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communist manifesto: abstract of a world historical critique
by Andre Gunder Frank
13 March 2002 21:34 UTC
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by gunder frank
The complete essay may [soon] be found on his web-page
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               ANDRE    GUNDER      FRANK

Senior Fellow                                      Residence
World History Center                    One Longfellow Place
Northeastern University                            Apt. 3411
270 Holmes Hall                         Boston, MA 02114 USA
Boston, MA 02115 USA                    Tel:    617-948 2315
Tel: 617 - 373 4060                     Fax:    617-948 2316
Web-page:csf.colorado.edu/agfrank/     e-mail:franka@fiu.edu


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 12:56:42 -0500 (EST)
From: Andre Gunder Frank <franka@fiu.edu>
To: franka@fiu.edu
Cc: MKhanGSEU@aol.com
Subject: communist manifesto (fwd)


               ANDRE    GUNDER      FRANK

Senior Fellow                                      Residence
World History Center                    One Longfellow Place
Northeastern University                            Apt. 3411
270 Holmes Hall                         Boston, MA 02114 USA
Boston, MA 02115 USA                    Tel:    617-948 2315
Tel: 617 - 373 4060                     Fax:    617-948 2316
Web-page:csf.colorado.edu/agfrank/     e-mail:franka@fiu.edu



                  Andre Gunder Frank

This essay is inspired, nay negatively prompted, by the alas continued
celebration of of THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO on the occasion of its 150th
anniversary in 1998 in general and in particular by  Aditya Nigam's
"Marxism and the Postcolonial World. Footnotes to a Long March" [EPW
January 9, 1999: 33-43].   What follows is intended as an apparently still
very necessary historical corrective to Nigam's alarming defense still
today of Marx's "Orientalist common sense" when he writes on p.36, column
2 that  "[this] is not to say that Marx was an Ortientalist or a
racist. The point is exactly the reverse: Even for a revolutionary like
Marx, it was not possible to apprehend these forms/formations by stepping
outside the discursive horizon of his times." That is simply not so,
except insofar as a couple of generations had foreshortend European's
horizon so much as to cause  total cultural and intellectual amnesia
regarding all previously accumulated knowledge about the non-European
world. As one small step to set the record straight, I therefore make bold
here to revise some relevant theoretical and historical passages prepared
last year for the 150th anniversary of the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO  and
[Berkeley: University of California Press [US$ 19.95] & New
Delhi: Vistar/Sage Publications [Rps 495] 1998.

What Marx falsely invented about the "Asiatic Mode of Production" and
"Oriental Despotism" completely reversed the received wisdom
of every knowledgeable Arab and European who knew the opposite to be true
from Ibn Kaldhoun in the fourteenth century to Leibnitz, Voltaire and
Smith in the eighteenth. For instance, the Tunisian statesman and
historian, Ibn Kaldhoun [1332-1406] evaluated and compared the "wealth of
nations" before and at his time:

        This may be exemplified by the eastern regions, such as Egypt,
        Syria, India, China, and the whole northern regions, beyond the
        Mediterranean. When their civilization increased, the property of the
        inhabitants increased, and their dynasties became great. Their towns
        and settlements became numerous, and their commerce and conditions
        improved....  Their prosperity and affluence cannot be fully described
        because it is so great. The same applies to the merchants from the 
        East and what we hear about their conditions, and even more so to
        the far Eastern merchants from the countries of the non-Arab Iraq, 
        India, and China (Ibn Khaldun 1967:279).

Even in the eighteenth century Father Du Halde, the most learned French
publicist of matters Chinese [who never left Paris and used Jesuit and
other travelers and translators as sources] still wrote that in China

        the particular riches of every province, and the ability of
        transporting merchandise by means of rivers and canals, have rendered 
        empire always very flourishing.... The trade carried on within China 
        is so great, that of all of Europe is not to be compared therewith
        (quoted by Chaudhuri 1991:430 [for a longer version also see 
        Ho 1959:199]).

