[chilefuturo] Re: [chilefuturo] Fwd: Western Civilisation: Decline – or Fall? - John Mauldin's Outside the Box E-Letter

  • From: Jaime Aravena <jaravena@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "chilefuturo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <chilefuturo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 09:59:29 -0800 (PST)

hay 6 videos en internet que son notables (en ingles con subtitulos en ingles)

>From: Carlos Contreras <clubcientifico@xxxxxxxxx>
>To: chilefuturo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
>Sent: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 9:49 AM
>Subject: [chilefuturo] Fwd: Western Civilisation: Decline – or Fall? - John 
>Mauldin's Outside the Box E-Letter
>en inglés, lo bueno viene en el artículo de Fergusson. Ahora me ha interesado 
>la historia. No se sisirve para estimar el futuro pero es entretenida a mi 
>---------- Forwarded message ----------From: John Mauldin and InvestorsInsight 
><wave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>Date: 2012/3/6Subject: Western Civilisation: 
>Decline – or Fall? - John Mauldin's Outside the Box E-LetterTo: 
>This message was sent to clubcientifico@xxxxxxxxxxxxx subscribed at 
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>Previous Article    
>Missed Last Week's Article?Read It Here  
>Western Civilisation: Decline – or Fall? 
>John Mauldin | March 5, 2012 
>I had my nose in Niall Ferguson's newest book, Civilization: The West and the 
>Rest, at every possible moment during my recent trip to Hong Kong and 
>Singapore. It's powerful and very, very timely, and I strongly recommend it. 
>To help get the word out, I asked Niall for a short, somewhat personal piece 
>on the thinking behind the book – in other words, what moved him to write it?
>What you're going to find in the piece below for this week's Outside the Box, 
>as well as in the book, is an author who is very concerned about our 
>civilization's prospects – and unafraid to say so. I mean, the last time I 
>looked, "saving the world" had gone distinctly out of fashion. And then, and 
>then, we all grow up and get pretty focused and incremental about things: if 
>we can just address the problem or three right in front of us, we're 
>reasonably content. 
>But leave it to a Harvard history professor to break out of the box and go 
>tilting at the big picture. And when you think of it, we're all pretty 
>concerned at this point, however we frame the issues. Everywhere we turn, it 
>seems, we find the forces of polarization and dissolution gnawing at our 
>social fabric, and Yeats' fateful line about the center not holding starts to 
>feel uncomfortably prophetic. Maybe it's about time we all thought bigger and 
>worked harder at getting along, while we still can. 
>Niall turns to a notion put forth by the social scientist Charles Murray, who 
>has called for a "civic great awakening" – a return to the original values of 
>the American republic. We could do worse.
>I want to congratulate Niall and Ayaan on their new baby, Thomas Hirsi 
>Ferguson! May he grow up in a world that is flourishing.
>Your holding out hope for our future analyst,
>John Mauldin, Editor
>Outside the Box
>Western Civilisation: Decline – or Fall? 
>By Niall Ferguson
>As a freshman historian at Oxford back in 1982, I was required to read Edward 
>Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Ever since that first encounter 
>with the greatest of all historians, I have pondered the question whether or 
>not the modern West could succumb to degenerative tendencies similar to the 
>ones described so vividly by Gibbon. My most recent book, Civilization: The 
>West and the Rest attempts an answer to that question. 
>The good news is that I do not believe that Western civilization is in some 
>kind of gradual, inexorable decline. In my view, civilizations do not rise, 
>fall, and then gently decline, as inevitably and predictably as the four 
>seasons or the seven ages of man. History is not one smooth, parabolic curve 
>after another. The bad news is that its shape is more like an exponentially 
>steepening slope that quite suddenly drops off like a cliff. 
>To see what I mean, pay a visit to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. 
>In 1530 the Incas were the masters of all they surveyed from the heights of 
>the Peruvian Andes. Within less than a decade, foreign invaders with horses, 
>gunpowder, and lethal diseases had smashed their empire to smithereens. Today 
>tourists gawp at the ruins that remain. 
>The notion that civilizations do not decline but collapse inspired the 
>anthropologist Jared Diamond's 2005 book, Collapse. But Diamond focused, 
>fashionably, on man-made environmental disasters as the causes of collapse. As 
>a historian, I take a broader view. My point is that when you look back on the 
>history of past civilizations, a striking feature is the speed with which most 
>of them collapsed, regardless of the cause. 
