Since the mid-980s, Vietnam has experienced an explosion of interest in things foreign, not unlike the period 1925-1939, when people became fascinated by everything from railroad trains to soccer, French romantic poetry to Hegel's historical dialectic. This time attention has focused on electronic communications devices (stereo and television sets, video recorders, xerox and fax machines, microcomputers), western music, Kung Fu movies from Hong Kong, translations of popular foreign novels, small business manuals, and the alleged magical properties of market forces in modern economies. In both cases the state--whether run by the French governor general sixty years ago or by Vietnam Communist Party (VCP) today--has responded in erratic, ambiguous fashion to the influx of foreign ideas and technology.