Let's Bet on the West
By Bryan Caplan
The truth is that Western civilization is taking over the globe. In
virtually any fair fight, it steadily triumphs. Why? Because, as fans
of Western civ ought to know, Western civ is better. Given a choice,
young people choose Western consumerism, gender norms, and
entertainment. Anti-Western governments from Beijing to Tehran know
this this to be true: Without draconian censorship and social
regulation, “Westoxification” will win.
Doesn’t the news tell us differently, day after day? Sure, because the news trumpets the worst things that happened yesterday on a planet with seven billion people. Heeding the daily news slowly melts even the strongest statistical mind.
Still, the fact that the media inevitably paints a bleak picture doesn’t prove that the picture isn’t bleak. The best way to face such questions, to repeat myself repeatedly, is betting. Refine vague questions into testable propositions, publicly agree to odds and a time frame, then see what happens.
Consistent with my hardy weed position, I’m happy to bet that Western civilization will advance globally by any reasonable measure. But I’m hazy on what metrics plausibly count as “reasonable.” Bleg: Name some reasonable measures of global Westernization. I’ll ponder your suggestions, then propose betting terms open to anyone on Earth willing to prepay me.
HT: Inspired by the great Garett Jones.