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>I share your concern -- and anger -- Grant. Maybe we need a memetic
>of how this has emerged.
>And perhaps our non-US colleagues can comment on whether this seems to be a
>US phenomenon only?
A couple of days ago I posted a headline from the South China Morning Post
which talked about the Chinese engineers working in Silicon Valley taking
what they have learned with them back to China where new opportunities are
opening up. I have also seen articles about some of those people and how
they are changing the way conpanies are organized and the philosophy how
work and compensation are distributed within the company. The 60,000
Taiwanese who used lessons learned from American and Japanese companies that
built production facilities in Taiwan to set up their own operations in
mainland China have also had a huge influence in spreading Western ideas
throughout the Far East. It was the fact that little Taiwan with 20 million
people had accumulated more foreign exchange reserves than the whole nation
of China with its more than 1 billion people that made Deng Hsiao-ping see
the light. He suddenly realized he was losing an economic war he hadn't
even realized was going on.
The WTO and IMF are also forces promoting the new concepts, although in a
political way that stiffles the message of what the new world will be like.
The people who run these organizations still carry too much of the desire of
their home nations to control everything to their own advantage. That's why
China wanted in. In this global economy, you're either one of the rule
makers or one of the ruled. China wanted a hand in making the rules instead
of just being affected by them.
The WTO is becoming a counter force to the U.N., too. While the U.N. is
involved in saving nations and settling political disputes, the WTO is
organizing the world of commerce and settling trade disputes before they
become political. The IMF, meanwhile, is using the carrot of money to loan
to change the habits of nations and the way they run their economies. They
also wield the whip of withholding money from those who don't comply.
Argentina and Indonesia are good examples of this. I don't know if you've
read The Lexus and the Olive Tree, but it does a good job of describing the
territory and explaining how the forces of money and ideas are reshaping the
The British authors, Daniel Yergin (The Prize) and Joseph Stanislaw also
collaborated to write a more academic study called THE COMMANDING HEIGHTS:
The Battle Between Government and the Marketplace that is Remaking the
Modern World. In both books, these changes are described as being driven by
new ideas about how the worlds of commerce and industry operate and the
direction in which they are evolving.
I don't think they know they are talking about memetic evolution.
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