to End Up Biggest Losers? Refusion of Arts & Sciences Should Help

PHOENIX, 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?" 

But 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.

If 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! 

A frightful thought, isn't it?

So, what do we (the Westerners) do about it?

Pray. 

Anything else?

Work hard!  (But that alone won't be enough.  The West is unlikely to beat the Asians at their game).

What else?

Work 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.  

For, the industrialists of the 21st century will be the farmers of the 20th century!  (i.e., low on the food chain).

Will there be work left for us to do? 

There 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. 

In 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).

Fusion of Arts and Sciences

A 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. 

Another frightful thought, isn't it?

Don't worry.  The universe is unfolding as it should...

"Codex Gates"

This 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?"  ( )  But "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).

Whatever 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. 

So, Western man - dream on.  Work hard, yes, but above all - work smart.  Just don't ever take success for granted!  For, complacency is the mother of failure.

Happy bargain hunting!

Bob Djurdjevic

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Can you afford not to know such things if you're a global competitor?  If you agree, call us as (602) 824-8111.








Volume XI, No. 94-52
November 12, 1994

Editor: Bob Djurdjevic
Published by Annex Research;
e-mail: annex@djurdjevic.com

5110 North 40th Street,      Phoenix, Arizona 85018
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