The Big Ideas of 2010

Confucius

East-West, good-evil, right-wrong?
Confucius
Still from “BKK Siam Square, Bangkok 03-12-02, 2002” | courtesy Beat Streuli (www.beatstreuli.com) and Murray Guy, New York

This summer, just three days before he was elected prime minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama published an op-ed article in the pages of the New York Times that ruffled more than a few feathers, both at home and abroad. “A New Path for Japan,” a critique of American-style capitalism and its failings and a call for a greater regional integration of Asian nations, was seen by many as a diatribe against the perniciousness of the selfish West and a sentimental, quasi-socialist embrace of the more benign, communally sensitive East. In a way it was.

Voices rose on both sides of the world – even before Hatoyama was officially elected. American commentators decried the weakening or potential collapse of the US-Japan security alliance, a postwar deal rooted in Cold War politics that has largely reduced Japan to a compliant host of American military bases and a reliable supplier of American consumer goods: America’s impotent little brother, or in artist Takashi Murakami’s formulation, a reconfigured “Little Boy” (from the codename of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima). Some were even snarkier, questioning Hatoyama’s fitness for governance and claiming his party would ruin Japan’s economy.

On the Japanese side, officials clamored to suggest that the article was never intended for publication in the Times, claiming the op-ed was a truncated version of a longer essay (true) whose original template was far more nuanced and America-friendly (debatable). At one point, rumors emerged from Tokyo that the article had been published by the newspaper without permission, raising copyright-infringement concerns and the suspicion that it had been leaked by members of the opposition party, whose very America-friendly members were on the verge of losing power for the first time (with one brief exception) in 55 years.

I happened to read the story in New York, where friends and colleagues who had no reason to know the name of Japan’s then prime minister were becoming increasingly aware that the nation was about to undergo an historic electoral and paradigmatic shift. But I found the borderline hysterical reactions on both sides of the world amusing and also intensely revealing. For what Hatoyama seemed to be saying to readers in the West from his soon-to-be-pulpit boiled down to this: We’ve tried your way. We’ve been trying it most strenuously since the end of the war. We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. But things have changed, and it’s time to do it our way now.

The principles of the “our way” Hatoyama outlines wouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with Japanese culture or with the broader tenets sustained in many Asian societies. Cautioning against “the dangers inherent within freedom,” he calls for a return to the Japanese concept of yuai: a sense of love, friendship and brother/sisterhood that binds communities together and gives them a sense of purpose, meaning and security. Contrasting this with the loss of human dignity resulting from an economic system in which “people are simply personnel expenses,” Hatoyama especially focuses on the need to shrink economic disparities and embrace a new era of multipolarity, in which no single nation – pointedly, neither the US nor China – holds all the cards.

Sound familiar? US President and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack Obama sounded very similar notes on the campaign trail and in his acceptance speeches: espousing the restoration of dignity to the American worker, the value and virtue of community-building, healthcare for all citizens and respecting all national leaders, be they friend or foe, in a multipolar 21st century world.

I suspect the overblown reaction to Hatoyama’s op-ed – anxieties and accusations in the West, denials and dust-ups in the East – ensued not because of his vision for Japan’s imminent new path, but because he clarified a paradigm shift that is now fully under way. The winds of change are today blowing East to West; the new path is already here.

Permit me, for a moment, to get philosophical about portability – specifically, the Sony Walkman, which celebrated its 30th birthday earlier this summer, exactly two months before Hatoyama’s election.

When the Walkman emerged in the US, massive, multilayer component stereo systems were still de rigueur in America, maximizing the sonic boom in your basement or bedroom, but also standing as a brute physical monument to your tastes and fiscal prowess. Visiting a friend’s home and admiring his chest-high monolith of stereo components was akin to oohing and aahing over the gleaming fins and fenders of his massive American car. The consumer product was an extension of the self, and size, not to mention price tags, definitely mattered.

