Thursday 22 April 2010

But Japan, Germany and China were utterly destroyed by the end of the Second World War…

And look where they are today. India is nowhere, which proves India will never be anywhere.

I agree with the conclusion, but find the evidence somewhat suspect.

Japan and Germany, as the rest of Europe, got huge sums of American aid after the War. And they didn’t have to bother about defence.

Also, in Japan’s case, America opened its market to it, perhaps in exchange of military bases (though this argument is somewhat specious, considering the Japanese had, and have, no choice but to allow those bases).

More important, war did not and cannot wipe out intellect. It’s funny how we go on and on about the importance of ideas in the knowledge economy while refusing to acknowledge that knowhow had anything to do with the rise of war ravaged economies of advanced countries.

Finally, one must wonder where China would be without its American market.

A French friend recently told me, “Don’t think India is getting attention because you are doing something right. We are interested only because we want a counterweight to China.”

Of course, but by that logic cannot the US’s interest in China have something to do with its spectacular rise? In the hullaballoo about some junior minister’s finger wagging at Obama, we nicely forget that (a) the Chinese economy is still far smaller than the United States’ (b) China's military strength is a small fraction of its supposed adversary’s and © its per capita income is smaller than poor European countries’. 

So, is China's ‘takeover of the global economy’ all the triumph of dictatorship, with US having no role to play in it? 

Incidentally, the hue and cry about China reminds one of something else: the Red scare during the Cold War.

1 comment:

Arya Chatterjee said...

Well written.
Wearing seat belts leading to risky behavior - that's very interesting. I wonder, now that planes practically fly themselves, do the pilots indulge in risky behavior like that one who overshot the airport because they were on autopilot and forgot that they had to land.