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05/06/2017

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Charles N. Steele

Wow, exciting question! In my order of preference:

China and Chinese culture. China is the oldest continual civilization, and in many ways successful. While there are many negative aspects to Chinese culture -- especially the imperial government (the Chinese invented bureaucracy) that has now been infected with Marxism (dying, happily) -- for every negative, Chinese culture has a positive. (This is formalized in their thought) and many of the best things about Western culture and liberalism can be found in Chinese thought, although underdeveloped. I lived in China, BTW, and loved it, although the culture often seemed incomprehensible and crazy.

Japanese -- no. Japanese culture is interesting and has much beauty in it, but Japanese culture is for Japanese. For a non-Japanese, to be dominated by it would be to take an inferior status. Japanese are arguably the world's most racist people, one of my Japanese friends insist, very possibly correctly. Japan will never dominate the world precisely because Japanese culture cannot extend Japan's reach the Western culture can (or used to). It doesn't translate.

Russian -- no, even though I loved living in Russia and would like to go back. Russian culture has too much brutality and is the culture of manic-depressives, which most Russians are. That's why they drink so much. At least they get to drink, though. And at least we'd have vodka.

Hindu -- intriguing and exotic and weird. I know nothing about it, it sounds colorful and interesting but anything with a caste system can't be good. Chinese culture had social mobility explicitly built into it with the Confucian civil service exam system, BTW.

Muslim -- I've met two very well educated Muslims (on different continents) who tell me that they think really understanding the Koran turns one into a libertarian who respects everyone else's rights. If that were the common view among Muslims, I'd go for that, but as both of these people recognized, most Muslims tend to get the opposite message from the Koran. Hence Islam sounds like the worst of all the alternatives you've offered.

The very worst cultural alternative, though, would be one you haven't offered: the vision offered by modern leftists, where everyone is to be gender-fluid and fully race conscious, marching in political lockstep, eating vegan, and minimizing their carbon footprints with green energy... i.e. confused and unhappy, browbeaten and silent, half starved, and shivering in a hovel. Even Islam sounds better than that. At least they have fossil fuels.

Maya M

I think you are just showing how absurd any of these choices is.
The Japanese culture works well only for the Japanese, and all the others listed do not work well even for their originator nations.

John Pepple

Maya: Of course, of course. I'm just considering a hypothetical situation, namely, what happens if leftists get what they want and manage to reduce the West's power? Someone will jump into that power vacuum, so whom would you like? I definitely don't want Islam because it's likely that education will be reduced to memorizing the Qur'an and not much else. The others would be tolerable, though India seems to still be tied to its caste system.

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