This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.

Global Paradox: The Bigger the World Economy, the More Powerful Its Smallest Players
by John Naisbitt
(NY: William Morrow & Co., 1994)
304 pp. hb

Naisbitt is a futurologist and author of Megatrends. His book Global Paradox received advance praise from many in the corporate world, no doubt because of his typical business pulp writing style of name-dropping and bourgeois optimism appropriate for a concatenation of extended corporate press releases. We can only recommend this book to the Rip Van Winkles of the imperialist countries who have kept their heads under a technological rock regarding the computer and telecommunications advances of the last few years. Otherwise the book lacks in rigor and thoroughness to back its many assertions.


The main theses of the book do take dialectical form; although Naisbitt is business-savvy enough not to call them such.

He predicted that 100 countries would form in the last few years of the 1990s.(e.g., p. 274) He proved wrong, but his reasoning was that increased globalization and Amerikan domination would give rise to efforts to preserve small aspects of culture. We see this as a dialectical thesis, because it points to the rise of one force as a result of the rise of another opposite force.


The mantra of the book is that smaller business actors with fewer rules and regulations will do better than larger corporations and bureaucracies. Using the mainframe computer as a metaphor for centralization and large size, Naisbitt says the world no longer needs mainframe computers, mainframe governments or mainframe bureaucracies. He accepts without proof or detailed knowledge the most basic shibboleths about socialism as restrictive to knowledge and bureaucratic. (e.g. p. 72, p. 99)

Although he considers China to be the most centralized country in the world, he concedes it is the fastest growing and he counts it as capitalist. When it comes to counting whether a country proves his thesis or not, he counts China as capitalist so he can claim its economic growth for capitalism. Yet when it comes to politics or centralization, he says that China is on the wrong side. It is typical of the bourgeois propagandists to attribute all good things in China to capitalism while all bad things are a result of not being capitalist enough; even though, by their own standards of economic growth China is growing the fastest in the world.

Naisbitt's line is music to the ears of the petty-bourgeoisie. Again and again we are told that the individual is the great economic actor and does not need to be told what to do. The ideal corporation is in fact just a network of entrepreneurs according to Naisbitt and for this reason, China and its overseas community of 55 million Chinese are a model of economic growth for the future.

According to Naisbitt, the Cultural Revolution was "a decade of nihilistic repression," (p. 182) in which art was supposedly banned (see p. 212 for this idiotic assertion), but China today is the most important economic event of the close of the 20th century.(p. 225) He predicts that China will surpass the U.$. economy in size very shortly and unlike Lester Thurow at MIT who holds that the Chinese are as yet too poor, Naisbitt holds that even without Japan, the Chinese-led economic community will lead the world in the early 21st century.(e.g., p. 256) MIM itself did not make any such prediction on which bloc would lead early next century, but we agree with Naisbitt indirectly, because we believe that the surplus labor appropriated by U.$. imperialism from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), Korea and Singapore is a large and unrecognized part of the reason for white-collar prosperity in the United $tates.

Not surprisingly, Naisbitt sings the praises of the counterrevolutionary Deng Xiaoping for China's consumer revolution supposedly more profound than the one Mao brought to power in 1949. Of note is his completely erroneous prediction that Taiwan and the Mainland would patch up relations in 1994 and 1995.(pp. 219-20) Instead, also contrary to predictions, Taiwan and Mainland China are drifting apart and there has been an Asian economic crisis.

Naisbitt was one of the many ubiquitous bourgeois propagandists saying that Malysia, Thailand and Indonesia were joining "China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore" in wealth.(p. 257) In contrast, MIM had already predicted prior to Naisbitt's 1994 book publication that Malysia, Thailand and Indonesia would not "make it." These countries still had their old landlord classes in power and endured semi-feudal conditions not undone by land reform as in the other places called "Four Tigers." The Asian crisis has proved once again that there is no short-cut around vigorous class strugge against the agrarian landlord class.


Naisbitt took a few bites on the environment question and then spit them out. He says that warnings about another Ice Age or global warming may be just socialist propaganda.(p. 159) We agree in the sense that any humyn activities that could tip the planet toward cold or hot temperatures show how meaningless it is to talk about the individual as the center of analysis. The environment cannot be compartmentalized or divided up into little bits and sold off. That is why the bourgeoisie fears environmentalism as socialism. Nixon spoke of watermelons, "green on the outside, but red on the inside."

Naisbitt seems to realize that the environment may justify centralized impositions. He merely says it is not possible to make everyone happy.(p. 158) He also spews Al Gore type line on corporate executives as green and says in one isolated paragraph that the main alternative to capitalism will be "stewardship" of the resources.(p. 176)

This is one of those books celebrating every action of the consumer to be lazy and inclined toward capitalism. It never answers whether a global slide to consumerism and "pragmatic" economics will be the species's undoing. Our intellectual leaders should do more than just reflect the state of trends amongst the masses. To note what the people are doing and their trends without answering whether those trends are environmentally sustainable is just plain dumb.

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