The Next Trend?

Samuel P Huntington wrote the following in his 1996 book Clash of Civilizations:

“In the early 1990s, Chinese made up 1% of the Philippine population but were responsible for 35% of the sales of domestically owned firms. In Indonesia in the mid-1980s, the Chinese were 2-3% of the population but owned roughly 70% of the private domestic capital. Seventeen of the twenty-five largest businesses were Chinese-controlled, and one Chinese conglomerate was responsible for 5% of Indonesia’s GDP. In the early 1990s, the Chinese were 10% of Thailand’s population but owned 9 of the 10 largest business groups and were responsible for 50% of its GDP. Chinese are about one third of the population in Malaysia but completely dominate the economy.”

The US is going Pacific and the UK is pondering Europe. David Cameron is talking about a “networked Europe” rather than a block Europe. The Germans, however, wants “more Europe” which probably means a more German Europe, if Angela Merkel is going to get full support from the Germans. Thus the new trend is that the US is facing stiff competition from the Chinese in East Asia and the Pacific and the UK in Continental Europe.

Another new trend might be the language question. Mandarin Chinese might take over much of the English dominance in East Asia and German might have a renaissance on the Continent. Culture follows power! Before World War II Swedish children learned German as their first foreign language.

Anglo-Americans and also other Europeans might though find comfort in the following statistic:

“If demographic trends continue, well over 50% of the world’s Christians will be in Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia within 25 years—a clear shift from Christianity’s traditional home in Europe and North America.”

It is from the 2010 book Religion and Politics in America: Faith, Culture, and Strategic Choices by Robert Booth Fowler et al. Perhaps we should let the Chinese dominate East Asia and focus on South America and Africa which even lies in our time zones and where we are more likely to find hearts and minds than in the assertive Asia.

This book also tries to explain how a religious America works compared to a secular China. The religious pluralism observed in America functions as a vent for freedom making possible a streamlined collective approach in the economy. People will feel free with maintained integrity as long as they can exercise their faith.

The last 20 or so years in the US feature what could be called the Fifth Great Awakening with an increase especially in evangelical Protestantism. The First Great Awakening in American came before the Revolution in the 18th century. Periodically America turns spiritual and looks for the next political reform. We have yet to see what lies in stock this time.

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