Horasis:The Global Visions Community Horasis China and business Asian business Asian business globalization systemic risk sustainability management consulting Asian trade globe visions leadership skills scenario-building World Economic Forum Frank-Jürgen Richter Frank-Jurgen Richter Frank-Juergen Richter Frank Richter
      Home Site Map Email
Home
Philosophy
Management
Events
Contact
Opinions
 
2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
What webs we weave
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Khaleej Times, January 22, 2012
 

The current state of the world is quite gloomy. It is no longer multi-polar and based on unique independent solidarities wherein one might discern local strengths and weaknesses: for instance the governing of a country, a regional issue like East African food shortages, or the rippling of automatic financial transactions as they shift millions of shares in micro-seconds.

We see instead that there are weak pan-regional actors not living up to their goals-for instance, the G-20 talks but often does not deliver fully; and the UN meetings (on several subjects) suffer many vetoes so cannot move forward coherently; or the financial regulators who don´t cope well with digital black boxes programmed by `rocket scientists´.

Some would suggest it´s the end of history. However, Francis Fukuyama´s essay of 1989 (or his 1992 book) is history also: we have moved on - but have we really? We continue to be primitive animals. Now we are dressed in a veneer of sophistication that is modified by our various cultural inclinations, notwithstanding our different skin tones: let me give some examples from China and Europe.

China has had cross-regional leaders for millennia and still remembers guru like Confucius and before him, Sun Tzu. They both offered advice to their leaders and their notes seem appropriate today. Both guys however were advising within warring states: indeed the treatise of Sun Tzu is called The Art of War, suggesting above all "... supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy´s resistance without fighting" which leads on to "... in the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy´s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good". These aphorisms have recently been grasped by Chinese leaders to proclaim their nation is not warmongering but peaceful in intent. But others worry, as Sun Tzu also wrote "...be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby, you can be the director of the opponent´s fate", and thus "...what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy´s strategy". In this particular sense the nations close to China´s borders wonder about its intentions that were once seen as benign. They suggest it would be well that the Chinese remember Confucius saying "...remember, no matter where you go, there you are".

It is ominous too that the polymath Bertrand Russell said as late as 1961 "... opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders´ lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately". He did however hold out some hope "... the main things which seem to me important on their own account, and not merely as means to other things, are knowledge, art, instinctive happiness, and relations of friendship or affection". Clearly he is emphasising our need to look to compromise and compassion, and is saying we must not accept the Machiavellian view that `the end justifies the means´.

So `we weave the webs of deceit, of euphemisms, and downright lies´. For what purpose? Professor Pang Zhongying has suggested that China wallows in a poverty of thought as it reflects too much on ancient texts that may have little relevance to today. But in my view, the experiences of others show that individuals project soft power not the government".

 

Frank-Jürgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis


Horasis is a global visions community committed to enact visions for a sustainable future. (http://www.horasis.org)

For more information, please contact:
 
Communications and Public Affairs
Horasis. The Global Visions Community
phone: +41 79 305 3110
fax: +41 44 214 6502
e-mail: visions@horasis.org
 
 
Copyright © 2005 Horasis Web by Toronto Web Design