From Meccania to Atlantis - Part 5: From Screeching Cats to SDG
The Chinese conundrum
This is the proper space for continuing with a chapter named Exodus, but we will defer that subject. The holiday of Christian redemption approaching, the day the German-Jewish philosopher-theologian Franz Rosenzweig called “a day of entry into eternity,” it behooves us to take notice.
Rosenzweig (1886 -1929) owes his own redemption from history’s benign neglect to the erudite Asia Times columnist Spengler, who has been championing this, in Spengler’s words, “sublime master of German letters,” for a long time. But for Christmas, one would do well to take exception to both Spengler’s and his prototype Oswald Spengler’s pessimism concerning the fate of the West.
Spengler’s December 1 much-quoted essay for Asia Times was entitled China’s six-to-one advantage over the US. In it, Spengler expounded on an issue I had commented on before, for it impresses daily on the mind of the thinking Westerner who lives in the Orient. I last expressed it in these words:
“China has 30 million students of classical piano and 10 million classical violinists. America has 40 million of ‘Tiene Preguntas’ China has 50,000 students of geology who will be launched all over the world to look for new sources of raw materials. America has 500 students of geology, most of them foreigners, but 50,000 students in law schools.”
The Far East, in this case China, is running circles around the West, particularly with respect to the U.S. Frankenstein that hot-wired this Oriental colossus. Spengler adduces China’s six-to-one advantage in the number of classical pianists as an indication that China is rising to a dominant position versus the United States – and Europe, we might add.
“Chinese parents are selling plasma-screen TVs to America,” writes Spengler, “and saving their wages to buy their kids pianos - making American kids stupider and Chinese kids smarter. Watch out, Americans - a generation from now, your kid is going to fetch coffee for a Chinese boss. [snip] Americans really, really don’t have a clue what is coming down the pike. The present shift in intellectual capital in favor of the East has no precedent in world history.”