Asian Wisdom

By Mahbubani, Kishore | Newsweek, December 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

Asian Wisdom


Mahbubani, Kishore, Newsweek


As they try to recover, the U.S. and Europe could use a refresher course in Eastern studies.

For most of the 20th century, Asia asked itself what it could learn from the modern, innovating West. Now the question must be reversed: what can the West's overly indebted and sluggish nations learn from a flourishing Asia?

First and foremost, the West should relearn the virtue of pragmatism. Just a few decades ago, Asia's two giants were stagnating under faulty politico-economic ideologies--strict Marxism in China, Nehruvian socialism in India. However, once China began embracing free-market reforms in the 1980s, followed by India in the 1990s, both countries achieved rapid growth. Crucially, as they opened up their markets, neither China nor India threw the proverbial baby out with the bath water--instead, they balanced capitalism with judicious government direction. As the Indian economist Amartya Sen has wisely said, "The invisible hand of the market has often relied heavily on the visible hand of government."

Contrast this levelheaded middle path with America and Europe, which have each gone ideologically overboard in their own ways--and whose utter lack of pragmatism helped precipitate the global financial crisis. Since the 1980s, America has been increasingly infatuated with the ideology of unfettered free markets and dismissive of the role of government--following Ronald Reagan's dictum that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Former U.S. Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan took this ideology to the extreme by refusing to regulate the large new market in derivatives that emerged under his watch and that quadrupled between 2002 and 2008 to 12 times the size of the total world economy. Of course, when the markets came crashing down in 2007, it was decisive government intervention that saved the day. Despite this fact, many Americans still espouse a deep ideological opposition to "big government," as evidenced by the current wave of antitax Republicans and Tea Party candidates who swept into Congress during the midterm elections.

If Americans could only free themselves from their antigovernment straitjackets, they would begin to see that the U.S.'s problems are not insoluble. A few sensible federal measures could put the country back on the right path.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Asian Wisdom
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.