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Re: r.biel@ucl.ac.uk
by Threehegemons
05 September 2002 19:33 UTC
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In a message dated Thu, 5 Sep 2002 1:29:01 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
lnp3@panix.com writes:

> Like the current collapse of the US stock market, the prolonged rise of the 
> Asian tiger economies can be attributed to speculative 
> mania.

This is ridiculous.  South Korea, is along with Japan and Italy, one of the 
three countries to make a really dramatic shift in its status in the global 
hierarchy over the last fifty years. Were it to actually move from being a 
peripheral country circa 1940 to being as wealthy as the US circa 2000--that 
would pretty much be unprecedented in economic history. Foreign currency 
continues to flow into China at a pretty spectacular rate.  It is one thing to 
say that capitalism is characterized by booms and busts, expansions and crises, 
and another to claim that all economic growth is simply a myth or illusion.  
The fact that the US economy collapsed in the 1930s (leading to incomparably 
more serious social problems than have characterized Japan or the tigers in the 
last ten years) did not negate its explosive rise.  In all previous phases of 
'speculative mania' (and they go back hundreds of years before Lenin, and have 
nothing much to do with 'mature' capitalism) one country or region has absorbed 
capital in such a way that it has grown rapidly and dramatically shifted its 
position in terms of geopolitical and economic power.  Today, this region is 
clearly East Asia.  

As for technological dependency, Japan recently built the fastest computer in 
the world--roughly 20 times faster than any in the US.

Finally, please supply a quote from anyone widely regarded as a world system 
theorist (sic) who actually make the claims about the Cuban revolution you 
attribute to them.

Steven Sherman

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