Author Topic: China's Megatrends  (Read 7438 times)

Offline chin

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,662
China's Megatrends
« on: 30 May 2010, 22:40:49 »
This book was written by John & Doris Naisbitt. John Naisbitt was well known for his book Megatrends in the 1980s. I have never read the original Megatrends. I knew of the book from my then high school mate, the always serious & business minded, Hugh Chan. I remember that he very excitedly told me about this book. That was more than 20 years ago.

Offline chin

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,662
Re: China's Megatrends
« Reply #1 on: 30 May 2010, 22:52:39 »
I recently bought China's Megatrends and only read the first two chapters.

From the very beginning of the book, I was very surprised at how super optimistic the authors were about the future of China. The optimism was not just on the economic future of the country, but seems to encompass the whole system of doing things. Maybe at the coming chapters there will be more discussion of the challenges.

I was planning to finish reading the book before writing about some of my comment and observations. But when I was reading this part tonight, I had this sudden urge to share this part of the book first. Partly because we are now near the June 4 anniversary, and partly because I have formed my own view of the event over the years and I strongly concur with what the Naisbitts have said in the middle of p.60 below.

The the following 4 pages, the Naisbitts were trying to explain the historical context that led to the demonstration in Tiananmen Square.

Offline chin

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,662
Re: China's Megatrends
« Reply #2 on: 31 May 2010, 00:35:13 »
In the morning of June 4, just like millions of people in HK, we stayed up all night watching TV & listening to radio trying to get a picture of what's happening in the Square. What happened then was no doubt a shame and a tragedy in the modern Chinese history.

In the last 20 years, after witness what happened inside China and outside, I have gradually come to think that in the grand scheme of things, the suppression of political reform did bring great stability to the society, and allow the mainland citizens to focus on the most basic human rights - that is the right to survival, from poverty.

If you read the above 4 pages, the Naisbitts were trying to show that the root causes of the protest was more from frustration about the economic prospect and corruption, rather than simply demanding western style democracy.

In some people's mind, a western democracy would bring about a government that's effective in solving economic and social problems, because of the electoral pressure.  Thus general election is the key to solve many problems. Yet what we saw in many poorer countries contrast greatly to this logic. When you basic needs to survive were not met, you vote can be bought. When you are not sure you can survive tomorrow, why do you care about the society in the long term? You just vote for whoever can give you the benefit now, even though at the great cost to the future generations and society in general.

In China's Megatrends, the Naisbitts went great length in the first two chapters to point out that the current Chinese government system allows long term planning, without worrying about short term elections or ratings. Throughout the book, the authors had made some keen observations and contrast to the conventional western thinking of what's "progress". I will try to quote some of the more interesting observations in future follow up posts.

Offline hangchoi

  • SBC Old Boys
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,007
  • Alcoholic + Golfmania
    • MaJeff's Wine Blog
Re: China's Megatrends
« Reply #3 on: 31 May 2010, 01:00:11 »
Yep....in June 4, 1989....I was even going to protect and not taking the exam.....(maybe just because I had not revised the subject enough  :P)

Somehow......I concur that poor citizen would look for the stability and economy more .......but does it mean that democracy is a luxury?? Well, somehow a smart dictatorship is the best way to get quick progress of a society......but there is not guarantee that every decision made by a dictator is correct and the risk of any failure will be huge.....
「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」

Offline chin

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,662
Re: China's Megatrends
« Reply #4 on: 31 May 2010, 01:08:59 »
Yep....in June 4, 1989....I was even going to protect and not taking the exam.....(maybe just because I had not revised the subject enough  :P)

Somehow......I concur that poor citizen would look for the stability and economy more .......but does it mean that democracy is a luxury?? Well, somehow a smart dictatorship is the best way to get quick progress of a society......but there is not guarantee that every decision made by a dictator is correct and the risk of any failure will be huge.....

I think I know what you mean. You are saying that a good, benevolent emperor can good a lots of good. But under this kingdom system, a bad, stupid emperor can do much more damage. Thus the emperor (dictator) system is risky.

In the book, the authors argued that the current Chinese system, while one-party and maybe called authoritarian, is not a dictator system. The guys on top (Deng, Jiang, Hu) went through an internal selection system that at least eliminated the plain stupid ones, and there is no absolute power concentrated in one person. You may not agree with what they do, but they are not stupid.

And western style democracy is not a luxury only for the wealthy. Just that it may not work at all in this part of the world. I will quote another part of the book that may answer your question. Again, you may not agree with the logic, but there is a logic.