Quote note (#119)

This seems right:

Razeen Sally, a visiting associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, wrote this year in Singapore’s Straits Times that: “A global city is where truly global services cluster. Business — in finance, the professions, transport and communications — is done in several languages and currencies, and across several time zones and jurisdictions. Such creations face a unique set of challenges in the early 21st century. Today, there appear to be only five global cities. London and New York are at the top, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore, Asia’s two service hubs. Dubai, the Middle East hub, is the newest and smallest kid on the block. Shanghai has global-city aspirations, but it is held back by China’s economic restrictions — the vestiges of an ex-command economy — and its Leninist political system. Tokyo remains too Japan-centric, a far cry from a global city.”

It’s a striking indication of the extent to which the world order remains structured by the Anglo-Colonial legacy. However one would like to see the world run, this hub-net is an essential clue to the way it is run now.

October 17, 2014admin 24 Comments »


24 Responses to this entry

  • nydwracu Says:

    Oh hell, don’t do that, now I’m considering accepting that quest one of my professors tried to give me. If the Anglo-Colonial legacy is that important, the Scottish Enlightenment is probably important; if the Scottish Enlightenment is that important, I’ll have to find a new reason to avoid going to grad school over there to study it.


    Chris B Reply:

    I think when the dust settles, NRx will be linked to Hume and Adam Smith quite heavily ( and somewhat oddly enough – Adam Fergusan) both directly, and indirectly through the likes of Hayek and the classic liberals.


    admin Reply:

    The Scottish Enlightenment is a keeper.


    Alrenous Reply:

    Can’t you learn 90% of what grad school would teach you by browsing the Stanford Encyclopedia?


    Posted on October 17th, 2014 at 2:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Ex-pat in Oz Says:

    This list seems like a lagging indicator– in the same way French was considered the diplomatic language of choice long past the noon of French influence. I’d go w/Sing & HK– London OK but NYC seems to have been displaced by DC as the Influence Capital (since politics has now trumped finance).

    I’d nominate Sydney as a comer– it is incredibly popular as a destination for Asia and through resources/expertise/cultural stability has incredible influence in a number of areas. Likewise, Vancouver seems like a candidate for many of the same reasons. KL seems stable and well placed. All are ex-pat-friendly and nice places to live.

    If India got its act together, Mumbai might well succeed Dubai (which I don’t see as a long term member– Dubai only ‘works’ because of Indian expertise– when that leaves, Dubai becomes a more cosmo Jeddah or disappears completely).

    Note: no current candidates in mainland Europe, West Coast US, Russia, South America or Africa.


    Headwinds of Reality Reply:

    Sydney probably punches above it’s weight culturally, but not enough to make the heavyweight division in my opinion, I have lived and worked all over the city, but having said that I’m a < 130 prole and haven't really rubbed shoulders with the elite, so take my observation with a grain of salt.

    Melbourne is also a fantastic city and regularly places near the top of those "most liveable" city surveys that the MSM cranks out. Probably the best place in the world for a beer swilling, sport loving prole.

    Having said that, I have no interest in returning to either of those cities in the current political climate. I'm currently thinking either Tasmania or the south island of NZ are among the best places to watch the world burn from a position of relative safety.


    Ex-pat in Oz Reply:

    Fair enuf– and I like your thinking… long-term, Australia is fighting a war— will the media/gov/edu cultural elites triumph the serious biz types? Am thinking relative cultural/ethnic homogeneity may tip the cause ever so slightly in the direction of Order (but Cthulthu is so very persuasive so I may be wrong– and Abbott’s me-too ‘let’s play in Iraq’ nonsense is discouraging in the extreme in the short term).

    FWIW Melbourne never looked so good to me as portrayed in Underbelly– bad ass AND livable ; )

    I’m going in slightly opposite direction with exit plans– to Northern Queensland, but that’s approaching old age demanding warmed temps… the south island truly is the Shire and Tassie is gorgeous too


    Erebus Reply:

    It does indeed appear to be a sort of “lagging indicator.”

    Over the past several years — and this has been particularly noticeable over the last three years — Hong Kong has been completely eclipsed by Singapore and Shanghai. The former has become the first choice for global/multinational businesses looking to establish themselves in Asia; the latter is now the primary financial center supporting China’s development. What’s more, a Shanghai free-trade zone has recently opened up, which helps to settle the “Shanghai is held back by China’s economic restrictions” argument. The other argument — namely that China’s political system is “Leninist”, and that this poses a problem — is so obviously false and puerile that it’s not even worth countering.

    As for Dubai… I’m not seeing it at all. Dubai doesn’t have much regional power, doesn’t have much of an international financial sector, and certainly doesn’t have a thriving regional economy to cater to. Foreign Policy’s “Global Cities Ranking” pegs it at #27, behind Melbourne and Buenos Aires. Dubai has gleaming towers and spires — built with Chinese steel on the backs of south Asian slaves — but that alone does not a global city make.

    All that said, Razeen Sally’s short comment re: Tokyo is on the money. Japan has been turning inwards for a while now. Tokyo is an enormous city, and it’s a very interesting city, but it is emphatically not a “global” city.

    Seoul is definitely on the rise, by the way. It’s becoming an extremely impressive tech and research hub, and there’ve been lots of recent investments into the city’s infrastructure. The political situation there isn’t very good, but I suppose it could be a lot worse.


