It is interesting to note how in economic and financial reports coming out of Europe, for example, when reviewing economic growth statistics, financial market performance and monetary policy management, the “industrialized countries” – United States, Eurozone, United Kingdom, and Japan – are grouped together, i.e. the early industrialized countries, as opposed to the emerging countries, the latter often not otherwise specified.

While it is true that most of the capital and technology employed to give shape to the industrialization of the emerging countries originates from those of early industrialization, it may also be the case that in, say, thirty years from now, these demographically challenged regions may turn out to be four old farts stagnating in obscure corners of the world, like western Europe was during its so-called middle ages when more exciting things politically and economically were happening elsewhere.

But most likely, through trade, direct investment, immigration and war too, we will all become a little bit more like each other: the average Chinese and other east Asian, Indian, Latin American, Arab, and African and so on will have non-agricultural jobs, have access to money to purchase basic consumer goods through wages and credit, as well as access to some kind of healthcare and a pension, and the quality of the consumer goods, wages, healthcare, and pension will reflect the average quality of the masses of both the old centers of early industrialization and the new, for better and for worse – those of the masses who survive the global social shift and the war.

From the point of view of the latter Twentieth-Century middle classes of Europe and the United States, we fret that we have already entered into precarious times. But, really, life has always been precarious, despite socialist promises of guaranteed welfare.

So be real and take a risk: love your spouse and your children, if you have them, but in any case, love, love your culture, and love much, because this is how you will be remembered.