Last night was an interesting one. I attended a “Software Solutions” companies opening party at the Sofitel and met a few guys in the computer industry. It was only Japanese and Vietnamese except for me and one other guy. The presentation was also only in these two languages and it reminded me of my extremely poor vocabulary and how hard it is to maintain said vocabulary.
I had to duck out at 8:00pm to go meet two friends who were in town from America at the Saigon Saigon bar. One is a PhD. candidate at Yale and her boyfriend who is a civil rights lawyer also from Yale. We had a really great conversation drawing parallels between the “Communist” system here and the Capitalist system in the United States.
It was interesting to find that as they can search houses here and we think of it as “Communism,” the same thing happens in the USA, especially in minority neighborhoods. I guess the pretext is finding “illegal aliens,” but they could say that here as well since some foreigners have not registered their guests/residents in their house properly. So we foreigners tend to think of this as “Communism” but it’s not really that different from what goes on in the USA.
Another is corruption. Here, if you are connected your life will be easier on all fronts. It’s the same in the USA is it not? My lawyer friend informed me of much of the rampant corruption going on with the police especially in Chicago. We also discussed free speech. There are some things better off left unsaid here but I heard that some right wing companies in the USA refused to do business with the “lefties” and in certain parts of America it is taboo to speak about certain things. I don’t want to get more specific on this.
Finally, there was the idea about worker’s rights. Here the government has laws to protect the worker. In the US back and England during the Industrial Revolution things were not so good for the common worker. Also, in the 1920’s (not so long ago) there were also teams of police called “Strike Breakers” on the payroll of the big companies. I read an article once that Capitalism was able to adapt and get labor laws in place. However, the author was unable to see that Communism was also able to adapt as it is doing now with opening the economy and relaxing many laws. My own conclusion is simply that any system can work so long as you take out human greed which at this stage in our development is impossible. There will always be greed and therefore every system is a bit flawed.
After the Saigon Saigon bar my friends had to go since they had to catch a flight in 8 hours. On the way out I met some more friends who were going to a different bar. But on the way there I saw some other friends drinking at the Qing wine bar and sat with them for about 2 hours. Now I’m up at 10:40am and gotta be at the conditioning class at the gym. Hope I have the energy for it!