Asia’s Industrial Revolution

Asia’s Industrial Revolution

Socialism presented a serious conceptual challenge to capitalism, but never managed to threaten it in the marketplace. “Late” industrialization in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan has evolved squarely within the capitalist fold. But because it has, in fact, succeeded in undermining the competitiveness of advanced capitalist countries, its challenge is unprecedented. Never before has the West sustained a serious blow to its economic hegemony.

Even conceptually, late industrialization has bamboozled Western economists. Whether on the left or right, they have had a hard time explaining why, of all poor countries, South Korea and Taiwan have managed to industrialize or why, of all high-income countries, Japan continues to chip away at American competitiveness.

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