To be sure, Japanese brand names soon edged in on the heft. Pioneer, Panasonic and, yes, Sony eventually displaced Magnavox and Zenith. But the arrival of the Sony Walkman and its successful penetration of Western markets heralded a new set of priorities. The Walkman didn’t boast of its owner’s wallet or individual acumen. Sleek and small, you didn’t look at it, you listened to it. It sounded, to early users at least, like a million bucks. It was an affordable inconspicuous and unobtrusive portable device. I shared tapes and earphones with numerous pals on school buses and in hallways and locker rooms. I was no longer showing off my equipment or expertise to a single visitor, but building a community through personal contact.

What I only dimly knew then, of course, was that the Walkman was produced by a nation low on national resources, limited in space and keen on reinvention. A nation much like the world we are all living in now.

Ten years ago American journalist T.R. Reid wrote a book called Confucius Lives Next Door, in which he tried to make a compelling argument for the West’s adoption of Asian ways. I read it when it first appeared and thought what many critics wrote: Are you crazy? His itemized lists of Japanese virtues read like a laundry list of American phobias: respect your elders, don’t question authority, do your work obediently, learn to live with adversity, don’t challenge the status quo.

But rereading the book now, ten years after its publication, I realize Reid was on to something, however poorly timed his analysis. We are living in a world of declining expectations and aspirations, so the cliché goes, but only if our goals are based on a dying paradigm. If we are living in a world of real possibility, where egalitarianism can coexist with capitalism, where selfhood doesn’t collide with community, then maybe Asia can show us where we’re going.

Shortly after September 11, 2001, my Japanese mother flew from Boston to Tokyo to visit me. Though her flight was nearly empty, she said she wasn’t worried. Once you’ve lived through relentless B-29 firebombing raids, as she did during World War II, you can bear one day of terror attacks and get on with your plans.

Together we flew to Okayama Prefecture in southwestern Japan to meet one of her cousins for a tour of the island-studded Inland Sea. Her cousin collected us in his new car, which he was clearly very proud of. It was a Toyota (of course), and a bit boxy in design, but it had a sleek dashboard with digital readouts that lucidly registered every atmospheric and automotive tick. The ride was smooth and the seats were comfortable, but every time he braked for a red light, the car’s engine simply stopped. It was entirely silent.

“This is a hybrid vehicle,” he explained, “a mix of electric and gas. It’s called the Prius. It’s the least wasteful car in the world.”

My mother peered back at me over the headrest. “Do you think this could ever be popular in America?”

I didn’t hesitate. “Never,” I said. “It’s too quiet.”

Americans, I believed, stake their claim by being loud, individualistic, even borderline obnoxious. Excess is the point – and is often prized and celebrated. A vehicle with tailored wings or Humvee mass has to purr, hum and roar when it stops and starts at a traffic light. This Prius, whatever its technological assets and environmental soundness, was simply too timid and conscientious for the bright and mighty West.

But that was then. Neither my mother nor her cousin nor I could have anticipated the absurdity and impotence of America’s ongoing “war on terror” and its increasingly Pyrrhic and pathetic invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. None of us could have foreseen the economic collapse that has laid bare the rickety assumptions the American mythology of selfhood and selfishness was precariously erected on. And in the days after 9/11 we didn’t yet realize that the West and its romantically errant ways were fast becoming unsustainable: fodder for fools who still think the good life, defined by commerce, is forever.

What’s happening in America and in other Western nations is as simple as it is necessary: We’ve begun looking to Asian models for cues to shape our intertwined futures.

Today the Toyota Prius is one of America’s top-selling cars. Toyota can barely keep pace with American consumer demand, and the Prius comes with lengthy waiting lists. Today China manufactures every bit of clothing you and I own, with the possible exception of an Italian suit or French dress for formal occasions. Sushi is in the supermarket, chopsticks are at the ballpark.

“Asia is undergoing a renaissance,” says Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, speaking to me in downtown Tokyo about his decision to let a Vietnamese-French director, Tran Anh Hung, film his novel Norwegian Wood. “The entire region has changed because we now have money and power. And we do things differently than the West. It’s a different sense of time, sound and vision. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to be leaders rather than followers.”

