The Decline of the Third World, by Jayant Bhandari.
The only region in the world that has proactively tried to incorporate western culture in its societies is East Asia — Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan. China, which was a grotesquely oppressed, poor, Third World country not too far in the past, notwithstanding its many struggles today, has furiously tried to copy the West.
Western culture, which developed organically over at least the two and half millennia, starting from Greco-Roman philosophers, is not easy to duplicate.
This culture requires thrift, honesty, hard work, liberty, individuality, dispassionate reason, objective justice, loyalty, honor, stoicism, a desire to rise above oneself, and many other factors that perhaps cannot be seen or isolated but must be absorbed subliminally in all their complex interactions. These are reflected in social, religious, and political structures of the West — the three independent branches of government, the rule of law, compassion for others, charity, family system, etc.
The West and East Asia, including China, comprise a mere 2.5 billion people.
“The Rest,” the Third World, comprises 5 billion out of 7.5 billion people on the planet. The cultural factors underpinning the West sound like clichés until one who gives up political correctness for the truth starts to see that the Third World, despite its several centuries of interactions with the West, simply fails to understand them.
The Third World is blind to what makes the West a civilization. It is as if the Third World cannot rise above animal instincts — craving for food, power over others, sex, and for the material.
Over several centuries of western colonization and missionary activities, an attempt was made to infuse Western cultural factors into the Third World. It was only a marginal success. Since the third world countries achieved political independence, without constant Western involvement, all has been lost. Christianity became voodoo, and the political system became a tool for tribalism and tyranny.
The Third World is tempted by only the physical products of Western society. They are pleasure-centric. When they look at the West, all they see is entertainment, an easy-going lifestyle, freedom from responsibility, liberal governments, free health-care, consumerism, social welfare, and good salaries. They either want to be economic migrants to the West or copy the Western lifestyle, without an iota of an understanding that they must have wealth-generating capabilities first and that there is something at the foundations of Western culture.
There is a virtual absence of reading habits in the Third World. If they end up reading Ayn Rand, all they see in it is a drama. They fail to see a non-collectivist philosophy embedded in it. If they watch movies like the Matrix, all they see is a sci-fi movie. They fail to see any suggestion that they might be getting indoctrinated by their leaders.
What they see as the culture of the West from their narrow worldview is primarily the culture of its lower-class and the entertainment industry. …
Ease of travel made the situation worse by enabling the emigration of the best people from the Third World.
Since the departure of European colonizers, the Third World has been culturally and institutionally regressing to its pre-European dark ages. None of these societies are sane, stable, or sustainable by themselves. It is the fear of America that keeps their tyrants behaving better than they otherwise would and their nations from falling into forever wars between their tribal units.
Despite this cultural and institutional regression, the free-gift of Western technology and the green revolution, and peace imparted by America still enabled economic growth, which alas has allowed more cultural problems to accumulate before Malthusian equilibrium kicks in again. …
Western civilization is based on rationality.
Tools for development and growth in the West have failed in the Third World, and often had the opposite effects. The question is, why is it that the Third World has failed to absorb and even notice the cultural qualities of the West? What went wrong? Why did the Third World fail to maintain the benefits offered?
The fundamental problem of the Third World is that the concept of reason is conspicuous by its absence. Without “reason,” intellectual and financial capital is not accumulated. The operating system in their minds is tribalism, superstition, magical thinking, and irrationality. This operating system makes them impervious to absorbing Western intellectual capital.
Without the rationality, civilization is not possible. Irrational societies must vacillate between dogma, hedonism, and savagery, never stumbling on another dimension, rationality.
Whatever you do, don’t mention IQ. That really sets off the politically correct mob.