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World On Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred
 
 

World On Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred [Kindle Edition]

Amy Chua
4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)

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From Publishers Weekly

A professor at Yale Law School, Chua eloquently fuses expert analysis with personal recollections to assert that globalization has created a volatile concoction of free markets and democracy that has incited economic devastation, ethnic hatred and genocidal violence throughout the developing world. Chua illustrates the disastrous consequences arising when an accumulation of wealth by "market dominant minorities" combines with an increase of political power by a disenfranchised majority. Chua refutes the "powerful assumption that markets and democracy go hand in hand" by citing specific examples of the turbulent conditions within countries such as Indonesia, Russia, Sierra Leone, Bolivia and in the Middle East. In Indonesia, Chua contends, market liberalization policies favoring wealthy Chinese elites instigated a vicious wave of anti-Chinese violence from the suppressed indigenous majority. Chua describes how "terrified Chinese shop owners huddled behind locked doors while screaming Muslim mobs smashed windows, looted shops and gang-raped over 150 women, almost all of them ethnic Chinese." Chua blames the West for promoting a version of capitalism and democracy that Westerners have never adopted themselves. Western capitalism wisely implemented redistributive mechanisms to offset potential ethnic hostilities, a practice that has not accompanied the political and economic transitions in the developing world. As a result, Chua explains, we will continue to witness violence and bloodshed within the developing nations struggling to adopt the free markets and democratic policies exported by the West. (On sale Dec. 24)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Globalization is not good for developing countries, insists Yale law professor Chua. It aggravates ethnic tensions by creating a small but abundantly wealthy new class and it's stimulating a new wave of anti-Americanism.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Unconventional analysis 18. März 2014
Von O. Neukum
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Her analysis is free of any taboos and comprehensive. The breadth of her coverage is very from clear to quite questionable cases. When she comes to conclusions, however, her courage falters.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  120 Rezensionen
333 von 355 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Incredible book, yet so misunderstood 30. Januar 2003
Von Brock Buffum - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is amazingly clear and well-written (in fact its main weakness is that it is TOO clear, to the point of being mildly repetitive), which is why is amazes me that so many of the reviews here seem to either miss the point or misunderstand it altogether.
Chua DOES NOT blame free markets and democracy for all the evils of the world.
She DOES NOT attempt to propose some 'magic bullet' solution - she is simply providing analysis in attempt to further the discussion.
She DOES NOT claim that wealth redistribution programs are the ONLY reason for the relative success of the Western democracies - ethnic homogeneity is also a major factor, as are situational idiosyncrasies.
If you attempt to view this book as a narrow-minded attempt to shove the complex tangled peg of the world into a smooth round hole, you will have misunderstood it. Obviously, any book with an explanatory scope of this magnitude needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Her principle thesis is extremely powerful, but it does not explain everything since the big bang! In all the low-star reviews I have read, the criticisms have been completely misguided - do not base your opinion of this book on those reviews.
What Chua is trying to show is that - for better or worse - the policies we push onto the developing world far too often result in unintended consequences. We are pushing an extreme ideology onto the world - an ideology we don't practice ourselves and in fact NEVER HAVE IN OUR HISTORY.
Capitalism is about increasing returns - wealth begets more wealth. A small group of wealthy can raise the level for all people, which is generally hunkey-dorey.
This book builds on the concepts of path-dependence, lock-in, increasing returns in socioeconomic networks - all ideas that have been around for years now (see Brian Arthur and the Sante Fe people) but very few, especially in mainstream 'neoclassical' economics, seem to admit these things are real.
I am actually impressed with how even-handed and balanced this book is, with respect to liberal/conservative ideology. She comes off as slightly conservative(in other words, in favor of market 'liberalization') and definitely pro-market. She is NOT some leftist red commie. And the fact that Thomas Sowell - the high priest of conservate economics himself - gave this book an excellent review should be a tip-off to people on the right, who would dismiss this as some leftist rant.
This is an excellent, provocative book, and should be read and understood by many more people than it probably will be, which is unfortunate...
46 von 51 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Man doesn't live by bread alone 5. Mai 2003
Von Wayne C. Lusvardi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
How did a book written by a heretofore little known law professor on the topic of globalization of all things receive so much acclaim? The answer is that the book is clearly and poignantly written unlike many books on globalization by economists and sociologists. But its clarity and simplicity also subtly and superficially reduces globalization to an oversimplified and hackneyed version of Marxist materialsm. Amy chua is on to something big - really big - in her book: that in nearly every third world nation the transition to a capitalist economy has brought about the rise of a "market dominant majority" that is able to capture most of the wealth and power resulting in ethnic hatred and a viscious circle of violence. Chua starts out the book by writing about the tragic and gripping story of the murder in the Philippines of her ethnic Chinese wealthy aunt at the hands of her chauffer. She then enlarges her story to discuss the economic dominance of Chinese in Asia, Crotians over Serbs in the former Yugoslavia, Europeans in South American and South Africa, Jews in post communist Russia, and the resulting spiral of ethnic conflict. Her overworked thesis is the paradox that "free market democracy" breeds ethnic hatred, genocide, terrorism, and ethnic wars. All of the praise for the book by scholars on the back book cover and elsewhere misses the obvious -- this is an old thesis originally addressed by Marx and Engels over 150 years ago. Substitute the word "bourgeoise" for Chua's "market dominant minority," "the proletariat" for "the poor," and "control over the modes of production" for "market dominance," and you have a new lexicon of Marxism. The words "market" and "laissez faire" are also used in a biased fashion as misnomers to mean their opposite: cartels, monopolies, and elites. Chua says that poverty doesn't make people kill - indignity, grievances, and hopelessness does. But then she proceeds to prove otherwise in case study after case study. But man doesn't live by bread alone. This what social scientists call "legitimation" - which means that society is held together not simply by material needs and interests but also by beliefs and religious theodicies that justify the prevailing social order. What Chua misses is the even bigger issue of not why there is so much ethnic hatred, but why there isn't more or revolution? Chua says that third world globalization invariably ends up with a small ethnic elite subjugating the mass of poor people. She fails to mention that totalitarian government does the same only with a class of muggers instead of a commercial class. Some of her solutions such as stock ownership are naive; others such as creating legal property rights are more promising. For a deeper understanding of the issues I would suggest reading:
1. Peter Berger, The Capitalist Revolution: 50 Propositions about Prosperity, Equality, and Liberty.
2. Peter Berger, Pyramids of Sacrifice: Political Ethics and Social Change.
3. Peter Berger and Samuel Huntington, eds., Many Globalizations.
67 von 77 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Detailing the Volatile Mix of Globalization and Ethnicity 4. Juli 2003
Von Jeffery Steele - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Amy Chua has written an important book on how the accumulation of wealth by what she calls "market-dominant minorities" threatens globalization. By looking at a series of case studies, some of which she has personal experience with, Chua shows that the tendency of some minorities to benefit disproportionately, when their countries' markets open up to the world, inflames ethnic hatred among the ethnicities who make up the bulk of those countries' populations.

