Re: SOC: Confucian Capitalism and the Tao of Extropy
Mon, 1 Dec 1997 12:27:27 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 97-11-30 19:10:40 EST, Damien R. Sullivan writes:

> Greg: what about Hong Kong? It has a higher GDP/capita than any of the
> countries you mentioned (CIA factbook says 21300 Japan, 22000 Sing.,
> 27500 Hong Kong (same as US!)) and was under the British. Is it
> Confucian capitalism, or have they assimilated Western values?

Of course I should have mentioned HK! If memory serves, Hong Kong was a
little fishing village before the Brits made it their base of operations in
the area. Although always a numeric minority (finally a tiny minority), the
English GREATLY influenced the development of Hong Kong's culture, especially
its business and legal culture. At the same level of gross generalization as
my original post, I would posit that Hong Kong is another exception that
proves the rule: The well-known business creativity of Hong Kong business
people may well mark one of the very best blendings of the Confucian values
of secularism, industry and thrift with the Western bourgeois values of
individualism, irreverence and creativity. Let's hope that China's
swallowing of HK in fact results in the ingestion and dissemenation of those
good memes.

> [sinp] People who object to Western culture
> and "values" have no qualms about grabbing our factories and planes.
> Perhaps we should put more emphasis on the practical benefits of our
> societies, and cut the appeals to morals they don't share.

Well, this is the very problem about which I am concerned: In much of Asia
there is a risk that some of the important liberal values usually associated
with capitalism in the West (especially individual liberty and the
transparent rule of law) may NOT be automatically coincidental with adoption
of western industrial technology and its consumerist output.

Greg Burch <>----<>
Attorney ::: Director, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
"Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must
be driven into practice with courageous impatience."
-- Admiral Hyman G. Rickover