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"So far, the 21st century has been a rotten one for the western model"

“This seems an extraordinary admission from two editors of the Economist, the flag-bearer of English liberalism, which has long insisted that the non-west could only achieve prosperity and stability through western prescriptions. It almost obscures the fact that the 20th century was blighted by the same pathologies that today make the western model seem unworkable, and render its fervent advocates a bit lost. The most violent century in human history, it was hardly the best advertisement for the ‘bland fanatics of western civilisation,’ as the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr called them at the height of the cold war, ‘who regard the highly contingent achievements of our culture as the final form and norm of human existence.’”


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There was a recent article in Der Speigel titled The Zombie System: How Capitalism Has Gone Off the Rails - 23.10.13, by Michael Sauga in which the term “inclusion” is described as a buzzword that is making an appearance amongst economists, bankers and politicians, “and it refers to a trait that Western industrialized nations seem to be on the verge of losing: the ability to allow as many layers of society as possible to benefit from economic advancement and participate in political life.”

Economist Daron Acemoğlu finds one outcome to look forward to: “the anti-trust movement from the beginning of the last century in the United States”, but continues “Solutions to the world’s problems are not produced in a meeting between Bill Gates and George Soros,” he says. “Renewal has to come from below.” to conclude an article that belabours the endless failing attempts to keep capitalism afloat through bailouts and bank manipulation and finds so many faults in the western capitalist economic model yet fails to venture outside Euro/America-centric perspective for alternatives.

I feel this is somewhat paralleled in Mishra’s article, a comprehensive overview of the failures and atrocities of the western model, but absent in depiction of what could be culled from an alternative as a hopeful or optimistic direction.

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