In a discussion of Du Halde's work, Foss (1986:91) insists that not only
philosophical but also technological and other practical texts from China
were translated and studied in the West with utilitarian interest. Indeed,
Lach (1965--) has written volumes [7 so far with others promised] about
Asia in the Making of Europe. It would be difficult and time/space
consuming to make a summary [but see the review article of the series by
Pearson (1996)] even of the "Composite Picture" at the end of Lach and van
Kley (1993, Vol. III, Book IV). They observe for instance that
"sixteenth-century Europeans had considered Japan and China to be the
great hopes of the future" (ibid: 1890). Hundreds of books about Asia were
written, reprinted  and translated in all major European languages by
European missionaries, merchants, sea-captains, physicians, sailors,
soldiers, and other travelers. These included at least 25 major works
about South Asia, 15 about Southeast Asia, 20 on the archipelagoes, and 60
about East Asia, not to mention countless shorter works (ibid:1890). The
Indian empire was considered to be among the world's richest and most
powerful, but China remained its most impressive  and the Europeans'
ultimate goal (ibid: 1897,1904). As another manifestation of this earlier
European perspective, we might note that between 1480 and 1700 France
printed twice as many book about the Ottomans than about the Americas
(Cipolla 1976:228-229). Apparently having read some of these, Leibnitz,
while retained by a German ruler who was rightly suspicious of the
ambitions of his French neighbor, wrote Louis XIV to offer a piece of
advice: Rather than pursuing any possible ambitions across the Rhine, it
would be much more political economic for France to turn southeastward to
challenge the Ottomans, because

        In fact, everything exquisite and admirable comes from the East
        Indies: gossampin, silk, aromatics, porcelain, precious stones, 
        ivory and a multitude of other sources of delight. Learned people
        have remarked that in the whole world there is no commerce comparable 
to that of China
        (Leibnitz 1969, Vol. 5:206).

By the end of the seventeenth century and of course still in the
eighteenth century  "few literate Europeans could have been completely
untouched [by the image of Asia], and it would have been surprising indeed
if its effects could not be seen in contemporary European literature, art,
learning, and culture" (Lach & Kley 1993::1890).

So Marx could only have been deliberately illiterate in spinning his
fables about the supposed  "Asiatic Mode of Production" and its alleged
"Oriental despotism," which logically and empirically are altogether
incompatible with each other, never mind with the historical evidence. as
well as with the historical evidence.


The entire discussion of  Marx's COMMUNIST MANIFESTO on the occasion of
its 150th anniversary in EPW and elsewhere last year and still in Nigam's
article this year is a sad reflection of how ingrained and widespread this
Eurocentrist distortion of history and social theory still is. Let us
consider three other  major manifestations for what they are worth:

        The really important lesson to be learned from Marx and Weber is
the importance of history for the understanding of society. Though they
were certainly interested in grasping the general and universal, they
concerned themselves with the concrete circumstances of specific periods,
and the similarities and contrasts of diverse geographical areas. They
clearly recognized that an adequate explanation of social facts requires a
historical account of how the facts came to be; they recognized that
comparative-historical analysis is indispensable for the study of
stability and change. In a word, it is these two extraordinary thinkers in
particular, who stand out as the architects of a historical sociology well
worth emulating; for both of them subscribed to an open, historically
grounded theory and method. 
  -  Irving Zeitlin  

        For Marx, the most general level of abstraction [is]...  the
        concept of mode or production. The classics [were] innovatory both in
        their times and as regards world order today, and ... pointing the way
        forward... for study in the present and future.
  -  James Mittleman 

        The expectation of universality, however sincerely pursued, has
        not been fulfilled thus far in the historical development of the 
        social sciences.... It is hardly surprising that the social
        sciences that were constructed in Europe and North America in the
        nineteenth century were Eurocentric. The European world of the
        time felt itself culturally triumphant .... Every universalism sets off
        responses to itself, and these responses are in some sense determined by
        the nature of the reigning universalism(s).... Submitting our 
        premises to inspection for hidden unjustified a priori assumptions is a
        priority for the social sciences today.
 - Immanuel Wallerstein for Gulbenkian Commission 

My multiple choice is NONE of the above. My argument below is that all
Western social science of the past 150 years from Marx Weber to
Wallerstein himself is ir-remediably Eurocentric and NOT universalist in
any manner, shape or form. Contrary to Zeitlin and Mittleman Marx and
Co. are NOT worthy of emulation, and certainly not for the present and
still less for the future. And despite Wallerstein's welcome reservations
about reigning 'universalisms,' his same report for the Gulbenkian
Commission fails completely to rattle at the Eurocentirc cage of the
social sciences he means to 'open'.  

