May 9, 2014

IMPORTING THE SUPERIOR CULTURE:

The Chinese and the Jews (Michael Ledeen, May 6th, 2014, PJM)

[T]hey found-surprise!-lots of Jews involved in capitalist enterprises, from banks to stock exchanges to corporations.  Indeed, the Jews had a history of doing it.  Maybe the Jews knew something the others didn't?  Well, look at Israel...or New York...

And so they're talking to Jews, not about capitalism but about Judaism.  State radio now broadcasts in Hebrew.  The Jewish experts who are brought to China find themselves speaking Hebrew with their Chinese interlocutors.  Chinese students can now learn Hebrew, and immerse themselves in Jewish studies (maybe they'll give Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree sometime soon?).

If you grew up when I did, this will all remind you of jokes that used to be told in New York City.  I can't repeat them here because political correctness forbids it, but they're about Chinese people in New York who only speak Yiddish.

I wish them well, and I have a bit of advice for the Chinese quest for the secret of capitalist success.  First, the Jews do well at lots of things because Judaism is a quest for the right questions, not a canon of correct answers.  The constant questioning, and the resultant playfulness of Jewish culture, are central to our success.  This is hard for the leaders of the PRC to absorb, and dangerous to their political enterprise, even though in the long run it's the only way they're going to get away from the folly of attempting to maintain political control over a "free" economy.
Posted by at May 9, 2014 5:54 PM
  
blog comments powered by Disqus
« INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE: | Main | GULLIVER SHRUGS: »