Asia is far from perfect, of course. The cronyism, corruption and lack of transparency that have plagued regional politics, for example, need to go. And to varying degrees many Asian societies have incorporated positive values we associate with the West: critical independence, selfhood, entrepreneurship and thoughtful irreverence. But is it time now, a decade after Reid’s book on the virtues of Confucianism, for the West to adopt some good news from the East: community, calm, reverence and egalitarianism? And do we even need the hackneyed binaries of East/West, good/evil, right/wrong, socialism/capitalism, or can we finally proceed without them?

As we move into the next decade of the new century, I propose that we in the West embrace Asia’s successful societies– not as exotic mysteries, but as new potential paradigms. The West has contributed to Japan in spades. There would arguably be no Osamu Tezuka, Hayao Miyazaki or global anime explosion without artists like Walt Disney and Max Fleischer, and probably no Walkman without the advancement of stereophonic sound technologies in Europe and America. Today’s laptops and iPods, cell phones and other mobile devices are better understood as products of Japanamerica: a hybrid source from which we’ve all benefited.

Let’s listen to our neighbors in the East. A culture that prizes quiet contemplation, self-abnegation, community and stability should not threaten us in the West. We can do better if we learn from one another. And with our entire planet threatened by extinction, we need to.

Roland Nozomu Kelts is the author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the US. He is a lecturer at the University of Tokyo, a contributing editor for A Public Space magazine and a columnist for the Daily Yomiuri. His forthcoming novel is called Access.

20 comments on the article “Confucius”

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ArthurFrDent

There is so much to say, and yet? Oh, well. I think you are leaving out a couple of important points, Roland. One is Age. We are punk kids compared to thousands of years of Asian civilizations... perhaps at 1000 the US might be settled down? This really affects who we think we are, don't you think? I dunno how much you have travelled flyover country within the US, if you ever driven east to west here, but there is a LOT of it. Peopled by very different types and backgrounds, and often quite sparsley... I live in Colorado which is about the size of Japan minus Hokkaido... With only 4.5 million people. 2+ million of which live within 100miles of Denver. In an hour I can be places where... you are an hour away from other people.

Because we settled east to west [more or less] there was always a place where people fed up and ready to go, could leave to, and I think that long drove the narrative idea of what it was to be from the US. People who were very settled, stayed in the east for generations. I have friend in Mass. whose families have been there 250 years, in the same area. I have friends out here whose landholdings were granted by the king of Spain before there was a US. All in between that are restless people with a drive to find a better or different place. Those sorts of "churn" inform the way the US is, acts, and probably sees itself. Diverse, in the extreme. If you look to Japan, the diversity is far different, from what I have heard. You, would have to tell me, if this is true from your perspective. when I walk through a town here, there can pe a dizzying array of people, all different ideas and needs. All that drives forms of thought and understanding that are of necessity muddy and chaotic. Where you have to hash through lots of disperate ideas, to come to understanding, pick a direction that wasn't apparent at the beginning.

Certainly that isn't a full explanation of all the differences east/west thoughtwise but you might see a glimmer between the 250+year old Punk, and the ~2500 year old elder. Add in the geography, the rate of change of tech in the last 200yrs...

