How the West was Lost

51bhO2JkrDLA new book by Dambisa Moyo – about how Asia will rise and the West will decline in coming years. Although I hated her last book (Dead Aid), and I hate the fact that she used to work for Goldman Sachs – with this book she’s got a point. NB – Some of the material below is summarised from Paul Collier’s review…  

I especially liked the point that our standards of education are dropping compared to countries like China and her analysis of why –

Collier summarises ‘Among [Western] parents Moyo points out that parents collude in their children’s fantasies of becoming sporting or entertainment celebrities rather than getting down to the hard grind of learning how to be productive: in east Asia children spend many more hours doing schoolwork than they do in the west.’

My comment – an excellent point – parents are way too indulgent of their children’s every whim in our society – children have too much of the wrong sort of freedom. Especially in education, teachers have to bend over backwards to ‘entertain’ children rather than children having to adapt and do the bloody hard work of learning how to think for themselves and apply themselves academically. To any of my students reading this – life after college will not be the endless roller coaster ride of fun that you think it will be! Life will be a lot harder – and work will not bend to suit your ‘preferred learning style’.

According to Moyo, our focus on children’s rights and excessive commitment to (the wrong kind of ) individualism is just one reason why the west will lose out in the scramble for finite resources, and so as “the rest” rise “the west” will decline, not just relatively but absolutely. Read the rest of Collier’s review to find out more.

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