Ethnicity is used as a sociological concept in this book, not a genetic or national concept. Thus, the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia, Lebanese in West Africa, Jews in Russia, whites in Latin America and Africa, and various African tribes in Africa are all considered as case studies of market-dominant minorities, despite their various differences.

Some ethnicities are thoroughly assimilated by their host countries; some are not. Some are citizens of their host country; some are not. Some rely on key cultural differences to take advantage of globalization while others simply had an advantageous history that allowed them to fill key niches in expanding markets.
But however you define ethnicity, and whatever allows these fortunate minorities to take advantage of spreading markets, the key point is that certain minorities, separate from and identifiable to the bulk of the population, have a hugely disproportionate influence in these expanding national economies. And the bulk of the population sees what is going on and is not happy about it.

Chua is comprehensive (perhaps too comprehensive -- more on that later) but doesn't get bogged down in details; as a result, this is an easy book to read. She looks at numerous aspects of ethnicity and globalization, from the economic and political implications, and even examines the question of assimilation and mixed blood with the fascinating case of Thailand's Chinese population.
But "World on Fire" begins to lose some of its force as Chua takes on too many cases. Near the end, she looks at the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East. While she clearly qualifies her remarks here by saying that the problems in these areas do not stem from globalization alone, she nevertheless is too eager to show some connection between them. She would have been better served, I think, to understand the limits of her theory and to apply it only where it clearly had some explanatory power.
171 von 203 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Eye-opening and important 11. Februar 2003
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Francis Fukuyama famously announced at the end of the Cold War that humanity had reached "the end of history." Unfortunately, he forgot to tell history not to bother coming to work anymore.
Easy as it is to make fun of Fukuyama, where exactly did he go wrong?
Fukuyama's conception was formed by his expensive miseducation in the works of Hegel and other 19th Century German philosophers. History consists of the struggle to determine the proper ideology. Now there are no plausible alternatives to capitalist democracy. History, therefore, must be finished.
Lenin held a more realistic theory of what history is about: not ideology, but "Who? Whom?" (You can insert your own transitive verb between the two words.) History continues because the struggle to determine who will be the who rather than the whom will never end.
Amy Chua's readable and eye-opening new book "World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability" documents just how pervasive ethnic inequality is around the world-and how much that drives the traumas we read about every day.
Chua builds upon Thomas Sowell's concept of the "middle-man minority"-the often-persecuted immigrant ethnic group with a talent for retailing and banking, such as Jews, Armenians, Chinese, Gujarati Indians, Lebanese Christians, etc. She broadens that idea to include other relatively well-off groups, such as un-entrepreneurial hereditary landowners, like the Tutsis of Rwanda and the Iberian-descended whites of much of Latin America. She lumps them all together under the useful term "market-dominant minorities."
Chua begs off explaining why economic inequality exists between hereditary groups. So let me offer a general explanation.
Creating wealth is difficult. People who have wealth tend to pass down their property, their genes, and their techniques for preserving and multiplying wealth to their descendents, rather than to strangers.
In countries without a reliable system of equal justice under the law, clannishness is particularly rational. Businessmen must depend upon their extended families for protection and enforcement of contracts. So they are particularly loath to do serious business with people to whom they have no ties of blood or marriage and who would thus be more likely to stiff them on a deal.
"Globalization," or economic liberalization, tends to make the poor majorities slightly richer and the "market dominant minorities" vastly richer. Sometimes the masses find this an acceptable tradeoff. But sometimes it drives them into a fury.
Often, the minority's post-globalization riches are honestly earned, but not always. American-backed privatization schemes in Russia and Mexico put huge government enterprises into the hands of the most economically nimble and politically well-connected operators at give-away prices.
