- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 18, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684815427
- ISBN-13: 978-0684815428
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,271,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Megatrends Asia: Eight Asian Megatrends That Are Reshaping Our World Hardcover – January 18, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestselling prognosticator Naisbitt (Megatrends 2000) predicts that the West?and even Japan?will be left behind as the countries of Southeast Asia, led by China and a collaborative network of "overseas Chinese" entrepreneurs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore increasingly gain economic power. The global axis of power and influence has already shifted from West to East, in his assessment, and the principal trends underlying Asia's rapid modernization include a shift from central government control to free-market economies, the emergence of female entrepreneurs, mass migration to cities and a resurgent individualistic spirit that rejects welfarism. Naisbitt, who has been based in Malaysia for more than a year, peppers this upbeat and optimistic, if shallow, report with sweeping predictions and snap analyses that seem to hit and miss their targets in equal measure. 125,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; first serial to Working Woman.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This latest work by mega-best-selling author Naisbitt identifies eight Asian megatrends that are reshaping our world. The number eight, considered lucky in Asia, is significant here. Coming political, economic, and cultural changes will soon render Asia the dominant region of the world, and Naisbitt offers advice that will help the reader profit by the changes. The work looks at the region as a whole. In general, things Western are falling out of favor, as key places return to Chinese rule. However, Western problems such as divorce and crime are on the increase. The magnitude and far-reaching effects of the modernization of Asia are emphasized here; Naisbitt even asserts that the changes in modernization are without question the most important events taking place in the world today. Japan has just begun an economic decline that will increase rapidly in the coming years. The book does not linger long on any topic but gives readers snippets of information before moving on. A chart contrasts Asian and American values, shedding light on the respective cultures. Not surprisingly, Americans are said to value individual rights over an orderly society, which may explain the situation in which we currently find ourselves. Extensive notes are provided. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. (Index not seen.)-Lisa K. Miller, Paradise Valley Community Coll. Lib., Phoenix
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From the 1970s' onward, Orientalism has been replaced by growing praise of the economies of the East Asian countries, especially those with large Chinese populations such as Taiwan, Malaysia and China itself. Boasting the virtues of good education, disciplined populations, and strong family ties, Westerners have authored thousands of books on the growing power of the Orient. This book, Megatrends Asia, is just one in a long line of such works. The author uses empirical and statistical data to draw out 8 trends that are transforming the region into a world economic powerhouse. These trends are presented as primarily a shift from a rural, state-directed economy to a networked, consumer-driven, city-based economy. All this is true, but the author fails to fully explore several trends that though are not as positive and beneficial, are still as important in dictating the future of this region. Specifically, these trends are
1. The growing dependence on imported energy. Notice China's overtures to various West Asian countries due to oil and natural gas needs.
2. The spread of AIDS, heart disease, obesity, and other "lifestyle" illnesses.
3. The growth of military spending AND foreign military involvement in the various East Asian countries.
4. The growth in the black market of this region. Forget about the Hondas made in Japan or the seafood farmed in Thailand. What is really making dollars is all the illegal activity such as intellectual property infringement, the sex trade, the production and marketing of dirt cheap consumer goods sporting brand names from Europe's fashion centers...
5. The mass, and often forced, migration of whole communities to make way for factories, highways, and other features of an industrial economy.
6. The rise of militant Islam. Especially noticeable in Indonesia and Malaysia, but also present in Singapore, Phillipines and Thailand, this foreboding trend is making the orient the next battle ground in Bush's War on Terror.
Overall, this book is good, but not great. It correctly recognizes and explores major, region-wide changes, but ignores or minimizes several other major changes.
As one example, the Naisbitts hold up something called "vertical democracy" as a new, improved, Asian alternative to the "Western" model. Vertical democracy, however, is never defined. instead it appears to be a management slogan that would be more familiar to an MBA than a corporate lawyer.
Even propaganda might be worth reading if the chapters each broke new ground. After the first few pages, however, the Naisbitts' theme becomes predictable. A western principle, e.g. free speech is raised as an arrogant shibboleth only to be toppled in the face of glorious examples of State Corporatism. For example, in the "pillar" devoted toward liberating the artists and intellectuals, a few anecdotes are given about how individuals have become wealthy selling their work in a global market while explaining that conformity to the State line is good for business. Suppression of a free press is written off as necessary to good order.
Chinese excesses such as cultural hegemony within its own borders, support for abusive governments in Korea, Burma, Africa or the mideast, are celebrated as examples of how stupid the west is not to understand the beneficient intent of the Chinese system. Classism, a rising issue in China, is not mentioned.
The claim to predict the future would be all too familiar t corporate flacks working for Microsoft, Sony, Phillips, Putin, or il Duce.