area for another world-economy, the Chinese, and was the centerpiece of England's "Pacific Rim" empire. It has been shaped recently by a number of anticolonial independence movements (Vietnamese socialism, Indonesian nationalism, Malayan and Filipino guerrillas, Burmese autarky, etc.) that make it less open to American and Japanese ministrations than Northeast Asia has been. Today Southeast Asia has an alternative organization of capitalism, the longstanding interstitial commerce of "island China," the Chinese diaspora. Some pundits think that this might provide a different way of organizing Rim capitalism, with Hong Kong and Vancouver, British Columbia, being principal nodes, patrimonialism and family-based entrepreneurship serving as the means, and Chinese being the lingua franca. A reorganization of the region under Chinese auspices seems remote, however, until the mainland itself is so organized; in the meantime, Chinese commerce will continue to operate in the pores of the system.
We are left, I think, with but one grand event that is symbolized by " Pacific Rim," and that is the rise to power of Japan. It is the only true entrant to the ranks of the advanced industrial core in the past century, with the possible exception of the (now deindustrializing) Soviet Union. It is the only non-Western entrant. If today it does not wish to be and cannot be the lodestone for an autonomous non-Western reorganization of the region, one day it will be. When that happens, an old soldier and charter Pacific Rimster, General Douglas MacArthur, Japan's benign American emperor, will have been right. In an address in Seattle back in 1951, MacArthur opined that:
Our economic frontier now embraces the trade potentialities of Asia itself; for with the gradual rotation of the epicenter of world trade back to the Far East whence it started many centuries ago, the next thousand years will find the main problem the raising of the subnormal standards of life of its more than a billion people.
It is a classic piece of Rimspeak.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Pacific-Asia and the Future of the World-System. Contributors: Ravi Arvind Palat - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 36.
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