Saturday, November 10, 2007

We Won the Peace

This report from CNBC is proof that in Vietnam, the United States lost the war, but won the peace. Vietnam today is more capitalist than communist.

The tourists, great beaches, luxury hotels, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and more cars than bicycles on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City all make me wonder: was capitalism inevitable in Vietnam because it is the economic system that fits human nature best, or did the death and destruction of the Vietnam war have anything to do with this outcome? Was the war utterly pointless, or did it provide some unintended cultural benefit for the prosperous Vietnamese of today?

The transmission of superior cultural institutions is not always pretty or painless. And one generation's agony quickly becomes another generation's dusty history.

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