Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Macau: The Future, Today
In order to imagine the future, I 'm looking at Macau. The first European settlement in Southern China that has developed into the world's most advanced society. It has the highest average age of dying (86 years) and the densest population (18,500 persons per square kilometre). They make their money from the industry of the future: entertainment. The political leadership is very capable: they managed to avoid external conflicts for generations.
Yet Macau is not selfsustaining: Only 2000 babies are born every year (in a population of half a million, that is, about half of the number required to refill the population). It is like an Essene monastery, dedicated to spiritual/commercial activities, recruiting its population from a larger pool. It is a self-selected elite that occupies its life with higher callings, enjoying refined Portuguese-Chinese cuisine, non-self-sustaining but refilled by a steady inflow from the sea of "wild" population around.
The candle burns at its top, shedding light, but fed from the grease below. In the end it consumes itself and burns out. Human societies are like that: fed from below. America has consumed millions of "wild" European immigrants, and its light is now fed by millions of Mexicans and Chinese flowing in below. In time, they will rise to the top and be consumed.
I am feeling old and tired this morning. Let God's will be done.