The other important point is about the multipolar world. It has gotten much more complex than that. The different pulls of things are on the one hand Country aligned, but much more importantly, there is now a much stronger religious alignment, thanks to the rise of Islam as a military idea. You can imagine the complexity of thinking about "well India wants this, and China Wants that, and Germany is balking, and the Russians are threatening to shut off the gas again..." And In walks an idea that Muslim people are not only multiplying fruitfully, but they are moving into enclaves the world over. Enclaves where they have no intention of assimilating, but demand that their own religious laws are resepected, while taking advantage of local laws that benefit them. Like Out of Work guy in The UK who is on the dole WITH his 4 wives and 7 children with 2 on the way. Occasionally the most well educated of these people figure out how to get into places and blow them up. Like Italy, Like the UK, Like NYC... Like Detroit almost. These men are not poor, they are not stupid, and their justification comes from their own holy book that is a thousand years old, and has told them that they should kill everyone who doesn't convert. They are united by a religion, and not a country, and that makes their pole difficult to figure. In case anyone might think they are harmless, there are close to a million in Darfur who would say elsewise if they weren't dead. And? We left all that up to the UN to figure out. And they have done, nothing. Dunno in 100 years when Iraq and Afganistan are looked back on, they will be considered phyrric or not. We may be wondering if Iran is ready to nuke anyone, or if Isreal already decided that for them in 100 years. Or if North Korea simply had a deathwish when they sent MIRV's against their own people in the south. Multipolarity is no easier to deal with than the old iron curtain. That all assumes that China's new gambit is not to take over the world economically rather than militarilly.

So? My point ot all this is not merely to think in the terms of looking back at what Asia has done in the past, and try to adapt that. Rather to move forward with newer understandings. Japan is killing itself with it's birthrates, and I have heard [again with hearsay, that you would know better] that this may have more to do with individual choice not to get involved in having a family, because the gender roles are so restrictive that women are voting with their feet. China has blown up their own childrate because of central planning and one child, running straight into a tradition where boys are favored... so they naow have a lot of young men who cannot find wives either. And neither society is all that open to foreigners. Dunno how the South Koreans are, but I'd put a bet they are similar. It's fairly easy to deal with some of the structural issues of a soceity, when it is very homogeneous. That is why China recently has brutally put down other races within their nation. That is why, going forward, I believe that we can learn many lessons from Asia, but adapting them is not uncomplicated. Especially with respect to China there is difficulty. When they needed to bump up the protein levels ion foods they were making, they totally cheated by adding a dangerous chemical called melamine to get it past inspection. Here it would be criminal there would be lawsuits and jailtime. A company would think twice because of the economic hurt. In China, they figured out who authorized it, and killed him, and several subordinants. They jailled a number of others. They lost a lot of our business. Can those reactions inform each other? It seems like the ideas are to far apart. From all that, and the lead paint problem, we have enacted laws that actually hurt American businesses, and don't keep it from happening again. While in Chaina, I'd suppose it is tough to be a high level manager, but what else has changed?

ArthurFrDent

There is so much to say, and yet? Oh, well. I think you are leaving out a couple of important points, Roland. One is Age. We are punk kids compared to thousands of years of Asian civilizations... perhaps at 1000 the US might be settled down? This really affects who we think we are, don't you think? I dunno how much you have travelled flyover country within the US, if you ever driven east to west here, but there is a LOT of it. Peopled by very different types and backgrounds, and often quite sparsley... I live in Colorado which is about the size of Japan minus Hokkaido... With only 4.5 million people. 2+ million of which live within 100miles of Denver. In an hour I can be places where... you are an hour away from other people.

Because we settled east to west [more or less] there was always a place where people fed up and ready to go, could leave to, and I think that long drove the narrative idea of what it was to be from the US. People who were very settled, stayed in the east for generations. I have friend in Mass. whose families have been there 250 years, in the same area. I have friends out here whose landholdings were granted by the king of Spain before there was a US. All in between that are restless people with a drive to find a better or different place. Those sorts of "churn" inform the way the US is, acts, and probably sees itself. Diverse, in the extreme. If you look to Japan, the diversity is far different, from what I have heard. You, would have to tell me, if this is true from your perspective. when I walk through a town here, there can pe a dizzying array of people, all different ideas and needs. All that drives forms of thought and understanding that are of necessity muddy and chaotic. Where you have to hash through lots of disperate ideas, to come to understanding, pick a direction that wasn't apparent at the beginning.

Certainly that isn't a full explanation of all the differences east/west thoughtwise but you might see a glimmer between the 250+year old Punk, and the ~2500 year old elder. Add in the geography, the rate of change of tech in the last 200yrs...

