Asia's Fate: A Response to the Singapore School

Asia's Fate: A Response to the Singapore School

Mini Teaser: The economic success of East and Southeast Asia challenges the verities of Western historical uniqueness.

by Author(s): Eric Jones

This last scenario should not be thought of as "Westernization." Rather it would be the release, in conditions of prosperity, of a
latent universal demand for democracy and individual freedoms. Surprisingly, given the stereotypes and lacunae in the text-books,
Asian history does reveal traces of local democracy and at least one major movement, the self-governing movement in early
twentieth-century China. Circumstances regularly suppressed these "sprouts of democracy" and they never managed to capture the high polities, yet they did occur. East Asians may turn out to be different from other peoples chiefly in their different opportunities.

We are alluding to universal hearts' desires. In my opinion, Lee Kuan Yew's emphasis on a special and changeless China underrates the attractiveness of the values which the Chinese, like other peoples, have made occasional efforts to unearth from beneath the burden of contrary tradition. The Chinese may be expected to espouse these common values when circumstances favor them, at least as the age-groups most traumatized by earlier horrors fade away. The twenty-year olds in southern China are already consumerist; they did not share the hurt and do not retai

Essay Types: Essay