Sunday, 24 September 2017

'My little China Girl, she run my assembly plant.... She rule the world'

I found this article linked to Ralph Musgrave's blog. It is certainly a very striking example of capitalism from China.Tim Worstall explains that:
One academic survey found more than 80 per cent of Chinese “elites” (those with income at least 12 times higher than the average in their area) are descended from the pre-1949 elite.

I do not dispute the findings and to his credit Worstall does not descend into arguments about a 'capitalist gene' or such silliness. And I am certainly open to the idea of 'family' as the basic unit in capitalism and capitalist reproduction rather than the individual. I think Schumpeter went down this route in arguing about the families that mattered in the USA. But I wonder if the data actually demonstrates what the author concludes in such a clear cut manner?

Anyway, in other news, despite the horrific war, the total destruction of the country and its industry, the Nuremberg trials, occupation of the country by the allied victors, and a new democratic political order, the 1,000 families who ran German industry during the 1930s and 40s, were back running them all again by 1955. I know, not as impressive as the example above, but the Swiss border and Hong Kong (and their banks) have a lot in common perhaps?


Ralph Musgrave said...

If you and your family are worth a few million and a communist revolution or a world war comes along, doubtless you'll lose the large majority of your wealth. But if you can cling onto just the odd bit of land or factory, then that's a good start for when things get back to normal. Perhaps that's part of the explanation.

Lola said...

RM Agreed. Look at Thyssen. or Krupp. Or Mitsubishi. Personally I think it's a club. Revolutions don't change anything. The same cliques keep power and wealth. Maybe 'Common Purpose' does exists and Bilderberg is all about keeping that power and wealth?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Good find

ontheotherhand said...

If you destroy a country and all of its decision makers, it becomes and Iraq or a Libya. To give a country a chance to rebuild you have to do deals with a lot of devils. Its an unpleasant aspect of victory. Think Japan after WWII where immunity was given to biological warfare scientists who had been testing the plague on Chinese PoWs. You could do the right thing and prosecute, or do an immunity deal and gain all that knowledge.

Curtis said...

The majority of pre-1949 "elite" families and their descendants live in Taiwan, the US, Canada and Australia (not so much in the UK).

Of those who didn't get out, they were still educated and smarter on average. If you are sensible and realise that you need to lie low and work within the system rather than drawing attention to yourself, then you will get ahead.