“The Fusion of Civilizations” Mahbubani and Summers, Foreign Affairs, 18 April 2016

“Instead of feeling depressed, the West should be celebrating its phenomenal success at injecting the key elements of its worldview into other great civilizations.”

Current pessimistic sentiments regarding the state of the world are unwarranted and dangerous.  The world is not currently undergoing a “clash of civilizations” that is resulting in the fall of the West. The world is instead experiencing a merge of civilizations thanks partially to the West. The age of modernity and rationality ushered in by the West’s enlightenment is crossing borders and aiding in the growth of many nations across the world. Nations are improving and gaining prestige not at the expense of the West, but to the West’s pride. The improvements around the world are not resulting in the West’s fall. They are indications of the world’s fusing. The world will continue on its path of cultural fusion and overall improvement in stability so long as the West does not succumb to the pessimistic belief claiming its fall. This pessimism is dangerous as it could prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The West’s current challenges (such as China’s rise, the chaos in the Middle East, and problems within its own realm) are surmountable and should not be treated as indicators of its fall. “There is every reason to believe, moreover, that the next few decades can be even better for humanity than the last few—so long as the West does not lose confidence in its core values and retreat from global engagement.”

 

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“The Fusion of Civilizations” Mahbubani and Summers, Foreign Affairs, 18 April 2016

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