The West and its Unwillingness to Change
“Change alone is eternal, perpetual and immortal,” wrote Arthur Schopenhauer; this might sound somewhat trite but with the economic and political climate we're experiencing, real tangible change might just be what get things done. Both United States and Europe, with their responses to the economic crisis they're facing; are demonstrating how impermeable they are to new ideas, and even though both have implemented some unprecedented governmental policies, they have just exposed their inability to adapt to the changing world.
Many American politicians have found refuge in their zealotry by clinging themselves to the founding fathers' words and ideas like they were written on stone. While it's true that a nation's identity somehow lies on its early dogmas; intending to follow them blindly and literally, may stagnate growth or even reverse it; as these dogmas are not meant to encompass a big unforeseeable change, be it political or technological.
Europe, on the other hand, faces a different kind of crisis; that of dealing with a new identity. Many Europeans are showing major concerns about the way politics in their countries are changing. Particularly Germans and French are showing more discontent towards a more established European Union; in a time when their representatives are struggling to keep it together. In countries like Austria, politicians are gaining support with such phrases like Unser Geld für Unsere Leute (Our money for our people). The fear of change is being overcome by nostalgia for the past.
In the developed world, the extreme right has gained more strength during these last years. Many of these movements preach on the nostalgia of the old days, when the economy was booming and pretend to bring back motions that were designed to work in the 20th century. In Denmark, The Danish People’s Party, has gotten its way by enabling some populist measures, restricting Danish borders and immigration laws. In America, the Tea Party movement has had major media exposure, using its spotlight to proclaim their fanatical, conservative views.
On the other hand, developing countries such as India, China, Brazil and Indonesia have found their way into this new world of globalization. Interestingly enough, all of these countries have had a turbulent recent past that required them to change or amend their constitutions. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these countries are craving for change, but it does mean that change has been proven to be effective.Continued on the next page