East to West

Thinking about how human history has come along, it seems clear that the center of wealth, strength and power had shifted from the East to the West during the last five hundred years or so.

Around five hundred to thousand years ago, the kingdoms of the East, including China, India, the Ottoman Empire, the Abbasid caliphate and several African kingdoms were ruling the roost in terms of wealth and power. However, since the 1500s and 1600s, the Western nations began a long process of exploration, innovation and conquest which made them the wealthiest and powerful countries on earth.

One could imagine this in terms of today’s phenomenon of companies becoming large and moribund and being outpaced by a innovating startup. For example, companies like Google and Apple began as relatively small companies. They have innovated and overtook many of the existing companies like G.E., which used to dominate the S&P Index with their market cap.

However, today, the tide seems to be turning. The countries of the East, like China and India are economically growing. They are using the methodologies, technological innovations and strategies developed in the West. With this, they seem poised to overtake the West again in the next few decades. It remains to be seen how human history will pan out in the next few decades considering these ongoing economic changes.