The New Asian Hemisphere | Kishore Mahbubani

Summary of: The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East
By: Kishore Mahbubani

Introduction

Discover the perspectives and insights of ‘The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East’ by Kishore Mahbubani, which explores Asia’s unprecedented economic ascent and the challenges it poses to traditional Western dominance. This compelling book discusses Asia’s adoption of free market economics, science and technology, meritocracy, pragmatism, a culture of peace, rule of law, and education as drivers of its growth. Mahbubani also critiques the West’s reluctance to adapt to change and examines possible scenarios that may come to pass: the march to modernity, the retreat into fortresses, and the triumph of the West. By diving into the summary of this thought-provoking book, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Asia’s incredible transformation and what it means for the global balance of power.

Asia’s Rise and Western Attitudes

The rise of Asia’s economic power is transforming the world, but Western nations are slow to applaud and embrace the democratization of the human spirit and modernity that come with it. Instead, they cling to outdated ideologies and narrow attitudes that hinder progress. This resistance to change will lead to one of three scenarios, including the retreat into fortresses and the potential triumph of the West. The book challenges readers to rethink their attitudes towards Asia’s economic power and embrace a more open, forward-thinking approach.

The Resurgence of Asia

The resurgence of Asia is not a return to ancient wisdom, but rather a result of embracing the principles that led to the West’s prosperity. These include free market economics, science and technology, meritocracy, pragmatism, a culture of peace, the rule of law, and education.

For centuries, Asia was the dominant economic force until the Industrial Revolution shifted the balance to the West. However, Asia is now experiencing a resurgence, and this is not due to a revival of ancient wisdom, as many might think. Instead, it has embraced the fundamental principles that led to the West’s prosperity: free market economics, science and technology, meritocracy, pragmatism, a culture of peace, the rule of law, and education.

China, for instance, is a living laboratory for comparing communism versus free market economics. Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward led to a backward economy, while market freedom has led to tenfold increases in annual income for many Chinese households. The Chinese embrace globalization as it frees them from poverty and agricultural drudgery.

Asian governments are now investing heavily in science and technology, and soon nine out of ten science and engineering Ph.D. students may come from Asia. India’s Institutes of Technology are now more selective than Harvard and MIT. Also, meritocracy is replacing the old feudal traditions that had suppressed the lower classes for centuries. India and China are seeing a shift towards equal opportunities for all classes of society.

The pragmatic approach of Japanese leadership, adopting the best practices of the West, brought Japan to modernization before the rest of Asia. Similarly, pragmatism played a significant role in China’s emergence from poverty. Additionally, Asia has remained largely peaceful since the end of the Vietnam War, and it is following the West into a culture of peace.

The rule of law is new and somewhat alien in Asia. However, it is recognized as necessary for a modern economy. China is passing and enforcing laws, recognizing the need for laws to protect its new wealthy class from political power. Even though the politically-well connected act as though they are above the law, most Asian states are now inclining towards the rule of law.

Overall, education has been instrumental in Asia’s resurgence. The number of Asian students training abroad is increasing, and many are returning home to make a difference. Asians recognize that a good education can open doors to great achievements.

In conclusion, Asia’s resurgence is not a return to ancient wisdom but rather a result of embracing the principles that led to the West’s prosperity. These principles include free market economics, science and technology, meritocracy, pragmatism, a culture of peace, the rule of law, and education. Asian governments have recognized the importance of these principles and are investing heavily to follow in the footsteps of the West.

The Fallacy of Western Superiority

The decline of Western influence in the 21st century signals a shift in the world order, with Asia’s rise as a key player. The post-World War II power balance no longer reflects today’s economic and political distribution, yet the West still clings to its outdated perceptions. Westerners cannot grasp the reality that freedom means different things to different cultures, nor do they acknowledge the shortcomings of their own values. The West’s declining moral prestige in countries like India demonstrates the need for a new world order in which non-Western societies take an equal role as shapers of history.

Want to read the full book summary?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed