Monday, September 13, 2010

Hindu Work Ethic

Ha-Joon Chang: "Until Japan became rich, many people thought East Asia had not develop because of Confucianism. But when Japan succeeded, this thesis was revised to say that Japan was developing so fast because its unique form of Confucianism emphasised cooperation over individual edification, which the Chinese and Korean versions allegedly valued more highly. And then Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea also started doing well, so this judgment about the different varieties of Confucianism was forgotten. Indeed Confucianism as a whole suddenly became the best culture for development because it emphasised hard work, saving, education,and submission to authority. (...) Given India’s recent economic success, I am sure we will soon see books that say how Hindu culture – once considered the source of sluggish growth in India (recall the once-popular expression, “Hindu rate of growth”) – is helping India grow."

Thomas Friedman: "Right now the Hindus and Confucians have more Protestant ethics than we do, and as long as that is the case we’ll be No. 11!"