    Hanfeizi Reply:

    Just as Tokyo is too Japanese to be a global city, Seoul is too Korean. Nice place, but a global city it is not. Both are essentially the “Beijings” of their respective countries- as the political and cultural seat of the nation, they really can’t be global cities by default.

    This too is why Shanghai has the role in China- even though all the savvy MNCs have major offices in Beijing as well to be close to the political action.


    Hanfeizi Reply:

    I don’t know if I’d say DC now trumps NYC. I’ve always found DC pretty sleepy and overtly focused on the more pointless peacocking of politicians and attorneys, while the real deals are still being made in NYC. Nor is DC particularly international compared to NYC; the only (non city-state) capital in the world that can really qualify as a global city is London, and that’s because London made the world order that we live in. DC has the government, but other than that it, like Beijing, is a sideshow.


    nydwracu Reply:

    DC is pretty international, but not in the relevant way. There’s a lot of Amharic script around where I am these days, for example.


    Michael Reply:

    add to my war swims right;politics swims left money swims right disregard the stochastic noise


    Posted on October 17th, 2014 at 3:10 am Reply | Quote
  • scientism Says:

    I think China has the right approach to hubs: create zones with special policies. Build intentional hubs. Keep the bad contained with the good. Have a place for the globalists, but don’t let them run riot over the whole country.


    admin Reply:

    The institution of Special Economic Zones formalizes this arrangement. It deserves to spread further than it has. Every well-run country could use them.


    Hanfeizi Reply:

    I’ve long thought that we should build them on the border with Mexico.

    “Alright, you want to come here and work? Here you go. There’s no regulations, no minimum wage, and you can come and go. If you really want to work, you can make it here- and if you make it here, you can get into mainland America. On an EB-5.”


    Posted on October 17th, 2014 at 3:13 am Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#119) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on October 17th, 2014 at 6:28 am Reply | Quote
  • SanguineEmpiricist Says:

    Here’s hoping for San Fran. If only we had some more space.


    Hanfeizi Reply:

    The greater Bay Area has a lot more territory to work with than Singapore, and a larger population… so it’s not outside the range of possibility.


    Posted on October 17th, 2014 at 7:52 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    Just ordered “City of London” as in how’s it’s run.

    That’s one of the Western World’s best kept secrets. It’s existence barely known.

    Moldbug’s Axiom that power hides in the West is well illustrated with City of London.

    It’s too bad Finance is 100% Cathedralized in the West now. And of course there’s mutual Danse Macabre Capture in the US. They’re in a positive feedback loop to Hell and will destroy on their way down everyone who can’t escape.

    Of course Finance will endure, it’s a personnel problem not a systems problem.


    Posted on October 17th, 2014 at 9:33 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    The global economy is run on massive IQ shredders. You can hear the steel grinding good genes while yet another ship full of inbred south asians reaches ashore to work in construction.


    Posted on October 17th, 2014 at 9:34 am Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    London and Singapore definitely. After that … I don’t know. Last time I was in Hong Kong there were almost no white people at all. Dubai … no (at least not yet) for the reasons mentioned by prior commenters. New York? Well … maybe. But it’s clearly a city in decline. The problems are that taxes are outrageous, the climate is so-so and it’s unlivable unless you are a naturally urban creature. I agree that DC is up and coming. MUCH better quality of life & weather, and plenty of room to expand. Also you can live in Virginia and your taxes are a lot lower.

    But really … I would have to put San Francisco + Silicon Valley closer to the top 5. This is the epicenter of technological innovation in the world, and there is some degree of finance in downtown SF.

    Sydney: Too far away from the rest of the world. Kuala Lumpur: Too sleepy.

    Ultimately, though, I don’t know the advantage of being a global city in terms of wanting to live there. Nothing in these places is really to human scale (with the exception of DC, which isn’t that big). And of course what difference, at this point, does it make where you live as long as you are within a 2-hour plane ride of someplace important?

    Some cities with bright futures that I see are Minneapolis, Madison, WI, Frankfurt & Berlin, Dubai … perhaps Lagos … Colombo Sri Lanka, Prague, another Middle Eastern city such as perhaps Muskat, Oman.


    Hanfeizi Reply:


    Nice place, and highly underrated, but it’s been fighting off a decline for about a half a century now. It’s fought valiantly, and the city is in great shape compared to most midwestern metropoli, but it’s inland position, the decline in importance of the Mississippi and horrendous climate make me doubt that it will ever be more than a backwater. Good place to raise kids though, if you want big city amenities and a relatively low crime rate at a price you can afford.


    Too small, but swinging above it’s weight category, like Omaha or Des Moines.

    “Frankfurt & Berlin”

    An especially interesting possibility. As the gravity shifts from the anglosphere to the Germany-Russia-China entente, I wonder if one of those might not become a center of action.


    A bubble in the desert.








    This is an interesting one. Oman is the only really functional country in that entire region. Whether or not they’ll ever be able to capitalize on that fact in a meaningful way is another matter, but if they do, Muskat could replace Dubai as the center of the Gulf States.


    Michael Reply:

    NYC is clearly not in decline the west coast has too much faggotry both types. every thing listed under NYC is ludicrous


    Posted on October 17th, 2014 at 4:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • Scott Alexander Says:

    If you want to see more rigorous rankings, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cities – but note that most of their results are a little less Anglo.


    Posted on October 18th, 2014 at 2:26 am Reply | Quote

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