East is Rising, West is Declining?
The East is rising and the West is declining.
India and China are on the rise economically, producing more and more of the world’s wealth and finished goods while Europe and the United States are on the way down, producing less and less.
Why is this happening?
Because the US and Europe have become more and more socialistic while China and India have moved towards capitalism.
It happens every time.
This is not to say that China is a capitalist nation with no problems. Ditto India. They both are highly overpopulated, have widespread and deeply-rooted poverty, and will need many decades of sustained growth to even come distantly close to America’s or Europe’s overall standard of living. But they are headed in the right direction.
And this is not to say that they will sustain their path and not fall back into their old ways. Or that the US and Europe will never reform and join the Growth Club once again. Far from either. The world is in flux. As always.
Right now, however, we are seeing a transformation in the world economy that all Americans should be concerned about, but also inspired by. Because the positive outcomes are a result of nations emulating the American model.
Even Europe is making major economic changes in the recession. Ireland is cutting its federal budget sharply, Britain is laying off 490,000 government workers (the equivalent of 2.5 million government workers in the US when populations are compared) while even Germany is warning America about deficits and spending.
China too. Indeed even the communists are seeing what good capitalism can do, the folly of government control of the economy, and the catastrophe of debt. Because even some communists recognize failure… if they are not the extreme extreme types who refuse to see the truth.
Will there be a final breakdown in China’s communist fortress as there was in the Soviet Union in 1991?
Perhaps. We shall see. The chances are better than they have been since the murderous marxists seized power in 1949.
India began its reforms in 1992 under finance minister – and now prime minister – Manmohan Singh, who set that nation on a path to loosen the stranglehold that Soviet-style socialism had put on the country since its independence from Britain in 1947.
India decided wrongly at that time to ally itself with the most anti-Western of powers as a slap at the Western nation that had occupied it. So they cozied up to Stalin & Co., adopting a Soviet-style bureaucracy and central planning. This choked India for decades and caused massive poverty to entrench itself. India’s bureaucracy was globally famous, and a world-class embarrassment.
Since 1992, however, more than 300 million Indians are said to have entered the middle class. Which shows that capitalist reforms can produce dramatic results in a short time if they are adopted without qualification.
Meanwhile China‘s entry into the world’s free market over the last 10 years has been nothing but a bonanza for the shackled victims of communism. China today looks like America in the 1950s, adapting wide-eyed to a new world of consumer goods never seen before.
Will this flush growth only serve to empower the militaristic communist government by providing it great wealth?
That is for time to tell. But the theory says that once free markets get their foot in the door, they become a vehicle for bringing in new ideas in other areas like government and politics. We shall see if the Chinese dictators give in or if they are able to keep the lion of liberty at bay. It will not be easy. But then again, never underestimate the power of tyrants.
China, of course, it not really playing by the rules. It is, of course, using all Western technology to advance – electricity, computers, the internal combustion engine, Western engineering, all developed over millennia in cultures from Ancient Greece to Europe to Silicon Valley. This is fine. This is another of our Western gifts to the world. Unfortunately the Chinese also are stealing whatever they can, producing cheap knock-offs of foreign goods by violating international copyright and patent laws, pilfering proprietary manufacturing systems, and acting much like the outlaws that communists always are. They are manipulating their currency so as to make exports cheaper, and blocking American entry into some of their markets.
Should we forgive them? Is the potential for freedom worth tolerating the duplicity of China today?
It is hard to say. But one thing is for sure. China is changing and that is a good thing. Because China was for decades a backward, murderous dictatorship under which as many as 50 million people were said to have been executed by the government.
Indeed more trade and more international influence is bound to have a growing effect on China. After all it was difficult for decades for foreigners even to get access. Today trade is doing what diplomacy never could. And that is the beauty of the free world market.
Since independence India has been a reluctant ally of the West. Yet we always have praised her for her adherence to the principles of liberty which would seem all but impossible in such a place. But India has been known for years as The World’s Largest Democracy, and for that we must admire her. India miraculously has not sunk into the tyrannical abyss of so many of its neighbors.
Those of us who know Indian immigrants here in America know that they are very hard-working, diligent and good contributors to our economy. Unfortunately most Indian-Americans and most Chinese-Americans have very liberal, Democrat-party values. So perhaps they can look back home and see the folly of socialism and can help us turn back the clock on our march here toward stasis and a command economy.
All Americans should recognize anew that our Founders knew that a free-market economy would do the most good for the most people, something that every nation ultimately comes to realize after its experiments with socialism and communism. In fact it was America that provided the incubator to the world for the two forces that have liberated billions of people today – republican constitutionalism and open-market capitalism.
What these two forces show is the wisdom of our Founders to shift the political discourse away from top-down command by a moneyed elite and to give power to the people. And that indeed is what is happening today in India and China. The people themselves are seeing their own personal power for what it truly is – the great liberator within each of us.
Yet it was America that led the way, and that is why we can be inspired and optimistic. While our Democrat liberals lecture us about all the ills they perceive in our society, it is America that has been the source for all the world’s progress. Free markets, free politics and free people are the ultimate goal for man from time immemorial. We Americans should thank our Founders that they codified all three in a convergence of great thoughts that changed the world permanently, and ultimately will change America again for the better.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.