May 22, 2008

Astarte and Amaterasu


A provocative comparison of the political status quo in Japan and the European Union, their differing notions of collective national guilt, and their steadily diverging fates. Japan certainly has a severe demographic disequilibriums of its own to deal with (covered here by the Washington Post), but they have arisen for mostly pragmatic reasons and obvious financial externalities, not out of existential despair. I'm fairly certain Japan will embrace the new balance as soon as it is spied. What Japan won't do is abandon ship in the meantime. As Takuan Seiyo quips, the Oriental sage, given a glass of water, doesn't ask whether it is half-empty or half-full. He simply drinks it down.

Part one. Part two.

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