Re: Traditional China as a counterexample to "spikism"

Date: Thu May 10 2001 - 21:54:37 MDT

In a message dated 5/10/01 2:08:23 PM, writes:

>T[the Ming] were able to eliminate several important technologies and
>to restructure the economy (by reducing the role of money, going back to
>peasant agriculture, discouraging or even banning long distance trade and
>encouraging local self-sufficiency) in such a way as to eliminate the
>dynamism of the T'ang and Sung for about 500 years. Point is we mustn't
>think that technological dynamism or progress is irreversible.

It's really interesting to see somebody thinks about this stuff. I've long
been interested about the Sung/Ming dichotomy; the Sung were so
technologically innovative and the Ming so conservative. I've seen
tertiary sources claiming the Sung were close to an industrial revolution
when the Mongols finally managed to take them out. In contrast,
the Sung had a bad military track record while the Ming were the
terror of East Asia for quite some time. I wrote on this in college
(specifically why the Sung had such a lousy offensive military) and was
depressed to find how little information on the Sung was available
even at the University of Chicago, which has one of the best libraries
in America.

Do you have any sourcces you can point me to on the conservatising cultural
innovations of the Ming or the sources of Sung technical dynamism?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 10:00:04 MDT