Between 1918 and 1922 the German philosopher Oswald Spengler published a voluminous essay destined to become a classic, The Decline of the West. The fundamental thesis of the work is that all civilizations go through a natural cycle of growth, blossoming and decay.
A mature society, developed into a civilization, loses its expansive thrust, its frantic search for a ‘place in the world’, and withdraws on a different level, usually developing cultural and artistic heritage.
Moreover, the artistic manifestation created by a civilization becomes the point of contact between the older civilization, now on the wane, and the new one that, dismayed in its bold youth, while ready to take the place of the ancient empire, still bows in front of it, acknowledging the superiority in style.
The most classic example of this dynamic is to be found in the barbarian invasions: vibrant young people who, while fighting for a new political-territorial supremacy, recognize the peaks of the Roman civilization and try to adopt its customs and ways of life; what might be called, in a broad sense, style.
The phenomenology of the civilization described by Spengler however, is not something to simply apply to historical analysis. In fact, it can be observed throughout the course of historical evolution as a phenomenon of eternal return, which cyclically repeats its substantial motion, despite the mutability of contingent historical realities.
Boldly, we can find it in the relationship existing today among young Asian peoples and the well-established Western civilization. After all, it is not difficult to see the demonstrations of this phenomenon. The peoples of Asia, led by China today and before by the Asian Tigers in the south-east, are slowly marching to replace the Western world in the role of global leadership. Of course, war is not fought with swords and horses, as in the barbarian invasions, but with the privileged instruments of the modern battlefield, the economic ones.
Since the twentieth century, with the U.S. supremacy, empires are primarily economic empires. And, as a fourth-century Germanic admired the Roman style, the twenty-first century Asian, in his new leadership role, aims to absorb the ways of the West.
The acquisition of Inter FC by Indonesian Tohir is a very clear example of what we are describing. Not only football, though. As a matter of fact, the sector that is most suitable to highlight the transmigration of western style to the new Asian powers is luxury. Italians are well aware of that and the made in Italy is a business that, albeit unconsciously, presents very important socio-cultural implications. In fact, the process of economic growth in Asia, particularly of China and South-East Asia, does not go with the rediscovery and development of local styles and traditions; rather, the newly ‘arrived’ flaunt the new socio-economic position showing off the chance to take on a Western lifestyle.
The most obvious examples are in clothing, accessories and cars. For the new rich Asian to drive a Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, BMW or a Porsche is not associated, in general, to the pleasure of driving a comfortable car.
There is more to it: in this we find the desire to show the possibility to afford a lifestyle that is recognized, first in the West than in the East, as typical of economic elites. The phenomenon, reiterated, is reflected on the new middle classes which, with the use of credit, are trying to manifest the social climbing particularly through the purchase of clothing considered as avant-garde: a Gucci handbag, a dress by Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Prada…
In this context, there is an attempt to distinguish our This Is Life Luxury Hub, which promotes typically Italian culture and luxury in Asia to the new economic leaders. Here is the luxury that, perhaps unconsciously, is now playing the important role as a cultural bridge between a world at sunset and the dawn of the new peoples of the East. Globalization is a cyclical and linear process at the same time. Civilizations alternate cyclically in the lead role but as they evolve they absorb linearly the style of the previous ruler, recognized as the one who has already attained certain peaks of forms of civilization. In the process of mixing up a lead role is exercised by luxury, the most obvious expression of a style, quickly absorbed by the new that moves forward.
Carmelo Ferlito, Ph.D. Senior Fellow, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Visiting Professor, INTI International College Subang, Subang Jaya, MalaysiaThis is Life Luxury Hub which is a company based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that offers a range of luxury services ranging from Ferrari tour in the most beautiful and scenic areas of Tuscany, Italy, with both private flights on helicopter private jets to any destination both in Europe and in the world, with the charter super yachts Perini, via a custom-designed interior and exterior, designed by Italian architects, with the possibility of an authentic Italian villa … in Asia and, finally, an important overview of the villas and the most exclusive and luxurious properties in Italy, especially in Tuscany, for sale and for rent. www.thisislifeluxuryhub.com