As Montesquieu published his Persian Letters in 1721, he caused much excitement.
A book in which two persians, Usbek and Rica, are travelling through Europe and writing to their fellows ´bout everything they saw. No mischief was left behind. Their bright observations hit a nerv in french society and Montesquieu, who later formulated the seperation of powers, laid the foundations of his popularity.
Could such a book flourish today?
An occasion is there, certainly. The corona-crisis was probably the last step to show the old continent that they´re no longer the center of the world. Other societies, particularly in east-asia, are better suited to match the challenges of our time. What must a japanese visiter think of the fact that our health-systems were not prepared for the pandemic? A south-corean, that after just a couple of weeks we had no clue whatsoever about who got the virus where and when? A citizen of Singapore, if he would only know about fax-maschines in health-departments?
Vietnam, for europeans still a place for dschungel-wars and dully communism, will probably be a winner of the crises. With rigid, but effective meassures they were able to control the virus and hold the number of deaths astonishing low. Adding to that, they were one of the few countries to grew their economy last year.
The country, yesterday a poorhouse of the continent, is florishing today.
And tomorrow, who knows, they may send us letters.