May 27, 2013

The Rise of Global Civilization: A Conversation with Kishore Mahbubani (The National Interest)

An excerpt from the review of the book by Tom Nagorski in The Wall Street Journal on March 19, 2013, called, "A New Concert of Nations":
The Indian scholar Brahma Challaney recently gave a talk at the Asia Society in New York about the coming global water-supply crisis. It was a dispiriting forecast: drought and pollution, even wars over water. That same morning brought dreary news from other fronts: a fresh threat from North Korea, another atrocity in Syria, a frightening smog alert from Beijing.

Anyone feeling the weight of the world's woes will be grateful for Kishore Mahbubani's "The Great Convergence," a sweeping survey that proves to be, in large measure, a counterweight to global gloom and doom. Mr. Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, is under no illusions about the troubles we face, but he takes the longer view, reaching back a few decades to see an upward trend and to marvel at how far we have come.

Under Mr. Mahbubani's lens, we see a plunge in the rates of extreme poverty and early-childhood deaths; a rise in literacy; a drop in the number of armed conflicts. "Major interstate wars," says Mr. Mahbubani, "have become a sunset industry." The good-news numbers are remarkable. In 1990, one billion human beings earned enough income to consider making discretionary purchases beyond mere necessity; by 2010, the figure had more than doubled. Mr. Mahbubani has lived this change. He was raised, he says, in "a typical third world city . . . [with] no flush toilets, some malnutrition, ethnic riots and, most importantly of all, no sense of hope for the future." The city was Singapore, today an economic juggernaut with a per-capita income that outranks America's.
Source: The National Interest - The Rise of Global Civilization (March 13, 2013).

Video Title: A Conversation with Kishore Mahbubani. YouTube Video Description - [Channel: cftni. Published on March 12, 2013]:
A Conversation with The National Interest Editor, Robert Merry, and Kishore Mahbubani, former Singaporean Ambassador to the United Nations and Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore at the Center for the National Interest (March 8, 2013)