Bactra Review   Pop Internationalism
Krugman points out (``The Myth of Asia's Miracle'') how much current looking-with-alarm (or, looking-with-admiration) at East Asian countries resembles earlier waves of looking-with-alarm at Stalin's Soviet Union, which did, in fact, grow very rapidly, through mobilization of resources. This in turn (though Krugman does not mention it) resembles the way Britain and France looked-with-alarm at Prussian (and, later, German) growth towards the turn of the last century, with the usual accompanying worries about the superiority of government planning, excessive individualism, etc., etc. An extremely well-written but otherwise rather representative sample of this literature is Paul Valéry's ``A Conquest of Method,'' collected in The Outlook for Intelligence. Written in 1897, it wants little more than search-and-replace to become a ``thoughtful'' piece about the challenge posed by Korea or Singapore to the older industrial nations. This looking-with-alarm is thus nearly a constant of the developed countries, and it would not unduly surprise me to learn of a yet earlier bout of looking-with-alarm in Britain at any time after about 1850.