>The Roman Empire did not decline and fall over a millennium, as Gibbon's 
>monumental work seemed to suggest. It collapsed within a few decades in the 
>early fifth century, tipped over the edge of chaos by barbarian invaders and 
>internal divisions. In the space of a generation, the vast imperial metropolis 
>of Rome fell into disrepair, the aqueducts broken, the splendid marketplaces 
>deserted. The Ming dynasty's rule in China also fell apart with extraordinary 
>speed in the mid–17th century, succumbing to internal strife and external 
>invasion. Again, the transition from equipoise to anarchy took little more 
>than a decade.
>A more recent and familiar example of precipitous decline is, of course, the 
>collapse of the Soviet Union. And, if you still doubt that collapse comes 
>suddenly, just think of how the postcolonial dictatorships of North Africa and 
>the Middle East imploded this year. Twelve months ago, Messrs. Ben Ali, 
>Mubarak, and Gaddafi seemed secure in their gaudy palaces. Here yesterday, 
>gone today. 
>What all these collapsed powers have in common is that the complex social 
>systems that underpinned them suddenly ceased to function. One minute rulers 
>had legitimacy in the eyes of their people; the next they did not. This 
>process is a familiar one to students of financial markets. Even as I write, 
>it is far from clear that the European Monetary Union can be salvaged from the 
>dramatic collapse of confidence in the fiscal policies of its peripheral 
>member states. In the realm of power, as in the domain of the bond vigilantes, 
>you are fine until you are not fine—and when you're not fine, you are suddenly 
>in a terrifying death spiral.
>The West first surged ahead of the Rest after about 1500 thanks to a series of 
>institutional innovations that (to entice younger readers) I call the "killer 
>1.Competition. Europe was politically fragmented into multiple monarchies and 
>republics, which were in turn internally divided into competing corporate 
>entities, among them the ancestors of modern business corporations.
>2.The Scientific Revolution. All the major 17th-century breakthroughs in 
>mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology happened in Western 
>3.The Rule of Law and Representative Government. An optimal system of social 
>and political order emerged in the English-speaking world, based on 
>private-property rights and the representation of property owners in elected 
>4.Modern Medicine. Nearly all the major 19th- and 20th-century breakthroughs 
>in health care were made by Western Europeans and North Americans.
>5.The Consumer Society. The Industrial Revolution took place where there was 
>both a supply of productivity-enhancing technologies and a demand for more, 
>better, and cheaper goods, beginning with cotton garments.
>6.The Work Ethic. Westerners were the first people in the world to combine 
>more extensive and intensive labor with higher savings rates, permitting 
>sustained capital accumulation.
>For hundreds of years, these killer apps were essentially monopolized by 
>Europeans and their cousins who settled in North America and Australasia. They 
>are the best explanation for what economic historians call "the great 
>divergence": the astonishing gap that arose between Western standards of 
>living and those in the rest of the world. In 1500 the average Chinese was 
>richer than the average North American. By the late 1970s the American was 
>more than 20 times richer than the Chinese. 
>Westerners not only grew richer than "Resterners." They grew taller, 
>healthier, and longer-lived. They also grew more powerful. By the early 20th 
>century, just a dozen Western empires—including the United States—controlled 
>58 percent of the world's land surface and population, and a staggering 74 
>percent of the global economy. 
>Beginning with Japan, however, one non-Western society after another has 
>worked out that these apps can be downloaded and installed in non-Western 
>operating systems. That explains about half the catching up that we have 
>witnessed in our lifetimes, especially since the onset of economic reforms in 
>China in 1978.
>I am not one of those people filled with angst at the thought of a world in 
>which the average American is no longer vastly richer than the average 
>Chinese. I welcome the escape of hundreds of millions of Asians from poverty, 
>not to mention the improvements we are seeing in South America and parts of 
>Africa. But there is a second, more insidious cause of the "great 
>reconvergence," which I do deplore—and that is the tendency of Western 
>societies to delete their own killer apps. 
