Question 1: What is Lin's opinion on "Oriental Society"?
Question 2: What is Lin's opinion on "Great Divergence"?
Question 3: How these two concepts relate to "Modernity"?
"Oriental society" -- Marx and Engels's language, concept of traditional China, lack factural or interpretative reliability. Marx's focus -- capitalism.
"Dual judgment,"combining demands of morality and rationality, that Marx employed for the representative case of British rule in India: the British treatment of India was simultaneously a colonial crime and an instrument for history, for, by breaking down the native social structure and relations, it produced "the only social revolution ever heard of in Asia." -- This view shared by Hegel, slaves and colonization are the main vehicle of historical development.
AMP -- "Asiatic mode of production" -- central concept in Marx's theorization of the East.
Two basic characteristics: stagnation（停滞） and despotism（独裁）
A "generalized slavery" of "absolute equality" and "Asian servility（奴性）" under "Oriental despotism" became common references in the Occidental discourse about the Orient. (this view shared among Montesquieu, Condorcet, Hegel, and Marx)
Socioeconomic explanation of the timless Orient in its political economy (Marx) -- the absence of private land and hereditary nobility, and hence of class division, is "is the key to the secret of the unchangeableness of Asiatic societies...
Later, Marx moved from "the absence of private land" to "the self-sustaining unity of manufacture and agriculture." Unity -- contains all the conditions for reproduction and surplus production within itself。
Lin -- China is not a primary case for the formulation of AMP (why people think it is is because China is similar to India, and India is)
Right after the Culture Revolution, the debate of AMP was brought back to serve a political purpose。
They dismiss the Chinese historical experiences of class struggle between landlords and the landless alongside poor tenants and middle peasant. --> They ignore the political and economic ties forged since the mid-19th century between the imperialist-bureaucratic powers and Chinaʻs multifaceted institution of landlordism. For them, the contradiction throughout Chinese history is exclusively between an autocratic state and a (classes) population. --> In an "Asiatic" story, class analysis is misplaced, "feudalism" a wrong term, and te land revolution superfluous or altogether mistaken. --> this is the most critic to AMP.
"feudalism" -- a politically and linguistically handy label for denoting Chinaʻs rural social relations. It is also strategically necessary in the articulation of communist ideology and programs at the time. It was recognized that "the contradiciton between imperialism and the Chinese nation and the contradiction between feudalism and the great masses of the people are the basic contradictions in modern Chinese society" (Mao, 1939).
Lin -- In the case of China, an extensive historicla and archival record confirms that private landowning developed early and widely. Chinaʻs blooming markets along with a partially commercialized peasant economy in much of the imperial era were among the most davanced in the premodern world. (local commercialization, a bourgeois class, existence of private landownership in China)
Hydraulic society thesis -- concerning state power
comparison with European monarchiesʻ use of war to finance their states. Interstate wars together with colonial conquests gave rise to financial capitalism. Thus, the functionality of "despotism" confining to the East is incoherent. Fiscal-military state still dominate international politics today.
The notion of untrammeled Oriental rulers is equally biased
the historical Chinese empire was by and large ruled loosely given its vast and diverse territories. Moreoever, the emperors could be multiply constrained.
---------above, Marx is triply wrong----------by a truer and fuller history--------
"Orient" did have its own dynamics of change (negating stagnation)[so it is not unchangable], changes might and did take a form other than industrial capitalism (industralism is not equal to capitalism), and imperialist interventions could and did obstruct（阻碍） indigenous（土著人） development (Asian societies do not need external shocks for social change and instrumentalist rationalization of colonialism).
-------However, one thing Marx did right: in predicting revolutions in Asia that could spark and advance the international communist movement-------
criticism of AMP: 1) AMP denied noncapitalist development or independent non-Western development of a capitalist character. (India -- a colony of British -- developed). In the still dominant modernization theory under the obvious influence of Marxism, noncapitalist development is inconceivable. Capitalism becomes the only form of modernity.....2) conceptual logic of "mode of production"
AMP is an exceptional "sixth" system (primitive, slave, fuedal, capitalist, and communist), Asiatic mode in its characterizations is missing the emergening contradiction between its forces and relations of production that is seen as required for any upward transition.
AMP refers to a specific mode of production in a transhistorical process that may find resonance anywhere. --> not to limit the concept to geographic Asia. Largely without a causal link to capitalist development, the Orient is insignificant in the Marxist conception of history.
Tributary mode of production -- Samir Amin (1976) -- has a mitigating effect on the difficulties of conceptualizing certain non-Western and hence marginalized experiences of social organization and evolution. Since class division is views as underdeveloped in Asiatic societies, a closer use of the tributary mde is to denote that "the state controls both the means of population and the ruling class, and has unlimited disposal over the total surplus labor of the population."
Peasant mode of production -- forms of simple commodity production are based on patriarchal management of family and subsistence labor.
Why capitalism is so important in the Marxist perspective? Capitalism is about unprecedented productive capabilities and individual rights and political democracy. It is not only about development and globalization of capitalism, but also about capitalismʻs historicity -- its predictable crises, eventual demise, and future replacement.
alternative to capitalism are non-capitalist, and anti-capitalist experiences, but also present struggles and potential imaginaries, is where the most useful debate begins.
