He sees the decline in the West as the fault of liberalism which believes in the freedom of the individual, the basic goodness of human beings, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties.
He describes those who call themselves liberal, people who no longer have faith in a Supreme Being who knows exactly what He's doing in the world.
He suggests that liberals are fearful after 9/11 because they can't think of how to deal with terrorists...turning the Middle East into a parking lot just doesn't sit right with liberals.
He suggests that liberals believe heartily in diplomacy but how can you "talk" to terrorists? He suggests that China has the balls to bomb the Islamic extremists to kingdom come but the liberal West just doesn't have the stomach for it.
Rorty puts together "liberal" and "West" and finds them lacking so badly that he sees they are declining.
My question is "Is the West essentially liberal AND THEREFORE doomed?"
Liberals don't say to a young girl who's gotten pregnant, or a man who's homeless on the streets, "You made your bed, now lay in it." They say "Let me help you, let me get the government to help you out of the difficulty you are in."
Liberals feel uncomfortable being rich while other people are poor. They believe in welfare.
Some say America has shifted from "We have to stay ahead of everyone else, because we are Americans and we ARE the best!" to something more dark, entropic and self-destructive.
Some say the Manhattan Project wouldn't happen today...why? It wouldn't be allowed? We wouldn't spend the money?
The name of Richard Rorty's article is "A Queasy Agnosticism." He means to say that that's how the liberal West is feeling today after 9/11 in the face of terrorism and it's the reason for the West's decline.
He says the future belongs to China. He means to say that China believes in central authority, revolution to seize political power, rights of the proletariat not the individual. Of course they don't believe in freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of speech.
Although the demise of the CCP (the Communist Party) is probably only a matter of time.
Via Fareed Zakaria:
But China is a country whose scale dwarfs the United States—1.3 billion people, four times America's population. When China was terribly poor no one cared about it, now that China is growing rich it's beginning to look ominous.Now I'm not saying all this about China because I think we should be afraid of China. As a matter of fact, I am convinced the U.S. has nothing to fear from China. but China is probably the next GREAT country, if not ASIA the next GREAT region.
China is now the world's largest producer of coal, steel and cement, the second largest consumer of energy and the third largest importer of oil, which is why gas prices are soaring. China's exports to the United States have grown by 1,600 percent over the past 15 years, while U.S. exports to China have grown by 415 percent.
It manufactures two thirds of the world's copiers, microwave ovens, DVD players and shoes. [Yeah and toys (notwithstanding a problem or two of late)].
China's rise is no longer a prediction. It is a fact. It is already the world's fastest-growing large economy, and the second largest holder of foreign-exchange reserves, mainly dollars. It has the world's largest army (2.5 million men) and the fourth largest defense budget, which is rising by more than 10 percent annually.
But does the rise of China mean America is on the decline...? No I don't think so... But what we (Democrats, Liberals Progressives) do from now on will make the difference.