These are excellent points. I have always admired the Japanese for punching waaay above their weight. It is a remote group of islands, mostly cold and not strategically located. Yet, for decades they have continued to be an industrial powerhouse. Of late though there are increasing reports of fatigue and loneliness among its people, and maybe they need to review some of their practices. But rebuilding your country from devastation comes at great personal cost that every citizen has to pay. There is no magic potion.Aren't East Asians, namely Japan, South Korea, and now, China, the most innovative place on earth? They produce the most patents per capita on earth. And generally score a lot higher in any of the innovation indexes, relative to most major western countries.
Take Britain. It's not in the top 8 I think. But it has this reputation as being a land of innovators. This may have been historically true when she was the only show on the town, as the industrial revolution took off here. And in some areas, like research and scientific output, she is still a force to be reckoned with. However, she scores quite poorly on industrial innovation. That is to say, a lot of the cutting-edge research pumped out by her universities doesn't end up in the industry. Britain scores poorly on industrial innovation as a result
And a huge chunk of that scientific output produced here is by authors/researchers who don't even have a Briitish passport, with names like Huang and Sharma. It's the same case in the US. Anglo Saxons just aren't technically minded these days, other than a very small group.
Remember how the West claimed to hold a monopoly on all things innovation. They still do to an extent. Remember how Japanese cars were ridiculed as cheap knock-offs. If you have time, read the British intelligence report of the Japanese during WW2. They described the Japanese as follows;
"For a combination of genetic and environmental factors, Japanese were regarding as lacking in aptitude for machines, an effective sense of balance, and the capacity for innovation"
Right before they got their arse kicked by the IJN and IJA in Singapore LMFAO. Possibly the most humiliating defeat of a major power in that conflict. Brit's famously overestimated themselves and their equipment and underestimated the Japs. And now, they're doing the same thing with the Chinese.
I find the bit "lacking inaptitude of machines" especially funny. Considering everyone uses top-quality Japanese machine tools to make stuff in their industry. Japanese cars are vastly superior to anything Britain makes, and the world agrees. Britain is full of Japanese products. Japan isn't full of British ones. Because even Britain isn't filled with British products. British industrial base is a wasteland. Japan maintained a world-class industrial base in spite of decades of economic stagnation. Britain can't keep her industries in the best of times. That doesn't happen in REAL innovative countries.
Anglo Saxons are naturally quite confident people, even when they don't know what they're talking about. Asians have more humility and are often too polite for their own good. Therefore, AngloSAxons can come across as more authoritative, and therefore, "innovative" to some people. And the fact that they tend to (on average) go into "creative" fields like the arts, plays into that stereotype.
PS: Cultural stereotypes I know. And many Asians are following that pattern (*ahem* Japan). Getting too comfortable in hubris, overestimating your capabilities, and underestimating others. It's a natural pattern. It's how one civilization overtakes another I guess.
Brits are world champions at stereotyping, though I will admit that among all colonial powers they were least brutal. The French, Belgians, Spanish and Portuguese literally butchered local populations like wild game. Paradoxically, Brits also have a tendency of studying human nature closely (but somehow they get stuck at initial impressions). This has worked to their advantage historically as they could manipulate local populations.