The New Asian Hemisphere

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Professor Kishore Mahbubani of the National University of Singapore says that Western domination is ending, and Asia is poised to become a major driver of world politics, economics, and history. Professor Mahbubani’s recent book is The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East.

Event: Kishore Mahbubani will be in conversation with Vishakha Desai
Wednesday, February 27 at 6:30 pm
Asia Society
725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street)
Tickets are available online at Asia Society.


Kishore Mahbubani

Comments [10]


(Good questions to the right person, Leonard)

Feb. 27 2008 04:28 PM

Gimme a break.

On Democracy -- beware of the preaching Singaporean.

Feb. 27 2008 04:26 PM

So when will the guest's host state, Singapore, adapt these democratic reforms he talked around today -- or address that issue -- or put the screws on the world's countries that are trashing the continent (or better yet the countries that are being trashed themselves, i.e. China, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Burma, Malaysia, etc.)...

Singaporean youth are not their parents. They know what democracy is. Then we can judge Singapore -- or listen to their smart class opine.

I don't mean to be rude -- and I'll admit I love the gum thing -- but let's keep Singapore and its history in perspective, folks.

Feb. 27 2008 03:46 PM
James from New York

The guest makes a number a very profound observations - the most important of which is that the economic rise of Asia is, on balance (i.e. regardless of the very few problems attendant to it) a very positive development for all of humanity as well as for Asians. Their growing prosperity is and will be a good thing for ALL peoples, especially as it provides inspiration and lessons for those parts of the world, such as sub-saharan Africa & the Middle East which remain mired in crushing poverty. The current Asian miracle, like the antecedant stories of development in Japan, the four "Asian Tigers" and prior to that, the economic development of Europe & the West generally in no way diminishes prospects for anyone, but rather increases human wealth & opportunities for further progress for others through trade & mutual learning. This is the biggest GLOBAL "good news" story of our time & should be a cause of immense optimism for everyone. The West needs to understand this better & embrace the opportunities of the future rather than cower in a fear arising from an ignorance of the story of our own economic progress which is now being emulated & elaborated upon by Asians. The growth of global wealth will make helping those who remain poor increasingly easier - both with aid as well as with additional examples of means & method for escape from poverty.

Feb. 27 2008 01:22 PM
B from New York

At the New School was an interesting panel about China. They have a lot of capitalism, but party bosses still run everything, and no capitalist gets to do business without a boss on the payroll. And, the shareholders of the property development corporations are all communist party members. The wealth that they are creating is property, and low cost manufacturing not technology innovation. There is no 'trickle-down' there either, and they are creating incredible social and environmental troubles.

The bosses want big skylines like NY and at least 200 bosses want to build Central Business Districts with skyscrapers, which means knocking down houses and dislocating poor people.

It is a kind of "reverse cultural imperialism", and they say "we are following America as the model". One of the panel said "if you think that Chinese don't want to make billions like hedge-fund managers, think again".

According to that panel, they want to emulate our consumer culture, however wasteful and bad it is for social life and the planet.

He also doesn't mention the fact that China has no legal system yet to protect businessmen, and that guanxi is a very big drain on productivity and innovation, and is embedded in their culture.

I am sure it is true that Asian societies will eclipse America because of population, but not because of enlightenment. They are not enlightened people, but are rather unreconstructed communist party bosses calling the shots.

Feb. 27 2008 12:52 PM
Daniel from NYC

your guest is phenomenal. He should be an advisor to the new president.

Feb. 27 2008 12:33 PM
Hernando from New York, NY

A power shift to Asia is just natural due to its large populations. However, this power shift CAN be countered.

The US has never looked SOUTH in a serious manner because it has not been forced to. With its large population and similar cultural heritage, LATIN AMERICA offers the West (US and Eurpoe) lasting staying power; that is if the West decides to become a genuine partner of Latin America.

The key to the West staying power is naturally in Latin America.

Feb. 27 2008 12:30 PM
chestine (the other?) from Midtown

People liken Singapore to Switzerland - a money magnet.

Feb. 27 2008 12:29 PM
chestine (the other?) from Midtown

I have heard from many sources that the Chinese need to hire Americans and other westerners to manage them because they don't have problem-solving, creative minds, aren't trained to think for themselves, are rigidly book-learned.

Feb. 27 2008 12:28 PM

Given that the US has over the past decade or so moved its factories to (environmentally unregulated) Asia and particularly China -- which are now generating clouds of toxins that are actually polluting the US (see today's news) -- it's obvious China is already shaping American's life and future in a most dramatic way.

Millions of Asians escaping such conditions for the promise of a more sustainable life in North America is another powerful example of Asia's accepted practices that are thankfully unique and, many would argue, suicidally short-sighted.

If the level of short-sightedness which governs Asia's economic and (especially) political life is truly exported beyond Asia, the world will become a much worse place.

And this comment is coming from a lover of many Asian traditions, places and dear friends.

Feb. 27 2008 10:49 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.