Pretty obvious, actually.
Far short of merger, but the same logic holds: you are weak where I am strong and vice versa. Why not ally and crush all opposition on global basis.
This would-be globally integrated enterprise as a preview of globalization’s coming attractions.
From an Economist story on Chinese carmakers.
via Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Globlogization – Blog – Chart of the day: Why GM and SAIC naturally decided to pair up.
What Tom is describing is called a “Cheap Trick” (Tempo, Venkatesh Rao).
Cheap Trick: In the Double Freytag model, the moment when a key insight turns around the trajectory of increasing entropy in a deep story. A cheap trick follows the exploration phase. The notion of cheap trick is essentially identical to Clausewitz’ notion of coup d’oeil (strike of the eye). Cheap tricks provide elegant, organizing insights that allow a decision-maker to make temporary and local sense of a high-entropy mental model. Cheap tricks also provide a window of opportunity for high-leverage decision-making.
The cheap trick in the deep story between GM and the Chinese corporation is defined in these words: “…you are weak where I am strong and vice versa.” In the exploration of the automobile market in both economies (east and west) have become so complex and the increase in what is not known is so great that the relationships in the narrative within the market has begun to spike into a Cheap Trick, to release both complexity and that what is not known.
A Cheap Trick is strategy, and in Tom’s example, the way (logic, of the strategy) is defined in the words, “Why not ally and crush all opposition on a global basis.”
A cheap trick is strategy, but not the final strategy, so what is known about this Cheap Trick is that it is flawed. As Venkatesh says on page 77 in his book Tempo, “Every such insight is flawed, since it is based on excluding some part of reality as noise.”
What GM is excluding from some part of reality as noise is the fact that China is monopolizing the market around a benevolent leadership that is centralized. The reality is that the east (China) moves to a different tempo than the west (USA).
While the cheap trick and the logic behind it might be the same, GM and China (if one can distingush one as western and the other eastern anymore) have completely different Liminal Passages.
With different liminal passages, but with a need to achieve the same tempo (if harmony is desired between the east and west) the liminal passages have to merge. To merge the liminal passages, the separation event need to need to happen at a time that gives retrospection a chance to reach the same level in the deep story.
Once the same level has been reached in the deep story, the relationship between the east and west can grow deep together, if not close. Otherwise the east and west need to orient themselves within the same OODA loop, which is not easy if the relationship is not close in mind nor deep in heart.
The centralization of an authoritarian benevolent leadership that is represented in the phrase: “Why not ally and crush all opposition on a global basis” seems to be what is dividing most of the customers in the American market, and what both sides divided seem to not want.
The Tea Party (TP) and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) both seem to agree we need less centralization and neither are acting in a benevolent manner. While most Americans are not either TP nor OWS, the logic that binds these two is distintive American, i.e. they want freedom to act and freedom to decide.
It may prove hard to sell cars in such a divided market that is together on this one issue, the decentralization of the market into one deep passage that benefits only themselves.
It could be that the Cheap Trick that GM and China are using isn’t flawed in its logic, it is flawed in the end that both GM and China are equally moving towards, as they combine the means (resources) to that end.
As we are living within the “valley” of that Cheap Trick (we are obviously past the “sense making” of that trick) it may be that GM’s decision to centralize into one monopoly to rule the market together with a benevolent China, will give the US customers cars that we need (cars that will not destroy the economies of the world) instead of what we want (cars that give us freedom).
However, giving us choices only of what we need has never worked out that well in America. It is going to be hard for GM and China to build cars China needs and the US wants, when considering the resources (means) used.