At least since Marx and Engles' COMMUNIST MANIFESTO "The West" has for
some time now perceived much of "The Rest" of the world under the title
"Orientalism." The Western world is replete with "Oriental" studies,
institutes and what not. This Western ideological stance was magnificently
analyzed and denounced under the title Orientalism by the Palestinian
American Edward Said (1979). He shows how the very [Western] point about
"Orientalism" is that it attempts to mark off "the Rest" in order to
distinguish The West and its alleged "exceptionalism."  This procedure has
also been denounced by Samir Amin (1989) under the title Eurocentrism.  
Martin Bernal (1987) has shown how, as part and parcel of European
colonialism in the nineteenth century, Europeans invented a historical
myth about their allegedly purely European roots in "democratic" but also
slave holding and sexist Greece, whose own roots in turn however are those
of Black Athena. This Bernal thesis, apparently against the original
intentions of its author, has been used in turn to support The Afrocentric
Idea (Asante 1987). In fact, the roots of Athens were much more in Asia
Minor, Persia, Central Asia and other parts of Asia than in Egypt and
Nubia. To compromise and conciliate, we could say that they were and are
primarily Afro-Asian. However, European "Roots" were of course by no means
confined to Greece and Rome [nor to Egypt and Mesopotamia before them].
The roots of Europe extended into all of Afro-Eurasia since time
immemorial. We will observe in this book how Europe was still dependent on
Asia also during early modern times, before the nineteenth century
invention and propagation of the "Eurocentric Idea."

This Eurocentric Idea consists of several strands, some of which are
privileged more by political economists like Marx and Sombart, and others
by sociologists like Durkheim, Simmel, and Weber. The last named did the
most deliberately to assemble, combine and embellish these features of
Eurocentrism. All of them allegedly serve to explain The European Miracle,
which is the telling title of the book by Eric L. Jones (1981). However,
this book is only a particularly visible tip of the iceberg of almost all
western social science and history from Marx and Weber, through Spengler
and Toynbee, to the spate of defenses of supposed Western
"exceptionalism" since World War II, particularly in the United States. 

The use and abuse of this kind of Eurocentric "theory" has been critically
summarized with regard to Islam, although the same applies equally to
other parts of "The Orient":

        The syndrome consists of a number of basic arguments: (i) social
        development is caused by characteristics which are internal to
        society; (ii) the historical development of society is either an
        evolutionary process or a gradual decline. These arguments allow
        Orientalists to establish their dichotomous ideal types of Western 
        society whose inner essence unfolds in a dynamic process towards
        democratic industrialism ... (Turner 1978: 81 cited by Fitzpatrick
        (1992: 515).

However, as the Islamicist and world historian Marshall Hodgson wrote

        All attempts that I have yet seen to invoke pre-Modern seminal
        traits in the Occident can be shown to fail under close historical
        analysis, once other societies begin to be known as intimately as the
        Occident. This also applies to the great master, Max Weber, who 
        tried to show that the Occident inherited a unique combination of
        rationality and activism (Hodgson 1993:86).

Hodgson (1993) and Blaut (1991,1992,1993a,1997) derisorally call this
a"tunnel history" that is derived from a tunnel vision, which sees only
"exceptional" intra-European causes and consequences and is blind to all
extra-European contributions to modern European and world history. Yet as
Blaut points out, in 1492 or 1500 Europe still had no advantages of any
kind over Asia and Africa, nor did they have any distinctively different
"modes of production." In 1500 and even later, there would have been no
reason to anticipate the triumph of Europe or its "capitalism" three and
more centuries later. The sixteenth and seventeenth century development of
economic, scientific, rational "technicalism" that Hodgson regards as the
basis of the subsequent major "transmutation" nonetheless also occurred,
as he insists, on a world-wide basis and not exclusively or even
especially in Europe.