The other important point is about the multipolar world. It has gotten much more complex than that. The different pulls of things are on the one hand Country aligned, but much more importantly, there is now a much stronger religious alignment, thanks to the rise of Islam as a military idea. You can imagine the complexity of thinking about "well India wants this, and China Wants that, and Germany is balking, and the Russians are threatening to shut off the gas again..." And In walks an idea that Muslim people are not only multiplying fruitfully, but they are moving into enclaves the world over. Enclaves where they have no intention of assimilating, but demand that their own religious laws are resepected, while taking advantage of local laws that benefit them. Like Out of Work guy in The UK who is on the dole WITH his 4 wives and 7 children with 2 on the way. Occasionally the most well educated of these people figure out how to get into places and blow them up. Like Italy, Like the UK, Like NYC... Like Detroit almost. These men are not poor, they are not stupid, and their justification comes from their own holy book that is a thousand years old, and has told them that they should kill everyone who doesn't convert. They are united by a religion, and not a country, and that makes their pole difficult to figure. In case anyone might think they are harmless, there are close to a million in Darfur who would say elsewise if they weren't dead. And? We left all that up to the UN to figure out. And they have done, nothing. Dunno in 100 years when Iraq and Afganistan are looked back on, they will be considered phyrric or not. We may be wondering if Iran is ready to nuke anyone, or if Isreal already decided that for them in 100 years. Or if North Korea simply had a deathwish when they sent MIRV's against their own people in the south. Multipolarity is no easier to deal with than the old iron curtain. That all assumes that China's new gambit is not to take over the world economically rather than militarilly.

So? My point ot all this is not merely to think in the terms of looking back at what Asia has done in the past, and try to adapt that. Rather to move forward with newer understandings. Japan is killing itself with it's birthrates, and I have heard [again with hearsay, that you would know better] that this may have more to do with individual choice not to get involved in having a family, because the gender roles are so restrictive that women are voting with their feet. China has blown up their own childrate because of central planning and one child, running straight into a tradition where boys are favored... so they naow have a lot of young men who cannot find wives either. And neither society is all that open to foreigners. Dunno how the South Koreans are, but I'd put a bet they are similar. It's fairly easy to deal with some of the structural issues of a soceity, when it is very homogeneous. That is why China recently has brutally put down other races within their nation. That is why, going forward, I believe that we can learn many lessons from Asia, but adapting them is not uncomplicated. Especially with respect to China there is difficulty. When they needed to bump up the protein levels ion foods they were making, they totally cheated by adding a dangerous chemical called melamine to get it past inspection. Here it would be criminal there would be lawsuits and jailtime. A company would think twice because of the economic hurt. In China, they figured out who authorized it, and killed him, and several subordinants. They jailled a number of others. They lost a lot of our business. Can those reactions inform each other? It seems like the ideas are to far apart. From all that, and the lead paint problem, we have enacted laws that actually hurt American businesses, and don't keep it from happening again. While in Chaina, I'd suppose it is tough to be a high level manager, but what else has changed?

Anonymous

Incredible article. The idea that a symbiotic relationship could exist between Asian and western economies would make sense if Americans could learn to subdue their egos for a moment and consider the world wide benefits a well-regulated, equality-based capitalist market. I know plenty of people who would immediately call such a move dirty socialism, but perhaps they should spend less time reacting in fear and more time studying the wisdom of Eastern culture and Buddhism, in which the transcendence of selfish desires leads to ultimate peace.

Anonymous

Incredible article. The idea that a symbiotic relationship could exist between Asian and western economies would make sense if Americans could learn to subdue their egos for a moment and consider the world wide benefits a well-regulated, equality-based capitalist market. I know plenty of people who would immediately call such a move dirty socialism, but perhaps they should spend less time reacting in fear and more time studying the wisdom of Eastern culture and Buddhism, in which the transcendence of selfish desires leads to ultimate peace.

