Monday, August 20, 2007

Not the Sixties Any More

Doctor Hans Rosling describes how the world has changed in the last forty years. Watch the video and ask yourself: how lagged is the public conception of the world from its actual reality? Nothing follows.


Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Amazing data presentation!

For most people, unfortunately, perception is reality, class warriors incessantly complain of the expanding gap between "rich" and "poor," by which they mean the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor. In fact, all boats rise with the tide---the poor are getting richer, too.

Unfortunately, too many Americans believe the lie because of its constant repetition in the media and in our public schools.

8/20/2007 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Michael Totten discovers that the Iraqi Army is sympathetic to or infiltrated by the Mahdi Army:

Wretchard, you've written that the formation of the Iraqi National Army will serve as a sort of politically neutral building block on which to construct a political settlement. That seems rather naive when you consider that the Army, in and of itself, may have its own political dimension. In addition, such a theory ignores rather basic questions of who LEADS the military. What are the political agendas of various Generals, or a Defense Minister, or a Prime Minister?

So, Wretchard, what do you make of Totten's latest reporting?

8/20/2007 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

What I found most interesting was that as a developmental strategy --that its better to increase health before you increase wealth.

8/20/2007 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger MathewK said...

Interesting analysis there. Thanks for posting this, i am better informed for this.

8/20/2007 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

You would expect it. But remember the Iraqi army isn't being built as a "neutral" building block as much as an "integrated" one. A truly "neutral" army maintains its independence by professional detachment. An integrated army, by contrast, is one in which mutual watchfulness, proportionate representation and checks-and-balances prevent any one group from dominating it.

An integrated army is incapable of fighting as a sectarian unit on any national scale. By contrast, an ethnic militia is by nature homogenous and relies on no one but its own kind.

8/20/2007 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

the other thing I found interesting is that in even the poorest countries 10-20% of the population lives along standards comparable to the west. and this sits on top of a vast lower class.

no one seems to ask why it is that they don't have large/strong middle classes--and how this can be rectified. why is this important? because it is the large strong middle classes that promote stability in countries.

rather it seems that the elites of these countries have learned to "get around" on western elites.

it was interesting that the rates of development in africa for example were inversely proportional to the amount of aid given them by western nations.

8/20/2007 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

David Brooks had a comment that may play a part on that "Not the Sixties" anymore:

Link here

"I was reminded of a book that came out a few years ago called "The Dignity of Working Men," by the sociologist Michele Lamont. She interviewed working-class men, and described what she calls "the moral centrality of work."

Her subjects placed tremendous emphasis on working hard, struggling against adversity and mastering their craft. Her book is an antidote to simplistic notions of class structure, because it makes clear that these men define who is above and below them in the pecking order mainly in moral, not economic terms.

People in other classes may define the social structure by educational and income levels and job prestige, but these men are more likely to understand the social hierarchy on the basis of who can look out for themselves, who has the courage to be a fireman, a soldier or a cop, who has the discipline to put bread on the table every night despite difficulties.

When Lamont's subjects looked at professionals and managers, they didn't necessarily see their social superiors. They saw manipulators. They defined themselves as straight-talking, shoot-from-the-hip guys. People who worked in offices, who worked by persuasion, were dismissed as insincere, for playing games.

This is why class resentment in the U.S. is so complicated, despite inequality and lagging wages. When it comes to how people see the world, social and moral categories generally trump economic ones.

This is why successful populist movements always play on moral and social conditions first, and economic ones only later. This is why they appeal to the self-esteem of the working class, not on any supposed sense of victimization. This is why their protests are directed not against the rich, but against the word manipulators – the lawyers, consultants and the news media."

If this is an essential part of moving upwards development wise, i.e. moral values of self-reliance, it is easy to see why some cultures do well (Japan, South Korea, Coastal China) and others poorly in the climb out of development in the post-War period.

The most horrible thing for the Sixties generation: culture DOES matter.

8/20/2007 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger JimMtnViewCa said...

It's a 20 minute lecture---eons by Internet standards--but the times goes like lightning!

8/20/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Down Under, an Echo of Restlessness

Although Howard is behind Rudd in the polls, his approval ratings hover around 50 percent. This leads one of the prime minister's campaign advisers to argue that by the time voters go the polls -- the betting is that Howard will set the election for late October -- they will default to reelecting him, as they have three times since he took office in 1996.

Howard has been the master of a classic form of conservative politics.

As Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen argue in a new biography, he has "managed to balance the interests of those welcoming of globalization with those hostile to it" by "fusing his long-held social conservatism with his embrace of globalization and free markets." The rush of economic change is tempered by a defense of old Australian values -- and some well-timed symbolic gestures on immigration that appeal to Australia's equivalent of the Lou Dobbs-Pat Buchanan electorate.

8/21/2007 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is an excellent example of the value your web/blog site. Your desire to share quality information with all who visit is greatly appreciated by many, I included.

Learning is so much fun!

Thanks for helping us.

8/21/2007 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

Beautiful! Very informative, hopeful and shows progress.

When I see exploitation is angers me. That was well demonstrated in the Dubai post.

Any proposed solutions?

Salaam eleikum.

8/21/2007 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

I talked to God,
The other night,
On my cellular phone,
He said "The drugs you're doin',
Are bad for your mind,
You oughtta leave them alone.

Stop listenin' to Pink Floyd music,
And cut and wash your hair,
It's not the sixties anymore Craig,
It's not the sixties anywhere.

So I got really stoned,
And passed out on the floor,
And thought about what God had said,
Listenin' to my CD's of the Doors,
And the Grateful Dead,

Then I put on my headband,
And my sandals and love-beads,
And I went on a protest march,
My sign said 'Bring Back the Sixties, man! Cause this Eighties s*** is way too harsh!"

I saw God the other night,
On my Satellite TV screen,
I flipped the channel changer, man,
But he just wouldn't let me be,
He said "Get a real job,
And drive a real car,
And live in a ... house,
It's not the Sixties anymore Craig,
It's not even close!"

8/27/2007 07:38:00 PM  

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