How Asia Can Shape the World

From the Era of Plenty to the Era of Scarcities

Non-Fiction - Gov/Politics
554 Pages
Reviewed on 08/03/2011
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Robert Rose for Readers' Favorite

Professor Moeller has an impressive background in world politics as a Danish Ambassador to several countries and as a professor of business and management. Living in Singapore, he has a unique view within the heart of Asia. His book demonstrates his ability to take massive amount of data and develop possible future scenarios to determine which countries will be the world leaders in this century. One scenario places China, India, USA, and Japan in that order. Another shows what USA needs to do to retain dominance. A third possibility is cooperation and sharing of power between China and USA.

One advantage Asian countries have is their religious and ethical beliefs with centuries of an agrarian philosophy, like that of Native Americans, in which there is a strong respect for the land, plants, and animals. This encourages them not to just take from and destroy their environments, but to give back, replace, and take just what they need. In an era of increasing scarcities of water, land, and resources, this philosophy gives Asians the ability to live with the realities of increasing scarcities. The Western religious beliefs of dominance over all nonhuman things in the world has lead to an increasing destruction of nature. The concept of Manifest Destiny, that means USA knows what's best for everyone else, comes from the same religious beliefs.

Problems: Nation states find it difficult to cooperate and compromise, give part of their autonomy to solve common problems that globalization affects. However,the Asians have a history of social capital and cooperation that makes accepting one's place in a social group easier to accomplish. USA's preoccupation with individual's rights and freedom make it difficult to cooperate and compromise. Asian education is based on massive cramming of data with minimal questioning with little creativity. American schools have the structures, the technology, and the teaching staffs to move away from teacher control and to use integral education to more open students to learn cooperative behaviors while freeing their thinking and creativity by encouraging questioning in a healthy manner. If we do this we will maintain our lead in Nobel prizes as well as scientific discoveries that could lead to solving many of the economic and political problems facing the world.

Last, even though our infrastructure needs much work, it is the best and most efficient in the world. If we need to go to Joergen's other idea that each region may find it more efficient to live within it's region and minimize the need of other regions, then we have the resources to do that. It's all about changing mindsets and working together instead of our present polarization concerning so many issues. The best would be China and USA blending each's strengths to restore planetary and economic health.

This book should be read by anyone who makes a decision that will impact others. A sweeping statement, but in this interconnected, interdependent world, even allegedly small decisions cause ripple effects. For the big policy makers their footprints stomp millions.