J. Gordon McNaughton

I think what's missing here is discussion of the insidiousness of capitalism and eternal, exponential growth. The West has been incredibly successful not only in establishing the dominant historical paradigm but also in spreading Western ideology through colonial and imperial movements the world over. Why does the author think that any sustainable culture can possibly exist after the viral penetration of global capitalism?

There's a lot to be learned through post-colonial discourse - it doesn't make any difference who's in power if the ethic that's been proven to net absurd profits for the few, at the expense of the outer and inner health of the many, has already been internalized on a global level. Chinese "socialism" has managed to produce radical degradation and systemic inequality throughout the landbase and will, if history is any indication, continue to do so if that ethic bleeds over national boundaries and into a global pool. Technosaturated Japan and their disturbing emergent pathologies are always a few fathoms ahead of the nasty shit that eventually sees media light when it happens upon Western populations - suicide clubs, hikikomori, pod-hotels, fully automated lifecyles, shinto corporatism, identity collapse, et. al. India and its systematized caste hierarchy - tolerable primarily through Hindu dogma and the "acceptance of the here-and-now" - would perform the same on a global level. Not to mention their passionate pursuit and acquisition of nuclear power and the imminent conflict with their neighbors. Some of these problems are theirs and a lot of them are ours.

The extent to which Western imperialism has fractured other cultures through occupation and now the global media blitzkrieg is pretty fundamental. Who is free of that taint? And I think the point brought up earlier about the new Islamic revolution - just what about that theocratic structure allows for egalitarian synergy? How about when the Middle East comes into contact with Asian culture on a world stage? In fact, what about Asian culture apart from the traditional long-suffering - and rapidly disappearing - rural communities holds any potential at all for a paradigm shift? The same could be said for the bushpeople in africa, or the tuareg, or native american groups, the inuit, indigenous people in australia and the americas or any "primitive" culture that's been suppressed by mass movements. Where is that push?

If we're gonna look anywhere for any solution, then yes, it has to be in the marginalized Other (including the parts of ourselves that are Other); but if we look toward the marginalized of any culture, we also have to understand how those ethics fare against the dominant forces and their heretofore successful genocides; basically, it's all a losing game (considering our radical dilemma) unless the overall structure from Louisville to Padong collapses under its own weight and we can start over again. Wouldn't the modern system, if by any other name, still smell as rotten?

And so while I certainly respect the sentiment and would even LIKE to agree, I don't buy the optimism evident here based on the global community's proven unwillingness to implement meaningful change. Look realistically at the world's burgeoning superpowers - India and China. I mean, even Adam Smith had no way of conceiving how insidious his economic models would be. I think it's a bit naive to assume that something so potent hasn't already penetrated the surface of all governing methods worldwide. The problem is much more fundamental than it is cosmetic, and we don't need to study Confucius to understand that. Fundamental issues require more than restructuring, more than cross-pollination. They require complete disassembly at a ground level. At this point the problem seems to be inherent in all systems, and that's just the nature of centuries worth of hegemonic influence. The germ has already been spread, folks. Now what do we do? Encourage our congresspeople to pick up the I-Ching?

J. Gordon McNaughton

I think what's missing here is discussion of the insidiousness of capitalism and eternal, exponential growth. The West has been incredibly successful not only in establishing the dominant historical paradigm but also in spreading Western ideology through colonial and imperial movements the world over. Why does the author think that any sustainable culture can possibly exist after the viral penetration of global capitalism?

There's a lot to be learned through post-colonial discourse - it doesn't make any difference who's in power if the ethic that's been proven to net absurd profits for the few, at the expense of the outer and inner health of the many, has already been internalized on a global level. Chinese "socialism" has managed to produce radical degradation and systemic inequality throughout the landbase and will, if history is any indication, continue to do so if that ethic bleeds over national boundaries and into a global pool. Technosaturated Japan and their disturbing emergent pathologies are always a few fathoms ahead of the nasty shit that eventually sees media light when it happens upon Western populations - suicide clubs, hikikomori, pod-hotels, fully automated lifecyles, shinto corporatism, identity collapse, et. al. India and its systematized caste hierarchy - tolerable primarily through Hindu dogma and the "acceptance of the here-and-now" - would perform the same on a global level. Not to mention their passionate pursuit and acquisition of nuclear power and the imminent conflict with their neighbors. Some of these problems are theirs and a lot of them are ours.

