The Rise of the East, The West’s Eclipse. A Dance as Old as Time.

Dragon | China | Japan | East

The narrative of a world order undergoing seismic shifts is echoing loudly across the globe. Headlines are dominated by the “Rise of the East” and the “Decline of the West.” But if we listen carefully to the underlying harmonies of history, we realize this narrative, though seemingly novel, is but a reprisal of an age-old symphony.

In the grand chronicle of civilizations, it’s crucial to remember that the regions we now categorize as ‘East’ and ‘West’ have been participants in an intricate dance of ascendancy and decline, not spectators. The current crescendo of Eastern powers and the perceived diminuendo of the West are not new movements but part of a long-established choreography.

Centuries before the rise of Western empires, the East was home to civilizations that had already scaled the heights of progress. From the sprawling Han and Tang dynasties of China, which pioneered innovations in science, art, and culture, to the majestic empires of Africa, such as Mali and Songhai, whose wealth and scholarly pursuits were legendary, these Eastern powerhouses were once the epicentres of human civilization.

What we’re witnessing today is not a new birth but a resurgence, a re-awakening of dormant powers.

Japan, during the Heian period, produced brilliant literary works like “The Tale of Genji,” often considered the world’s first novel, while the Islamic Golden Age gave rise to advancements in medicine, mathematics, and astronomy that still form the bedrock of modern science. Even in the archipelagos of Oceania, ancient seafarers navigated vast ocean expanses, creating intricate networks of trade and cultural exchange long before the age of European exploration.

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So, to frame the re-emergence of these nations and regions as something unprecedented is to overlook the historical tapestry that weaves together our shared human story. What we’re witnessing today is not a new birth but a resurgence, a re-awakening of dormant powers.

While this historical perspective does not trivialize the global transformations underway, it provides much-needed context. It’s a reminder that the course of human progress is not a straight line but a complex weave of ebbs and flows, crests and troughs.

As the spotlight now shines brightly on the East, it’s essential not to lapse into a simplistic narrative of role reversal, pitting East against West. Instead, we should embrace this as an opportunity for a more balanced, multipolar world.

In a global society that is increasingly interconnected, we must draw from the lessons of history, respect the cyclical nature of power and progress, and strive for a world where East and West, along with North and South, can contribute to a harmonious global symphony, each with its unique melody and shared refrain.

Let’s remember: the rhythm of history is vast and varied, and the dance continues. Today’s ‘Rise of the East’ and ‘Decline of the West’ are but the latest steps in a dance as old as time, a testament to the enduring resilience and dynamism of our global civilization.

By: Dean Marc
Originally published at

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