'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chinese Capitalism in a Nutshell 

Joel Andreas, a sociology professor at John Hopkins University, has just published a compelling work of scholarship, Rise of the Red Engineers: The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China's New Class. Perhaps, I will find the time to review it soon, but, meanwhile, the following passage provides one of the most concise descriptions of the interrelationship of international capital within China ever written. Capital that is not just financial but cultural and political as well:

In the mid-1980s, in line with the central government's orientation toward market reform and global integration, Tsinghua opened a School of Law and a School of Economics and Managment (SEM). The latter was founded by Zhu Rongji, the Tsinghua alumnus who later--as China's premier--would direct the privatization of much of China's economy. The SEM, the first of its kind in China, became the largest and most popular school of the university. It was modeled after the leading business schools in the United States and it embraced economic doctrines and business and management theories popular in those schools. Today, it offers MBA degrees and high priced executive-training programs in collaboration with Harvard Business School and MIT's Sloan School of Management. In 2000, leading government officials, academics and business executives from both China and abroad were invited to join a newly created advisory board. The foreign dignitaries on SEM's advisory board include top executives from Intel, Goldman Sachs, Nissan, GM, NASDAQ, McKinsey, BP, Temasek Holdings, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Nokia, Citigroup, the Carlyle Group and Blackstone. Zhu Rongji serves as the honorary chairman of the board and the chairman is H. Lee Scott, the president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, which in 2004 donated US$1,000,000 to SEM to help open the Tsinghua University China Retail Research Center.

Indeed, capitalism is increasingly a global, and not a nationalistic phenomenon. Without a recognition of the interweaving of these economic, cultural and political features, one cannot properly understand it, much less resist it with plausible alternatives.

Labels: , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?