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The thing with that is that the merchants were at the bottom of the caste system on paper, but in practice, they were the ones living the high life and dictating cultural trends; I don't know if merchants patronized kabuki and other forms of theater, but they were the ones with the disposable income to spend conspicuously and lavishly. The fact that they were at the bottom of the barrel was, in practice, a kind of sour grapes for impoverished samurai in debt to the merchants - who made the shabby, beaten-up aesthetic into a point of pride for their station when they couldn't afford anything else.
That just makes me even more convinced that the resentment against rich businesspeople in Japan has its roots in that class system.
Before the Lost Decade loyalty to a company did have significant perks, like generous retirement packages for long-term employees. The bubble burst but the system didn't and those perks would be unachievable now.
Edited by TerminusEst on Sep 10th 2019 at 1:45:28 AM
I should have added that capitalism not only adapts the social structures, but also adapts to social structures.
It may behave a bit differently because of that, but the end result is bound to be quite similar: workers treated as mere assets rather than people, the ones at the top (in general) reinforcing the system, both because it benefits them and because they came to learn that "this is just how things are and if you don't succeed, it's your fault for not being dedicated enough (to yourself or to the community)", and so on.
It should be noted that Japan's work environment has been slowly changing. The decline in working age population due to declining birth rates over the years means that more corporations in Japan are actively competing for workers. This has gradually led to pushes for improved working conditions, though things are still FAR from ideal, as seen in that article linked before.
The Japanese government and the Japanese business culture are aware that the current status quo is not sustainable. So they're making adjustments.
That's the beauty of capitalism — it's very adaptable. Yes, it does tend to treat people as assets — but a healthy capitalist system also recognizes that people are assets that must be invested in and protected to keep the system productive. Proper regulations and safety nets don't restrict capitalism — they keep it from going off the rails.
Edited by M84 on Sep 10th 2019 at 9:50:42 PM
That much is true. The State should not be treated as a fierce enemy of the "market" (and, in many cases, they can actually get too chummy). They can (and should) work together. The challenge here is just to avoid the market using the State as a tool instead of the opposite.
Well, at least Japan should have less outside pressure (from foreign companies, I mean) messing things up. Between this and the population problem, the crescent scarcity (and, therefore, value) of qualified workers should give them some leverage for changing things down the line...
... provided that they're not foreign and delegated to minor services like many gaijin are, that is. :P
You also don't want the State to use the market as a tool either. Just say no to planned economies.
Nah, you can use it as a "tool" without going so far. It's just a matter of steering things in a good way for the public instead of just turning everything into a railroad. In other words, be friends with them but be willing to take a stand so they don't trample over you.
Since we're at it, I've heard Japan has a good network between State and companies, with higher-ups moving from one to another after retirement. This way, the government can have a strong say in what investments should be made, how should companies proceed, etc., while at the same time hearing from companies and understanding their needs. Ideally, this would be a good example of what I meant...
... except that old habits die hard and higher-ups usually just want money, damned be all else, so social reforms can be an uphill battle regardless of how good your standing with the market is.
So out of curiosity at Ace Attourney and "self defense is still murder!" how does Japanese laws actually treat self defense cases?
Pretty strictly. If a weapon was involved you better have had a damn good reason to use it.
Considering the small number of violent crimes in Japan, this seems reasonable.
Emphasis on "seems", I'd need to study their criminal law to say for certain.
Don't study criminal law in Japan, you'll just make yourself depressed.
It's basically a police state over there except more polite.
Bit of an overstatement. The prosecution is really powerful, not necessarily the police themselves.
Edited by TerminusEst on Sep 21st 2019 at 11:16:30 AM
Police can hold you for a month without even on minor charges without any evidence.
Yeah, that's when the prosecution tries to figure what to blame on you. Bit of a chicken and egg issue now that I think of it, I wonder which came first? But nah, not really a police state at all. Although Abe is quickly making them drop down the freedom index that's for sure.
Framing Japanese workplace culture as exclusively a product of the Japanese national character does rather ignore the influence of the US occupation, which went to great lengths to stamp out the local labour movement with the help of compliant politicians and organised crime.
This would make for an interesting case of neocolonialism. Would you have any recommendations on specific texts on that?
A lot of anti-left rhetoric was already there to US to use, not just their influence. But yeah, the Cold War did it no favours.
Edited by TerminusEst on Sep 22nd 2019 at 9:27:53 AM
x2 Deal me in on that.
Here's a basic starter. Also have a look at the life of Yoshio Kodama.
Edited by Iaculus on Sep 22nd 2019 at 6:21:07 PM
On a general level, I should note Tim Wiener's Legacy of Ashes is a book that the CIA pretty much unloaded their history department on, criticising it to hell and back. Which is pretty rare. Along with a few intelligence journals as well (paywalled to hell and back).
Edited by TerminusEst on Sep 22nd 2019 at 11:44:55 AM
Which is a good sign, right?
I must admit it feels weird to see the LDP in this when there are many guys there who seemingly resent post-war US involvement in their politics (especially in regards to their Constitution). But political configurations shift over the decades, so this wouldn't be incoherent.
Right-wing nationalists selling out to a hostile foreign power? Gosh, say it isn't so.
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How well does it match the trope?