>Who's got the work ethic now? The average South Korean works about 39 percent 
>more hours per week than the average American. The school year in South Korea 
>is 220 days long, compared with 180 days in the U.S. And you do not have to 
>spend too long at any major U.S. university to know which students really 
>drive themselves: the Asians and Asian-Americans. The consumer society? 26 of 
>the 30 biggest shopping malls in the world are now in emerging markets, mostly 
>in Asia. Modern medicine? As a share of gross domestic product, the United 
>States spends twice what Japan spends on health care and more than three times 
>what China spends. Yet life expectancy in the U.S. has risen from 70 to 78 in 
>the past 50 years, compared with leaps from 68 to 83 in Japan and from 43 to 
>73 in China. 
>The rule of law? For a real eye-opener, take a look at the latest World 
>Economic Forum (WEF) Executive Opinion Survey. On no fewer than 15 of 16 
>different issues relating to property rights and governance, the United States 
>fares worse than Hong Kong. Indeed, the U.S. makes the global top 20 in only 
>one area: investor protection. On every other count, its reputation is 
>shockingly bad. The U.S. ranks 86th in the world for the costs imposed on 
>business by organized crime, 50th for public trust in the ethics of 
>politicians, 42nd for various forms of bribery, and 40th for standards of 
>auditing and financial reporting.
>What about science? U.S.-based scientists continue to walk off with plenty of 
>Nobel Prizes each year. But Nobel winners are old men. The future belongs not 
>to them but to today's teenagers. Here is another striking statistic. Every 
>three years the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development's Program 
>for International Student Assessment tests the educational attainment of 
>15-year-olds around the world. The latest data on "mathematical literacy" 
>reveal that the gap between the world leaders—the students of Shanghai and 
>Singapore—and their American counterparts is now as big as the gap between 
>U.S. kids and teenagers in Albania and Tunisia.
>The late, lamented Steve Jobs convinced Americans that the future would be 
>"Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China." Yet statistics from the 
>World Intellectual Property Organization show that already more patents 
>originate in Japan than in the U.S., that South Korea overtook Germany to take 
>third place in 2005, and that China has just overtaken Germany too. 
>Finally, there's competition, the original killer app that sent the fragmented 
>West down a completely different path from monolithic imperial China. The WEF 
>has conducted a comprehensive Global Competitiveness survey every year since 
>1979. Since the current methodology was adopted in 2004, the United States' 
>average competitiveness score has fallen from 5.82 to 5.43, one of the 
>steepest declines among developed economies. China's score, meanwhile, has 
>leapt up from 4.29 to 4.90. 
>Not only is the U.S. less competitive abroad. Perhaps more disturbing is the 
>decline of meaningful competition at home, as the social mobility of the 
>postwar era has given way to an extraordinary social polarization. You do not 
>have to be an Occupy Wall Street activist to believe that the American 
>super-rich elite—the 1 percent that collects 20 percent of the income—has 
>become dangerously divorced from the rest of society, especially from the 
>underclass at the bottom of the income distribution.
>But if we are headed toward collapse, what will it look like? An upsurge in 
>civil unrest and crime, as happened in the 1970s? A loss of faith on the part 
>of investors and a sudden Greek-style leap in government borrowing costs? How 
>about a spike of violence in the Middle East, from Iraq to Afghanistan, as 
>insurgents capitalize on our troop withdrawals? Or a paralyzing cyberattack 
>from the rising Asian superpower we complacently underrate? 
>Is there anything we can do to prevent such disasters? Social scientist 
>Charles Murray calls for a "civic great awakening"—a return to the original 
>values of the American republic. He has a point. Far more than in Europe, most 
>Americans remain instinctively loyal to the killer applications of Western 
>ascendancy, from competition all the way through to the work ethic. They know 
>the country has the right software. They just cannot understand why it is 
>running so damn slowly. 
>What we need to do is to delete the viruses that have crept into our system: 
>the anticompetitive quasi monopolies that blight everything from banking to 
>public education; the politically correct pseudosciences and soft subjects 
>that deflect good students away from hard science; the lobbyists who subvert 
>the rule of law for the sake of the special interests they represent—to say 
>nothing of our crazily dysfunctional system of health care, our overleveraged 
>personal finances, and our newfound unemployment ethic. 
>Then we need to download the updates that are running more successfully in 
>other countries, from Finland to New Zealand, from Denmark to Hong Kong, from 
>Singapore to Sweden. And finally we need to reboot our whole system.
>Voters and politicians alike dare not postpone the big reboot. If what we are 
>risking is not decline but downright collapse, then the time frame may even be 
>tighter than one election cycle. 
>Copyright 2012 John Mauldin. All Rights Reserved. 
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