Herland Report: Pessimism in the West: Almost without exception, all the other truly global cities are rooted in either their Western or Eastern cultures. New York and London, Paris and Berlin clearly breathe and exude the Western zeitgeist, which is wallowing in pessimism.
Beijing and Shanghai, New Delhi and Mumbai and much of Asia view the future with optimism. Data confirms this.
Singapore is the only truly global city with one foot in the West and one in the East.
Surveys from Pew Research, Harvard and Cambridge University confirm the pessimism in the West, writes the famous Singaporean author and diplomat, Dr. Kishore Mahbubani (read the full article here).
A December 2021 poll from the Harvard Kennedy School found that 52 per cent of young Americans believe that their democracy is either “in trouble” or a “failed democracy”.
Pessimism in the West: Even more shockingly, only 7 percent of young Americans believe that they enjoy a healthy democracy. These findings corroborate an earlier 2021 survey from Pew, where 72 per cent of Americans said the United States used to be a model for democracy, but has not been in recent years.
A 2019 Pew survey found that 44 per cent of Americans expect standards of living to worsen in 2050, compared with 20 per cent who expect an improvement.
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A report titled “Global Satisfaction with Democracy” by Cambridge University published in January last year found that dissatisfaction with democracy in Anglo-Saxon countries (the US, Australia, Canada,
New Zealand, and the United Kingdom) has doubled from about a quarter of all individuals in the 1990s, to approximately half today.
By contrast, even though China, India and even Indonesia remain poorer developing societies, their populations view the future with optimism.
A Unicef-Gallup survey released last month found that a majority of youths in Indonesia (82 per cent), Bangladesh (74 per cent) and India (66 per cent) think they will be better off than their parents, compared with 43 per cent in America and 32 per cent in the UK.
The Cambridge survey also found that Asia has been a notable exception in the global decline in satisfaction with democracy.
As it points out: “Whether among the emerging democracies of South-east Asia, the developed democracies of north-east Asia, or in the world’s longest-established major developing democracy – India – satisfaction with democratic governance in the East seems higher than in other parts of the world.”
So, why are Western populations filled with existential angst? There are deep structural reasons.
As I document in great detail in my book Has China Won?, the incomes of the bottom 50 per cent in the US have essentially stagnated for several decades.
There is an angry white working class in the US. This explains the 74 million votes that US President Donald Trump got in 2020. Read the full article here.
Kishore Mahbubani, a veteran diplomat, is a distinguished fellow at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, and the author of a number of books, among them Clash of Civilizations: The Debate and Has China Won?
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