One of the most peculiar beliefs of Asians, and increasingly Europeans, is that their past was better than the present or the future. Now think about that rationally..
The past had feudalism, monarchy, despotism, famines, epidemics, grinding poverty, back-breaking labor, high childhood mortality, malnutrition, priestly scumbags and a host of other problems which should be obvious to any person with more than half a brain.
Even the pre-ww2 peak of western Europe was not that great for most people living in that part of the world. The degree and extent of global post-ww2 prosperity and technological progress is unlike any period in human history. There is simply no analogue, let alone homologue, to the age we live in.
However a large percentage of people want to preserve their culture, traditions and other assorted lunacies. Face it.. most culture, customs, traditions are meant to stop progress and keep a shitty status quo going.
So let me go after them one by one..
Take China and other east-Asian countries. Their traditions of conformity, respecting tradition and integrating the old into new are the biggest roadblocks to any intrinsic progress. Their zero sum attitudes towards money and generally autistic attitude will be their undoing- look at Japan to see the best case dystopia. There is something wrong with a civilization when their younger member feel that there is no future worth striving for.
Copying technology, and being good at manufacturing, has its limits as the Japanese experience has shown. It is not that they lack intelligent people or heretics, but a society that imposes stifling conformity is ultimately its own worst enemy. The Japanese got rid of guns and Western thinking in the 17th century.. and see where it got them in the 19th (Black Ships).
And who are these industrial powerhouses going to sell their products to? They themselves are remarkably frugal and spend less than they earn thereby reducing money supply over time. However a reduction in money supply will reduce demand and commercial activity. Supply chains and industrial activity requires a certain minimum threshold of stable demand. But if everybody holds on their cash nobody will produce more than the very basics of life, and even that will become far more inefficient as the technological capacity degrades. We will then have a world where everybody has money but nothing worthwhile to spend it on.
India is no better. I have never understood why their self-destructive attitudes towards many things from food, dress and customs could prevail when reform was possible. Only a system with a death wish would not fully exploit available and inexpensive agricultural technology. The same can be said about providing water to people, agriculture and industry. How can a country where even the few arid regions have annual rainfall levels exceeding many parts of inland Spain not have enough water throughout the year? The population density in most areas of India, save a few urban centers, is less than many west-European countries.
Then there is this bullshit religious crap about not eating meat and why would any woman in India wear such heavy clothes.. it is HOT there! It is interesting to note that women in India, for most of history, did not wear even a fraction of what they wear now. Moreover with the partial exception of beef, Indians were avid meat-eaters for most of history, as numerous independent accounts of visitors from other countries attest to. Even more peculiar are their current levels of sexual prudery- which not the case even 150 years ago. So which set of beliefs are the traditionalists trying to uphold?
Coming to the Middle-East. Somebody has to tell the majority of people in that part of the world that they cannot live as if it was 700 AD. It is simply not possible to have anything approaching a functional society with 21st century technology and 7th century laws, customs and mores. Is there is single somewhat stable country in that region- other than Israel? Why not? I my opinion, it is more about outlook than religion or IQ. You can find many educated and reasonably secularized people from that region do quite well in N. America- so they certainly don’t lack the mental apparatus to run a less dysfunctional show.
It is just that the attitudes and belief systems in their countries of origin are stuck in a different era- and regrettably they won’t come unstuck until there is much more internal strife in those countries. However even in those countries we see a tendency to relive the ‘glorious’ past through reinstitution of religion based laws and mores. Let us be honest about something.. that whole set of customs, laws and traditions were meant for a zero-sum existence in some god forsaken village in an era whose remains needs to be demolished and paved over.
Will skewer Europe in the next part of this series.