Let me put a string of assumptions about the Middle East, the USA and China together and see if we draw similar conclusions.
In March of 2008 I went to Cuba. It was my first time visiting the island and I probably won’t go back until there is a change in government. What follows is the story of a progressive Argentine/Spaniard who had a Michael Moorish view of Cuba until he actually visited the island. Now my view is that there’s nothing progressive about Cuba. That progressive in Cuba can only mean to get rid of the Castrismo and open up, not à la China, a country that is brutally capitalist now, but still managed by the Communist Party, but á la Hungary or most of Eastern Europe, evolving from Communism to a welfare state like democracy.
Last night I had dinner with Japan´s Finance Minister Koji Omi at the home of Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa in Madrid. During dinner we spoke at about the coming STS Forum in Kyoto that Minister Omi chairs and I will attend. This global conference –whose objective is to raise awareness on key challenges to the sustainability of our planet– has already been held 3 times before. Around 30% of the participants are Japanese and the rest from all over the world.
Personally, I found Minister Koji Omi to be a man with a strong sense of moral commitment to improve the state of the planet. His interest is to transcend beyond Japanese politics and to have global impact. This is good because Japan currently has an developmental model that is more friendly to the environment than the United States and its environmental footprint per dollar of GDP is among the lowest in the world.
Between the widespread availbility of firearms and mass murders.
In this video I talk about my conversations with top Taiwanese and Chinese entrepreneurs and my own tentative conclusions. I describe paradoxes presented by the Taiwan/China situation. One for example is that presently many more people migrate from Taiwan to China, that is from democratic to undemocratic, than the other way around. Another paradox is that after talking to many people in Taiwan and China I have come to the conclusion that China should be feared more for its desire to be like America rather than its alleged desire to antagonize America. Many in the West are concerned that China will become a military power that will eventually clash with the United States. I used to think that as well. But after my conversations with different business leaders in the region I have changed my mind. I believe that it is unlikely that China will seek military confrontation and instead what worries me is not only China does not hate America but the opposite is true. The Chinese love America and especially the American way of life and that is a threat to the planet. China likes America so much that it is copying the American model. Unfortunately it is not copying what is good about America, democracy, but it´s copying what is bad about America, its unsustainable developmental model. By copying America´s developmental model China is making the planet already shaking from America´s incredibly high pollution per person, even less sustainable. To me the greatest risk about China has little to do with business, little to do with politics, even less to do with geopolitics and a lot to do with the environment. As Al Gore frequently argues America´s disregard for the environment is already creating the world greatest threat to our survival. Now that China has chosen to develop along the American model the damage created by these two powers combine will greatly accelerate the problems that European and Japanese among others are trying to manage.
One of the toughest problems of humanity is that most of the people who can vote global problems out of existence don´t vote. Many don´t vote in their own countries because they are not democracies, but most can´t vote these problems out of existence because humanity is a very weak concept. As schooling in America, humanity is about being born in the right side of the tracks. Unfortunately “humanity” as a value is a distant second to the extremely to nationality. Income distribution among nations reflects that.
I am in Israel now. In Tel Aviv. I came to attend Kinnernet, Yossi Vardi’s tech fest.
Three Years After March 11th : Regional Challenges for a Globalizing World – Safe Democracy´s International Conference
My foundation Safe Democracy –co-organizer of the International Summit on Terrorism, Democracy and Security in March of 2005 and host of the Atocha Workshop 11-M— will bring together a diverse group of academics and experts specializing in various disciplines from all over the world on Saturday, March 10th, in Madrid. Guests will debate and work in 9 parallel groups towards solutions to the main challenges facing different regions of the world.
Posted at Safe Democracy on March 2, 2007 | # Permalink | Comments Off on Three Years After March 11th : Regional Challenges for a Globalizing World – Safe Democracy´s International Conference | TrackBack
I am very sad to report that two female students who collaborate in my foundation were attacked by Spanish Neo Nazis this weekend in the Madrid metro station of Bernabeu. One of them is badly injured with a broken jaw. They are in their mid 20’s and were identified as foreigners by the skinhead gang because of their accent (they were both speaking in Spanish).
We are all extremely concerned about this xenofobic anti American incident. One of the victims is of Mexican origin and lives and studies now in Madrid. The other one lives in the States, studies at Syracuse, and is currently studying for 5 months in Madrid. Police reported that skin heads attacks on foreigners is becoming more and more common.