On the wisdom of learning Mandarin

Guiyang, China


Buildings in downtown Guiyang, province of Guizhou, China (2018)

The great values of the West are in imminent peril. The “beautiful” West faces struggles ahead. All what we value is on the line: our political systems of democracies and republics, our freedoms, our sense of art and beauty, our sense of justice, our scientific and technological innovations and our own culture and ethics. Our past successes appear now unsustainable and that what at one time was deemed unthinkable became now plausible: our own demise.

How’s that even possible? if everyone else in the world strives to have the same standards of living as in the West, how come is the West on its way to fade-away? Well, yes, the East attempts to imitate the West. But here is the core of the issue: this imitation encompasses only the economic realm. Copying economic successes without emulating political models and cultural values is like eating the icing and rejecting the cake itself. We can’t lie to ourselves: the East is not particularly interested in embracing western values, respecting freedoms or fostering the individual. Just picture this: infringing on patent rights carries very little to no consequences in China and just that is very telling. If the economy is all the influence the West has exerted on the East, I’d say the West has very little to be proud about.

For the West, though, the enemy is not out there lurking in China or Korea. The enemy is within, right at home. Somehow, we, the West, managed to implode. We managed to cave-in. Point in case, the United States of America. A country that once boasted to be the best democracy in the world and a leader of the modern world, is now a pitiful breeding ground of internal divisions and gutsy hatred, as if it were at the brink of a new civil war. Instead of fostering leadership in an ever more integrated world, the US has chosen to withdraw from the game and bury its head under ground, for self-serving, soothing comfort.

The East is quickly winning the cultural battle. Come to think of it, that’s expected and inevitable as the pendulum swings now the other way. After all, the West has everything to lose and the East has everything to win. Their sheer population numbers are their strength. That and the fact that they are better adapted to face this brave new world of ours, a world of more frequent pandemics, overpopulation and increasing scarcity.

In the midst of this new order, our little western idiosyncrasies appear idiotic and they will likely be the first things to go. Forget now about your favorite sporting events and consider trashing your idolized, close-to-your-heart multi-million dollar professional athletes, your multi-million dollar Hollywood-actors and artists and your venerated multi-million dollar politicians (all are coming down with the rest of us, I hope). Forget about your massive rock concerts and your cool music bands, your love for cruises and your love for firearms. Your assault weapons are not gonna keep you intact, my friend, this is not EVEN a physical war.

And, above all, abandon your Science, once and for all, for the love of God if nothing else! Stop acting as if you care about scientific facts. Let’s be honest: you don’t even listen to your scientists anyway, and when or if you do, you manage to use their knowledge to create A-bombs, expand the world’s population or -even worse- to dream about populating Mars, a truly risible delusion. The only thing you have accomplished with your science and technology is to grow the population of the world’s poor and uneducated, pulverize the environment and set every one up for modern slavery, both in the East and the West.

Instead, consider taking steps in learning Mandarin, how is that? You will need it, sooner than you may think. Here you go, to get you started: Ni Hao! *


Buildings in downtown Century City, Los Angeles, California (2019)