The extent to which Western imperialism has fractured other cultures through occupation and now the global media blitzkrieg is pretty fundamental. Who is free of that taint? And I think the point brought up earlier about the new Islamic revolution - just what about that theocratic structure allows for egalitarian synergy? How about when the Middle East comes into contact with Asian culture on a world stage? In fact, what about Asian culture apart from the traditional long-suffering - and rapidly disappearing - rural communities holds any potential at all for a paradigm shift? The same could be said for the bushpeople in africa, or the tuareg, or native american groups, the inuit, indigenous people in australia and the americas or any "primitive" culture that's been suppressed by mass movements. Where is that push?

If we're gonna look anywhere for any solution, then yes, it has to be in the marginalized Other (including the parts of ourselves that are Other); but if we look toward the marginalized of any culture, we also have to understand how those ethics fare against the dominant forces and their heretofore successful genocides; basically, it's all a losing game (considering our radical dilemma) unless the overall structure from Louisville to Padong collapses under its own weight and we can start over again. Wouldn't the modern system, if by any other name, still smell as rotten?

And so while I certainly respect the sentiment and would even LIKE to agree, I don't buy the optimism evident here based on the global community's proven unwillingness to implement meaningful change. Look realistically at the world's burgeoning superpowers - India and China. I mean, even Adam Smith had no way of conceiving how insidious his economic models would be. I think it's a bit naive to assume that something so potent hasn't already penetrated the surface of all governing methods worldwide. The problem is much more fundamental than it is cosmetic, and we don't need to study Confucius to understand that. Fundamental issues require more than restructuring, more than cross-pollination. They require complete disassembly at a ground level. At this point the problem seems to be inherent in all systems, and that's just the nature of centuries worth of hegemonic influence. The germ has already been spread, folks. Now what do we do? Encourage our congresspeople to pick up the I-Ching?

Glendon Wayne

The New Decade Desiderata empirePie January 1st, 2010

We are one people on this universe,
so step lightly.
Make your path a footpath to a garden,
in our garden home.

Go purposefully for peace requires more than silence.

The noise, confusion, and despair are our making.

Remember that peace, tranquillity, and enjoyment
don’t depend on achievement, status, or desire.

We are all one people of the universe
to cherish our many cultures and stories.
Let them enrich us to unfold in harmony
as the petals of our changing groups in time.

Avoid vexatious visionaries selling exclusionary truths
for their is no monopoly on truth.

Our choices have an impact on the universe.
We may have time to heal our spaceship home.

Choice need not be capricious.
We may choose a path of peace.

You may make your footprint on Gaia light.

We are one people on this universe
step lightly and enjoy the dance of life.

We are one people on this universe
We can make peace the choice.
g

Glendon Wayne

The New Decade Desiderata empirePie January 1st, 2010

We are one people on this universe,
so step lightly.
Make your path a footpath to a garden,
in our garden home.

Go purposefully for peace requires more than silence.

The noise, confusion, and despair are our making.

Remember that peace, tranquillity, and enjoyment
don’t depend on achievement, status, or desire.

We are all one people of the universe
to cherish our many cultures and stories.
Let them enrich us to unfold in harmony
as the petals of our changing groups in time.

Avoid vexatious visionaries selling exclusionary truths
for their is no monopoly on truth.

Our choices have an impact on the universe.
We may have time to heal our spaceship home.

Choice need not be capricious.
We may choose a path of peace.

You may make your footprint on Gaia light.

We are one people on this universe
step lightly and enjoy the dance of life.

We are one people on this universe
We can make peace the choice.
g

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