Only Eastern Wisdom Can Save The World From Western Arrogance                            

A supporter of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a banner for his arrival near the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, August 15, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young – RTX1ODWB

By Dr. Sawraj Singh

It is becoming increasingly clear that western arrogance poses the biggest Challenge to world peace and is the biggest risk for the existence of mankind and the world. The western countries will risk starting the most destructive Third World War rather than let go their domination and hegemony. They are behaving like a spoilt little child who says that if he cannot have a toy then nobody else can have it. There is a crude Punjabi saying that says “If I do not play then I will let nobody else play either and I will urinate in the play hole.”The western countries are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their control over the world. However, they are acting as spoilers and are not letting anybody take over.

It seems that the neo conservatives and the neo liberals in America both like to see the twenty first century as an American century. However, history has already decided that the twenty first century will be Asia’s century. About 25 years ago I wrote an article, Asia’s Century and later wrote a book by that name. Similarly, I wrote an article during the Iraq war, Iraq Crisis and Multipolar World. At least to l, my knowledge, I was the first person to use these terms. Now, these terms have become popular and many world leaders have used them. Nobody should have any illusions about the twenty first century being anything different than Asia’s Century and Multipolar World.

Rise of the east and decline of the west are not transitory trends. They are based upon well established economic, social, moral, cultural and political trends. The western capitalist society is in a state of global decline. This situation cannot be reversed now no matter what any American or European leader does. As a matter of fact the rate of decline of the western society is only going to accelerate. There are fundamental reasons for the decline of the west. Besides the economic decline, the west is suffering from lack of any cohesive force which can prevent the society from complete disintegration. Disintegration of family, alienation and absence of any deep sense of belonging as a result of extreme individualism and radical egalitarianism have weakened roots of the western society and it is like a tree which can fall any time.

Western Arrogance is going to become the main reason for the impending collapse of the western society.  However, the main concern of the world is that will the end of western civilization mean end of human civilization and the world. I do not think that is going to happen. We should understand that in the final analysis, arrogance is the product of ignorance. Therefore, the main cause of west’s decline is ignorance. Some will question that how can ignorance be a problem of the western society when this society is technologically so advanced. There is a flood of information with all the computers available. It is true that there is a lot of information available in the west.

However, information does not automatically become knowledge and knowledge does not automatically become wisdom. For information to become knowledge we need process of assimilation and for knowledge to become wisdom we need experience. When information available in the computers is not assimilated by people then it remains just information and does not become knowledge. Similarly, radical egalitarianism does not recognize and respect the role of experience. Therefore, in spite of technological progress and super abundant information, the west lacks wisdom. This is one of the biggest causes of decline of the west. Western Arrogance today poses the biggest challenge to world peace and to survival of mankind and the world.  Only eastern wisdom can save mankind and the world today because it can pull the west out of ignorance and therefore help the west to get rid of its arrogance. It is western arrogance which is preventing the west to understand and accept the major trends of contemporary world which are rise of the east and decline of the west.

Let us look at the standard chartered predictions for the 10 biggest economies in 2030 in descending order: China, India, USA, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, Russia, Japan and Germany. Economic decline of the west is obvious from these figures.

Similarly, if we look at the rising rates of divorce and falling rates of fertility then the social and moral decline of the west becomes obvious. Divorce rate in America is 53%. In some of the European countries it is much higher: France 55%, Estonia 58%, Luxembourg 60%, Spain 63%, Czech Republic 66%, Hungry 67%, Portugal 68% and Belgium 71%. Replacement fertility rate is the fertility rate which is necessary to keep the population stable. 2.1 is the rate which is required to keep the population stable. However, in the western countries replacement fertility rate has fallen much below this and it continues to fall. In most of the western countries replacement fertility rate is running below 2.00 for example the US had 1.74, Germany 1.50 and Portugal 1.30.

All these figures show that the western civilization is in a state of decline and it is very unlikely that these trends can be reversed now. It is very likely that twenty first century which is going to be Asia’s century, will also be the century of the end of the traditional western civilization. If America and Europe survive a Third World war, then we are most likely to see major demographic changes in these regions in the twenty second century. Instead of the white Christian west, we will see a racially and religiously mixed west. However, this will be only possible if the west gives up its arrogance and learns from wisdom of the east. The west will have to give up its absolutist thinking and adopt eastern relativist thinking. Similarly, it has to give up intolerance and adopt eastern tolerant approach. The west has also to learn from the eastern philosophy of living in harmony with nature. This will also teach it the value of mutual coexistence.

If the west does not give up its arrogance, is unwilling to learn from the eastern wisdom and does not give up its childish attitude of if I cannot have it then nobody else can have it either then the crisis of the western civilization is very likely going to become terminal and we may not see the western civilization as we know beyond the middle of the century. We certainly hope that the west will learn the virtue of sharing and adopts an attitude that it is better to retain half than losing it all.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at sawrajsingh@hotmail.com.


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