Every society is a dynamic system, which might be changed by internal or external factors, or both. When two different cultures are confronted with each other, there may cause a much deeper disruption than a clash between the two societies. For instance, a tribal war in Africa is not very likely to destroy one of the two cultures. But by modernization, one culture was imposed upon another, and this often resulted in the latter giving the worst of two worlds. Once the damage is done, it is difficult to imagine how it can be undone. The reality of today is that very few cultures are unaffected. It is a reality we have to recognize, so that we can start building up from there instead of trying to turn back the clock, or to “freeze” things as they are.
Connecting the West, a clear distinction must be made between western culture and the free market system. Both are obvious by connected, but they are not one and the same. In fact the free market system sets in motion a series of changes that are escaping more and more controls from national governments.
The free market has its own dynamic. For instance, if a heavy financial crash occurs, there is little room for governments to intervene.
The ongoing globalization of national economies makes it more and more difficult to be an island in this global stream. Even western governments can only witness how old values are lost, without being replaced by clear-cut new ones. Things are not only changing, it is the rate of change that is increasing, and in these circumstances, cultural enclaves (在一国境内的外国领土) will become fewer and smaller. Global trade, mass media, cheap transport, and information explosion: how can anything or anybody resist these?
In the forces that are reshaping the world, there will always be a western component, but basically we are all subjected to the free market system with its globalized trade and communication. Maybe here lies an opportunity for those who are not yet captured by it, to explore the possibilities of using good elements to their advantage, and protect ehri societies against the negative aspects of it.