THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE PACIFIC RIM
The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls.
The Communist Manifesto
Capitalism always runs ahead of the critique.
My original title for this paper was "The Pacific Rim in the twenty-first century, but as I thought about the literature clustered around that theme, I decided that I did not want to contribute to it--except perhaps in facetious prognosis. In any case, Murray Sayle has done the latter better: Here's what he said about "the Pacific Rim in the twenty-first century":
Britain and Ireland could respectively be Japan's Hong Kong and Macao, well placed for the European entrepôt trade, the United States will be Japan's fabulously wealthy India, terre des merveilles, while Australia can be Japan's Australia, land of rugged adventure and heavy drinking, the appropriate place of exile for Japanese dissidents and remittance men. This would leave only table scraps for the others: Holland, perhaps, for the Indonesians, France for the Vietnamese. ( Sayle, 1989)
How to explain the currency of the term "Pacific Rim"? The first answer is, simply, currency. In the late 1970s, a hue and cry suddenly arose about the dawning era of the Pacific, especially up and down the West Coast of the United States among academics trying to find some way to interest donors in funding Asian or international studies. "Pacific Rim" was a discourse searching out its incipient material base, targeted toward exporters with Asian markets or importers of Asian products.