8 talks about China

Originally posted on TED Blog:

The Shanghai Financial District as seen from the Oriental Pearl. Photo: Sjekster

The Shanghai Financial District as seen from the Oriental Pearl. Photo: Sjekster

“When I was growing up, I was told a story that explained all I ever needed to know about humanity. It went like this,” says Eric X. Li in today’s provocative talk, given at TEDGlobal 2013. “All human societies develop in a linear progression, beginning with primitive society, than slave society, than feudalism, capitalism, socialism and finally — guess where we end up? — communism.”

[ted_talkteaser id=1778]Li, who grew up in Shanghai at the height of the Cultural Revolution, soured on this narrative when the Soviet Union fell. He packed up to study at Berkeley in the United States, where he absorbed the American narrative of how societies develop — always moving toward democracy in which citizens vote.

Now a venture capitalist based in Shanghai, Li questions the nature of the American story as much as he questioned…

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