Acquiescing to Evolution

In the Financial Times (via Economist's View) by Geoffrey Moore, some wise words on why and how hard it will be for Americans to unlearn economic supremacy.

The Darwinian credo of capitalism runs rife even over empires so-seemingly infallible as ours. In other words, it will next be made in China, so to speak, and India. It's not that the U.S.--its economic actors, its voters, its government--should fold the proverbial cards, on the contrary it must relearn its competitive advantage as the environment changes. Fortune tells us that in the foreseeable future, the U.S. must learn to bend again to the market, not just bend it; Americans, try their hands at trades now defrayed to help or outsourced; the unipolar government must make friends (and not just for a 'Snow' job or UN brownie points).
An excerpt from Moore's "Lessons in Darwinism for the western world":

Now we are into the 21st century and it is already clear that home field advantage is crossing the Pacific. In this century, China and India look to be the great canvases upon which economic successes will be painted. ...

If Americans and Europeans want to win in the 21st century, we must learn to play better in away games. As this new world dawns, we are beginning to experience the dark side of natural selection, the perspective of those selected against, rather than for. This is Darwin ... wielding the sharp, pointed stick of failure. Interestingly, it is failure– most dramatically the threat of extinction– that drives evolution, not success. Successful species do not mutate: they ... breed until such time as they consume all the free resources in the ecosystem and only then do they begin to mutate... That time is now.

To accept this challenge is to deal with Darwin. And in spite of US culture’s somewhat problematic relationship with evolutionary thinking, ... I am relatively optimistic about America’s ability to step up. I am not so optimistic, however, about Europe’s prospects. One great obstacle to dealing with Darwin is the sense of entitlement, and this seems ... to make adaptive change impossible. France’s youth are convinced they are entitled to well-paying jobs. Italy’s citizens take it as a matter of national pride that Alitalia exists, irrespective of its ability to compete. Germany’s unions believe they are entitled to more, not less, compensation and benefits. The Swedes believe Darwinism is a scandal that socialist institutions are meant to redeem.

The problem with all the above is simple: Darwin does not care. ... it rewards what works and penalises what does not. ... We must ... establish sustainable competitive advantage from within our own ranks. This is still a work in progress but at least it is a work under way. Denying the need for such change, or waiting for political institutions to resolve the issue, are all losing gambits...