Habitual conflations: 1) market and capitalism are conflated (to the neglect of highly developed markets without an archetypal capitalist trajectory in "premodern" China, India, Indochina, and the Arab world. 2) industrailism and capitalism are conflated (the result being blindness not only about old mercantile capitalism in which artisans and workers are not generally transformed into factory wage labor but also about an increasingly financialized capitalism dependent on a virtual economy). 3) capitalism and development (precludes （排除）socialist modernization among other developments not conforming to capitalist standards) -- those conflations all made us confusions between development and westernization, westernization and modernization, and modernization and capitalism.
Comparing Qing China with Georgian-Victorian England, scholars trace an advanced "Asian Age" prior to 1800 to explain the rise of Europe and decline of China/Asia -- great divergence -- the great divergence between the two paths was marked by the industrial revolution.
----Weber shows up----
Weber believes that in the absence of a Roman-law-type institutional development in political and economic organization, including free labor, the legal forms or the sociological basis did not exist in China.THis was due partly to the continental scale of Chinese power and partly to the lack of professionalism needed for a rationalization of the gentry-bureaucracy. Weber also shared the views of Asian society that were different from modern Europe. -- emphasizing lack of liberal institutions that could have fostered better market functions and of a bourgeoisie class in China. Beside constitutionalism, legality, and propoerty rights, a reward mechanism for competition and innovation is also deemed missing within a traditional land system and social organization of self-sustaining petty production. parasitic classes and nonproductive investment. state restriction both on oceanic adventures and on foreign commercial participation.
China is not a colonial empire as British sitting on overseas extraction. The worsening collusion of landed/money-owning classes and local officials/warlords in the early part of 20th century destroyed the agricutural base of the Chinese economy and rural society. Together with a deepening national crisis, China was inevitably on the road to a revolution that would liberate its legendary, yet then-stifled, productive forces.
Mark Elvin -- high-level equilibrium trp -- a disparity between abundant, cheap labor and scarce physical resources, especially the land.
Comparable ecological pressures were relived through colonization -- British case (Kenneth Pomeranz) -- America as a colony of Britain provided the major european economies with both a population outlet and a source of land intensive primary products.
right of use without formal ownership allowed small farmers to stay on the land through evermore intensive labor input and to keep reproducing themselves. Jiangnan was thus in no position to compete with the more socialized economies like Englandʻs in which legal clarity regarding property relations protected right-holders and offered productively progressive incentives. -- prioritizing ownership relations, (slso a position shared by Marxists) & to insist on the centrality of a legal-political framework for the orderly operation of any economy.
underdeveloped financial tools and markets in China -- but attributable to the countryʻs hegemonic position in East Asia. The Chinese empire in dominance and relative peace, unlike Europe (frequency of war). Without a comparable pressure to finance wars, China even at the height of its growth failed to establish a balanced scheme of tax rates and collection. Nor did it forge a unified fiscal structure, independent monetary policy, or publich budgeting --- but had been compensated by informal arrangements of personal relations, family ties, partnerships, and clansmen networks. --> in terms of industrialization, the Chinese advantage of comparative peace and stability became a developmental disadvantage. financializaion and fiscal soverignty were the factors that boosted capitalism in Europe, but they were missing in China.
The influx of silver and its monetization were so vital to a now open Chinese economy that China began to suffer from currency dependency on foreign supply and off-shore exchange rates. This situation became not only economically but also politically costly.
a shar drop in agricultural surplus 1800-1820 appeard to hit hard. -- the nature and capacity of the state greatly matter. --> the decline of the state deprived China of a political requisite for industrialization.
new trend shifting the great divergence by removing the question "why not china" but why england or europe achieved industrial revolution and why not england/europe regarding non-western achievement?
there was a stable and integrated political order more or less maintained by a meritocratic bureaucracy in China since around 1100, chinese are viewed as having invented the modern state with Qin. By that time, Chinese state already "had many if not all of the chracteristics that Max Weber defined as quintessentially modern."
how Tang-Song or Ming-Qing Chinese economy and society was far more advanced than the Europeans. -- internalists -- focus on what China has accomplished independently regardless of any European resemblance（相似）.
internalism is nonoperational in the first place. Chinese and global monetary systems were closely linked with eachother. “the world and the region have been at the heart of the nation,” and “only by integrating outside and inside can we view history in its fullness.” Neither China nor Europe can be extracted from their respective historical positions and cross cultural references, given the ever-intensified dual process of "transnationalization" and "translocalization"
Premodern modernity is found in China and other places in the East, near and far from a Europea standpoint.
the search culminated in the spinning machine, the spread of spinning, together with the use of coal -- which enabled the invention of the steam engine -- eventually caused the shift of the worldʻs economic center from Asia to Europe.
China did not need industrial revolution -- since there were a lot of labor, no need to adopt machines to cut labor costs. --> there was nothing surprising or questionable about China not taking the path Europe took.
Great divergence cannot be the whole story. Insofar as China's early development of commodity production is recognized, for instance, it would be necessary to place that development in a universal framework of socioeconomic evolution. Countries in the East can, as some have done, develop their own varians of "capitalism" without an industrial bourgeoisie and independently of the varieties of capitalism in the West.
the great divergence has always been accompanied by convergence in historical courses.