Chua, a professor at Yale Law School, is herself the progeny of a market dominant minority: the Chinese of the Philippines. Chinese-speakers make up only 1% or 2% of the Philippines' population. But they own the majority of the country's business assets. They seclude themselves in a luxurious world fenced off from the indigenous majority, whom they hold in contempt and wouldn't dream of marrying.
Not surprisingly, the impoverished natives aren't crazy about the rich newcomers. Chua's beloved aunt in Manila was brutally murdered by her chauffeur. The unmotivated cops made little effort to find him.
It's definitely nicer to belong to the minority than to the majority in these countries. But Chua makes clear that, to Americans used to our norms of congeniality and social equality, it would be an awfully depressing way to live.
A grimmer example: Indonesia. The Chinese made up 3% of its vast population, yet owned the great majority of all businesses. The dictator Suharto, whose family had lucrative ties to the Chinese community, fell in 1998. Democratization set off a vicious pogrom against the Chinese, many of whom fled to Chinese-majority Singapore. The government expropriated $58 billion in assets.
Not surprisingly, the native Indonesians proved inept at running the businesses nationalized from the Chinese, and the economy collapsed.
All of which leads to a disquieting conclusion: it can be contradictory for America to demand that other countries simultaneously free their economies and democratize their politics.
We are seeing this in Venezuela right now. The dark-skinned, democratically-elected Hugo Chavez is at war with the fair-skinned rich, who want the national oil company privatized. The Bush Administration ludicrously endorsed the white elite's coup against Chavez last spring as a "victory for democracy," only to be embarrassed when the majority rose up and reinstalled him.
That property rights and one man-one vote democracy don't always mix well would not have surprised Aristotle, Edmund Burke, or Alexander Hamilton. Yet many Americans who call themselves conservatives have forgotten this.
One reason: we are one of the fairly small number of lucky countries with "market dominant majorities." We can have our cake (capitalism) and eat it too (democracy) because our majority group is economically quite competent.
This raises obvious questions about the long term impact of our immigration policy, which, with all the brilliant people in the world to choose among, manages to bring in huge numbers of people who have never seen the inside of a high school.
32 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen One curse of globalization 29. April 2003
Von Bhavin Trivedi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
After reading some of the Customer Reviews, I believe that some of the reviewers may have missed the point of the book. Ms. Chua does not advocate Marxism, is not anti-capitalist, is not anti-globalist and is not anti-democracy. Rather, her simple premise is that the wholesale simultaneous installation of democracy and free markets to developing countries leads to ethnic hatred and often tragic results. She convincingly illustrates this point through the various examples of countries in the book. Furthermore, she claims that her thesis is not the only cause for instability within countries. Other factors also significantly affect the stability of a country (or region).
Her "market-dominant minority" is one of the major sources of a country's potential instability. This group is a minority that controls the vast majority of wealth in a nation. For example, 3 percent of the Filipino population is Chinese yet this 3% controls over 70% of the Filipino wealth. The enormous increase in wealth results from entering free markets and then the gross disproportionate distribution of wealth eventually leads to death and destruction when the poor majority gets the democratic power to physically oust (or kill) the outsider minority.
The book's main shortcoming is a lack of an explanation about how to handle the "market-dominant minority" issue and ultimately avoid bloodshed. But Chua does state that a remedy is beyond her book's scope. Rather, this book provides a different and valuable insight into the rampant spread of globalization and should be read by anyone desiring greater understanding of that topic.
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Beliebte Markierungen

 (Was ist das?)
&quote;
Markets concentrate wealth, often spectacular wealth, in the hands of the market-dominant minority, while democracy increases the political power of the impoverished majority. &quote;
Markiert von 7 Kindle-Nutzern
&quote;
opportunistic vote-seeking politicians, against a resented, wealthy ethnic minority. &quote;
Markiert von 5 Kindle-Nutzern
&quote;
the sobering thesis of this book is that the global spread of markets and democracy is a principal, aggravating cause of group hatred and ethnic violence throughout the non-Western world. &quote;
Markiert von 4 Kindle-Nutzern

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