Politically correctness is harming Western progress

By Sumantra Maitra
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, March 5, 2018
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An intelligent ship developed by China [CCTV.com]

A curious phenomenon can be observed in the West. For the first time in history there's a realization and even palpable panic in the West regarding Chinese and Western scientific progress, and the fact that China might be ahead of the West in leaps and bounds. There's also a muted understanding that the pervasive ideology of gender studies is now hampering Western science. 

Consider this. In the last few weeks, there has been enormous amounts of news breaking in relation to China's technological race to dominate the world. China is planning to open the world's largest unmanned ship research facility, spanning over 225 nautical square miles, which will be equipped with satellite navigation, sonar and electro-optical maneuverable sites as well as datalinks. China is already the world's largest ship builder by tonnage, and unmanned tech is the future of ship building and cargo movement, as human crews are risky and costly. 

This comes after a Chinese research team designed a hypersonic plane which can travel from Beijing to New York in two hours. The speed would be around 6000km/h and it would be five times the speed of sound. While both are planned, and the second remains in the conceptual stage, the technology would revolutionize the world, and usher in a new industrial revolution. And there's no doubt, both unmanned technology and hypersonic speed has military implications as well. 

This is a new race which has started. Technological races are not created, but start organically. When one great power advances in technology, others try and catch up, lest the balance between them is lost. That's what happened in Europe in the last century, as well as between America and the Soviet Union. This time, it has started already and the signs are all over. 

According to Nature journal, for the first time in history, China has surpassed United States in the number of scientific publications. As per Scopus, China published more than 426,000 compared to nearly 409,000 by the United States. India and Japan also stepped up quality publications, showing that it is not just a two-way race, like the Cold war. 

It is not just the number of publications but the amount of spending on R&D which is also equally noticeable. The U.S. spent around $500 billion in 2015, or 26 percent of the global total, compared to China's $400 billion, which came second. The race isn't only academic. China is ahead of the curve in cloning monkeys, and the quantum internet, and is on par in space technology, as well as military tech such as rail guns. 

Curiously, in the West, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, there's a dogma which is pulling these powers back that has recently come to light. This is a fascinating development, and has far reaching implications for the future. In the U.S., especially in Silicon Valley and technological sectors, there's a huge demand for gender equality, which has reached dogmatic levels. The centers of technological innovations are now full of enforced quotas with day after day of training about political correctness and lessons on gender bias, and patriarchy. 

Recently, Elon Musk's Tesla launched a car to space. It was supposed to be a moment of pride for the entire country. Instead, there were numbers of articles and tweets by feminists commenting that it is just “male cavalier spirit” launching the space probes, and there's essentially no need for such idiocy. 

It is having enormous effects as well. In a recent poll by the Lincoln institute, it was found that those who are socially conservative are being ostracized in U.S. firms, and slowly siphoned out. Accordingly, 59 percent of conservatives didn't pursue a career in tech, due to their viewpoints, compared to 19 percent liberal respondents. 

If this continues, it will result in far reaching consequences. If quality is sacrificed in the name of quotas, there will inevitably be a reverse brain drain. In the upcoming tech race, that's a factor to be observed. 

Sumantra Maitra is a columnist with China.org.cn. For more information please visit:


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