Re: [OPE] Internationalism

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Sun Oct 26 2008 - 17:11:34 EDT

Quoting Dave Zachariah <>:

> on 2008-10-25 23:53 Paul Cockshott wrote:
> > Or if the policies of the Chinese empire had not changed in the
> > early 15th century, Chinese.
> >
> My knowledge of Chinese history is poor. What was the change of policies
> then?
> My understanding is that the Chinese dynasties sought to control a
> centralized land mass rather than colonies overseas, but I may be wrong.
> It could be related to Karl Wittfogel's theory that agriculture in China
> was highly dependent on large-scale irrigation in contrast to the
> rainfall dependent Europe or Japan, and that therefore the former
> developed a much more centralized and despotic state bureaucracy.
Under the 2nd Ming Emperor the Chinese navy led a series of massive
expeditions to other countries to bring these states into the
tribute system of the empire. The technology of these expeditions
was way above anything that european naval powers developed for centuries.

The policy of naval expansion was reversed by subsequent emperors, but
had it been continued, it is doubtful that the domination of the
Indian Ocean by European powers could have occured, with radically
different implications for the subsequent development of imperialism.
> //Dave Z
> _______________________________________________
> ope mailing list

Paul Cockshott

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Received on Sun Oct 26 17:25:06 2008

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