Looking back at our posts, it seems we have been obsessed with “democracy” and “freedom,” haven’t we? That is only because we have been trying to deflect the flawed Western media narrative on those two ideas. Have you given much thought to this other idea – “equality?” Obviously it is important, and certainly no less than democracy, because without equality, there is actually no basis for democracy.
Do a quick experiment. Search through U.S. presidential speeches and news from all Western media for “equality,” “democracy,” and “freedom,” then compare results for the first with the latter two terms. You will find that “equality” in the international setting is virtually non-existent. The Western media does NOT like to talk about equality, but love to talk about the other two. Why?
I think “equality” is a big fish bone that will cause this “democracy” and “freedom” narrative to gag.
Look at per capita CO2 emissions per year. Below are the 2010 WWF figures:
On average, every Chinese citizen produces 4.58 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, compared to 19.1 tonnes for Americans and 9 tonnes for Europeans.
If the world is just comprised of China, U.S., and Europe, their total CO2 emissions would be 16.18 billion tons. For a population of 2.1 billion, that means the average CO2 emission is 7.7 tons.
Believe in equality? Yes. The long term equilibrium, therefore, is for the average Chinese to increase consumption and be able to emit 3.12 more tons each year. Americans will need to cut back 11.4 tons (60%). Europeans 1.3 tons (14%). I realize some of you may not subscribe to this long term equilibrium idea. But I do. Because poorer people are always willing to work harder for less pay. Over time, the poor catches up with the wealthier.
I am talking in relative terms. Technology could improve such that standards of living in absolute terms for everyone continue to increase. Our world total will need to cut back to make sure we don’t destroy the planet. Certainly, this is a simplified view.
Now, we add India. The average Indian emits about 1.5 tons of CO2 each year, making the per capita average 4.9 tons. Will Americans give up 75% of their consumption to make room for a more equitable life to also accommodate the Indians? Europe, 45%? How about for the rest of the world?
Former U.S. President Kennedy said, “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
To the Western media: ask not what other governments can do for their citizens – ask what you can do for those citizens. Start preaching equality.
But I suspect they won’t. They will continue to preach “democracy” and “freedom.” However, the developing countries will start to preach “equality.” And, thus, in the coming decades, I think it will be Team Equality vs. Team Democracy and Freedom.