Johan Norberg, a public intellectual, gave a very good presentation of how the West got rich on the Swedish radio program Obs the other day. In the UK Niall Ferguson, professor of history, got a series of TV programs on the same topic: civilization. Norberg only had 15 min for this interesting problem and wondered if Europe started to move because there was not a central authority that broke the nascent spirits. The leader of The Economist this week discusses authoritarian crack-down in China. Therefore I wonder about Norberg's conclusion that the Rest has learned the game by now. It seems to me that they have learned nothing if you believe that there is more to discover.
One reason, argues Norberg, for Europe's success is the geography. Many power centers. It is therefore worrying that the EU is homogenizing this and is working for a centralized power system. Could it be that in the name of peace we are destroying the very basis for pluripotentiality in Europe? This would be the mother of all Catch 22s in the world.
If you accept that governing such large amount of people as China, India and the EU is not really feasible without too much repression, the present EU with strong national states is perhaps preferable. Karl Sigfrid, a moderate politician, wrote the other day that Swedish freedom of expression is threatened by EU laws.