[PEN-L:11236] Capitalist development

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Sat Sep 18 16:41:32 MDT 1999

There is a theorem in the theory of cultural evolution ( might have been lifte from
Trotsky) about the areas that are least developed or most backward have the most
potential for revolutionary advance to the next level. It is a last will be first
idea. The rationale is that those most successful now are more conservative, and those
least successful now have less to lose in going to something new, and thereby have
more potential or motivation for the new.

Europe had been, in a sense, the backwater of the world for most of previous history,
and sort of were "due" to make a hit.

However, I am also thinking that Europe's conquering rise was based on a sort of
opposite of the Weber theory of unique rationality, technical inventiveness and work
ethic. Europeans world conquest was based more on a unique willingness to use
cutthroat measures, ruthless use of force and violence, irrationality and forcing
others to work actually. This is not a moral judgement , as Wojtek will jump up and
say. It is treating this cultural characterisitc as a critical political and economic
factor, the differentia specifica that this thread is searching for.

Charles Brown

>>> Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> 09/17/99 09:01PM >>>
>It may be something as weird as that the Chinese--living in the
>"Central Country"--didn't have the crusading habit. By contrast
>Europeans were used to the idea that there were other richer guys
>with interesting stuff in other parts of the world--and had acquired
>the crusading habit half a millennium before.
>Brad DeLong

By contrast Europeans were used to the idea that there were other richer
guys with interesting stuff in other parts of the world? Er... Um... Okay.

Louis Proyect

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