Reviewing the medal counts at this point one is impressed by Chinas 22 Gold over the USA's 14. This combined with the mass ceremony and the great show of the Olympics would seem to indicate a new age is starting, one of China and the East.
I think this would be wrong. I think the lesson of the 2008 Olympics is that the US still has the diversity and depth to dominate any global activity for years to come. With Bush leaving and Obama on his way in this is far less scary than it seemed in 2003.
The point I look to is depth. China has dominated on winning gold medals. And she has won a great number, but in silver and bronze she has fallen behind and the US now has 43 total medals, leaving everyone but China in the dust.
The US still remains the human mass that can rise to any skill demand. As any businessman knows you win on your bronze and silver people more than you gold. No other nation can recruit individuals with skills like the US, and no other nation can support them to the level of excellence. The combination of a mass society of diverse and skilled people, which is getting more diverse and more skilled, combined with established industrial production and a culture of creativity and breaking the rules to get things done insures that the USA will continue to be the strongest single force in defining global capitalism, and thus global society, for many years in advance.
It has been my profound hope for a long time that the US and EU could form a deep connection that would create a West. A region of Europe and North America rich and grounded in human rights. The election and tragic re-election of that shit stick Bush has dimmed this hope but it clearly is not to late.
It is not my opinion that the Western tradition is better then others, or that its is well defined and all European and American. London and Chicago are flavoured with regions of other cultures which give the West a unique spice and agility.
But this flavours come together in a style of community grounded in Western concepts of constitution, government, equality and humanity. Concepts born in England and later France and America. Concepts grounded on a Western world view starting from Homer.
I don't claim these ideas are better than China's or India's, its just that they are ours. And a meta-socity including the US, Canada, the EU is I think the best hope for human liberty.
So forget about Bush and hug an American today!
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