This fascinating study of global trends in the last three centuries details how noncapitalist and capitalist market economies have interacted to influence their societies. … Arrighi explains the reasons that China, now leading Asian market economy, might soon surpass the Western capitalist-market economy by use of his reinterpretation of Adam Smith’s vision, which he has conceptualized as the “Smithian new Asia age model”. In China. argues Arrighi, economic organizations never lost their capacity to reproduce themselves and never lost control of their means of production. The Chinese economy succeeded because it developed a division of labor that in turn increased income and employment. … Arrighi explains China’s actions by reexamining Adam Smith’s writings, arguing first that Smith had always called for a strong state with the ability to eliminate private and state monopolies in favor of a competitive market economy. … Finally, Arrighi remind his readers that friendship and cooperation between China and theUnited States, based on mutual respect, is one of several future options. He hopes to promote a new mind-set that would lead to a Sino-American-led worldwide commonwealth.
The complete review appears in the issue 61 of The China Journal.
Giovanni Arrighi (1937–2009) was Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. His books include The Long Twentieth Century, and his work has appeared in many publications, including New Left Review.