Lessons From Asia for Jamaica


by Lipton Matthews

In her Gleaner of May 23 2004 column, Black People Still Slaves to the Past, Dawn Ritch made the following remarks about black ethnocentrism:

           “It ought to be no surprise therefore, when it is found that this ideology isn’t producing what it’s supposed to. No jobs, no wealth, and a higher proportion of us in the prison population than in the general population overseas. Often for drugs, but mostly for killing one another.

Ritch’s statement is correct since 10,000 Jamaicans were murdered by the gun within the ten year period 2003-2013 and there is no official civil war in the country. It is quite unfortunate that Jamaica is being led by intellectuals who have an inferiority complex; concerning anything European. There are too many scholars, who have decided to argue for reparations; instead of creating tangible solutions to solve our nation’s ailments.

The institution of chattel slavery has been abolished for 175 years, but Europeans are still being blamed for the region’s problems. However, many academics do not examine the circumstances which made ancient peoples of today’s developing countries subservient to their European colonizers. Contrary to what many would want us to believe Europe was never the bastion of civilization, Europeans have been successful over the years, because they have done what many other races refused to do, this policy is called benchmarking.

Author of the book ‘The Eastern Origin of the Western Civilization’, John M Hobson noted:

“Western intellectual doctrines and inventions, occurred as a result of contact with Eastern cultures and not Greek and Roman traditions”.

Although Hobson’s thesis has been criticised by mainstream scholars; it highlights the benefits that a country can obtain when it refuses to operate like a closed nation.

Many scholars have argued that one of the reasons for the triumph of the West as an industrial power is the complacency of the East. For example, the Song Dynasty of China was the first government in the world to issue paper notes and by 1100 AD China was the most advanced country in the world. However, according to noted historian David Landes, the East stopped innovating.

In 1432, China outlawed the building of ocean going ships, an area which she dominated; and the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan banned firearms and closed out foreign influence and foreign trade.  Furthermore, the policies of the last imperial dynasty of China, the Qing Dynasty, outlawed foreign trade and restricted commerce by creating a government controlled guild system. This are consequences of governments who run amok and it resulted in what scholars dub “The Great Divergence”. The process by which Western Europe surpassed the East, becoming the world’s economic hub.

Today, the East is being restored to its former glory because Eastern leaders have decided to promote innovation and benchmarking, whilst Western governments have taken control of everything.

Japan’s recovery after the Tokugawa Shogunate’s end began with the Meiji restoration in the 19th century, during which there was the Iwakura mission between 1871-73 whose purpose was to visit western nations and study their sophisticated systems in order to effect the modernization of Japan. While in the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping presided over the economic modernization of China. Deng also examined Lee Kwan Yew’s Singaporean model. Mr Lee previously examined many models (ironically including Jamaica’s economic model in the 1960’s) as Singapore’s first Premier after their independence in 1965.

Today, Japan is the most technologically advanced nation in the world producing more patents than all countries and China has the world’s second largest economy. Singapore is projected to be the world’s richest country in 2050.


Before deluded intellects in Jamaica bash Europe, they must realize that a country can only become superior to its rival by beating it at its own game. That’s what Asia did a thousand years ago, and with what they are repeating today Asians are better off.

Lastly, it must be noted that Swedes have the highest proficiency  in English as a second language, according to a new study conducted by Education First. There are more non-native English speakers than native English speakers around the world. Local intellectuals should understand that Jamaica needs a global culture in order to succeed, instead being obsessed with local ethnic culture that will carry us nowhere.


Lipton Matthews is a first year law student and is unusual in being a Jamaican Conservative Capitalist Teenager. He can be reached at lo_matthews@yahoo.com


About RightFromYaad

A view from "the Right", as a source of ideas to create a new vision of freedom and what it promises for Jamaicans, to counter the tyranny of the status quo of Jamaica's reality since 1962. Website: RightFromYaad.wordpress.com Email: rightfromyaad@gmail.com Twitter : @rightfromyaad Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Right-From-Yaad/244886608978438?ref=ts&fref=ts
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