Thursday, August 09, 2007

Those clever Chinese

Ah, yes, those Che Guevara t-shirts we love to hate …

This month’s edition of Esquire magazine carries a very funny (and eye-opening) piece by writer Colby Buzzell on what happens when a country pretends it's both, communist and capitalist at the same time.

Buzzell visited Shenzhen, which used to be a small fishing village in southern China until 1979 when the then Paramount Leader, Deng Xiaoping, ditched communist economic policies and encouraged his fellow Chinese to get rich. Quickly.

The result is that Shenzhen now has 11 million inhabitants, skyscrapers, some pollution, lots of prostitutes, millionaires, shopping malls in every corner - and more McDonalds than you can poke a spring roll at.

And plenty of factories making cheap t-shirts.

“Those Che T-shirts are made here, too,” reports Buzzell, “to be shipped to every college town in America. Shirts made in a communist country by workers who make $1.50 a day, shipped to slackers in a rich country who'll pay twenty bucks they got from Dad for a T-shirt. I'll bet that's just the way Che wanted to be remembered.”

See? Capitalism is the best revenge.


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