How Capitalism Beat Communism in Vietnam: It only took a generation to go from ration cards to exporting electronics. (RAINER ZITELMANN, MAY 2024, reason)

In 1990, with a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of $98, Vietnam was the poorest country in the world, behind Somalia and Sierra Leone. Every bad harvest led to hunger, and Vietnam relied on food aid from the United Nations and financial assistance from the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries. As late as 1993, 79.7 percent of the Vietnamese population was living in poverty.

By 2020, the poverty rate had fallen to 5 percent. Vietnam is now one of the most dynamic countries in the world, with a vibrant economy that creates great opportunities for hardworking people and entrepreneurs. Once a country unable to produce enough rice to feed its own population, it has become one of the world’s largest rice exporters, and a major electronics exporter too.

You can’t have a clash of civilizations when there is only one.