Guest column: The great 21st century challenge
With the defeat of Hitler at the end of World War II, the Allied Powers gathered and decided to divide Europe roughly in half, returning the western nations to their original owners while the eastern nations would be left under the control of Soviet Russia. Philosophically and politically it became Free Europe and the USA versus Communist Europe and Asia.
About the same time the USA single handily defeated Japan which remained occupied by the United States for several years after the end of the war with General MacArthur in charge of the restoration of the nation. (I gave my daughter our set of Noritaki China that is stamped on the bottom "Made in Occupied Japan"). After a few years the United States withdrew from free Japan and it continued to flourish throughout the next fifty years to become one of the worlds great economic powers.
During the same period the Soviet block nations languished in poverty and despair. Realizing it or not, the great challenge between the controlled society (welfare states) of Communism/ Socialism and free society was on. The Soviet Union had vast economic and natural resources, minerals, fertile lands, oil, etc., yet was unable to sustain itself. Meanwhile, Japan, a tiny spec on the planet compared to the USSR, with very limited resources, grew marvelously with great abundance for its people.
The same comparison can be made with North and South Korea and North and South Vietnam. When divided between north and south, both northern countries had the advantage with most industry, natural resources and arable land. The free southern nations, though having the disadvantage, flourished while their controlled northern neighbors languished. Please note that both pairs of nations had all things cultural in common, including the starting date, except for the politico-economic system imposed on them.
Add to the mix the challenge between China and Taiwan, again with the exact same starting date and language. The tiny island of Free China (Taiwan) became an economic giant during the next 60 years while forty million people died in China.
The 20th century will be known as the century of the great economic challenge between the controlled societies of the welfare states versus the free societies. More than half of the world was living in the welfare states involved in that challenge. Today there is only one significant nation left in the controlled society group, China. To China's credit, since they have discovered "profit" and competitive enterprise, they are emerging from the doldrums and are taking baby steps toward overcoming the poverty that has so long engulfed its people, though they have yet a long way to go before they reach freedom.
With all this evidence to look at, it amazes me that there so many socialists in academia. With Communism/Socialism having been tried for seventy years and having failed miserably, what compels these strange beings to continue pressing for socialism in America. It just doesn't make any intellectual sense, unless of course they haven't done their own thinking (and that may well be the case).
America has no philosophical allies, only temporary political ones. Though we won the 20th century challenge, we are still at risk of losing our freedoms.
So be on guard.