[Marxism] Pomeranz

Paddy Apling e.c.apling at btinternet.com
Mon Oct 10 07:26:50 MDT 2005

At 21:17 09/10/2005, Charles Brown wrote:
>  Fred Feldman
>. Why did Chinese civilization not feel the same drive to
>conquer the developing markets of Europe, even though they had trade
>with Europe, mostly at Europe's initiative.
>CB: Absence of a tradition in which Alexander the Conqueror was considered
>"The Great" ?

Pardon me for repeating myself from another thread but a good source 
book on the difference of attitudes between East and West is:

John M. Hobson (great-great-grandson of the radical anti-imperialist 
J. A. Hobson), The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation, Cambridge 
University Press, 2004

with even more detail in
Martin Bernal, Black Athena, London: Vintage, 1991

The first-named book also has something on navigation and sailing 
problems, but for an even more detailed exposition of the problems 
faced by the navigators from Spain, Portugal and Italu, see the 
French historian Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the 
Mediterraean World in the Age of Philip II, vol. 1, English 
translation of 2nd edn., Fontana Press, 1972.

A vast difference in culture between East and West - for the last two 
millenia the ddemand for possession of overseas territories seems to 
have come not only from a peculiar greed in the West but even more 
from the Christian tradition that all other religions were barbarous, 
and the people savage who  had to be brought the "treasures" of 
Western Christian civilisation (although it is true that many of the 
western colonists found the missionaries just a nuisance), and if 
they refused the offer,  to kill 'em.. (send 'em to heaven ?).

Most of the Chinese explorers were only interested in exchange and 
bringing "tribute" to their Emperor rather than seeking possession of 
overseas territories.  The Empire may be said in a certain sense to 
have existed on overseas exchange and "tribute",  just as it was held 
together on the mainland..


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