So it is not surprising that, among European observers, Adam Smith and
Karl Marx also regarded these matters of great importance and
interest. However, they also did so from the already different
perspectives of their respective times. Smith and Marx both agreed and
disagreed about early modern history and the place of Asia in it.  Smith
wrote in The Wealth of Nations in 1776:

        The discovery of America, and that of the passage to the East
        Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, are the two greatest events 
        recorded in the history of mankind (Smith 1776/1937:557).

Marx and Engels followed in their Communist Manifesto in 1848:
        The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up
        fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and
        Chinese markets, the colonization of America, trade with the
        colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities
        generally, gave  to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse
        never before known, and thereby to the revolutionary element in 
        the tottering feudal society, a  rapid development.... (Marx and 
        Engels 1848).

Alas however, Smith - writing still before the industrial revolution in
Europe but echoing Hume who wrote a quarter century earlier - was the last
major [Western] social scientist to appreciate that Europe was a johnny
come lately in the development of the wealth of nations. In 1776, Smith
still  recognized Asia as being economically far more advanced and richer
than Europe: 

        The improvements in agriculture and manufactures seem likewise
        to have been of very great antiquity in the provinces of Bengal in
        the East Indies, and in some of the eastern provinces of China.... 
        Even those three countries [China, Egypt and Indostan], the
        wealthiest, according to all accounts, that ever were in
        the world, are chiefly  renowned for their superiority in agriculture 
        manufactures.... [Now in 1776] China is a much richer country than any
        part of Europe" (Smith 1937: 20,348,169). 

Smith did not anticipate any change in this comparison and showed no
awareness that he was writing at the beginning of what has come to be
called the "industrial revolution."  Moreover as Wrigley (1994:27
ff) notes, neither did Malthus or Ricardo one and two generations later,
and even John Stuart Mill writing in the mid-nineteenth century still had
his doubts.
However, Smith also did not regard the "greatest events in the history" to
have been a European gift to mankind, of civilization, capitalism or
anything else. On the contrary, he noted with alarm that

        to the natives, however, both of the East and the West Indies, all
        the commercial benefits which can have resulted from those events have
        been sunk and lost in the dreadful misfortunes which they have
        occasioned.... What benefits, or what misfortunes to mankind may 
        hereafter result from these great events, no human wisdom can
        foresee (Smith  1937: 189).

By the mid-nineteenth century, European views of Asia and China in
particular had drastically changed. Dawson (1967) documents and analyzes
this change under the revealing title The Chinese Chameleon: An Analysis
of European Conceptions of Chinese Civilization. Europeans changed from
regarding China as "an example and model" to calling the Chinese "a people
of eternal standstill." Why this rather abrupt change? The coming of the
industrial revolution and the beginnings of European colonialism in Asia
had intervened to re-shape European minds, if not to "invent" all history,
then at least to invent a false universalism under European initiation and
guidance. Then in the second half of the nineteenth century, not only was
world history re-written wholesale, but "universal" social "science" was
[new] born, not only as a European, but as a Eurocentric invention. 

In so doing, "classical" historians and social theorists of the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries took a huge step backward even from European, not
to mention Islamic, perspectives that had been much more realistically
world embracing up through the eighteenth century. Among those who saw
things from this narrower [European] new perspective were Marx and
Weber. According to them and all of their many disciples to this day, the
essentials of the "capitalist mode of production" that allegedly developed
in and out of Europe were missing in "The Rest" of the world and could be
and were supplied only through European help and diffusion. That is where
the "Orientalist" assumptions by Marx, and many more studies by Weber, and
the [fallacious] assertions of both about the rest of the world come
in. To briefly review them, we may here follow not only my own reading of
these "masters" but also, to pick one among many, that of so authoritative
a reader as Irving Zeitlin (1994). 


Perry Anderson (1974:548) asked that the Asiatic Mode of Production [AMP]
"be given the decent burial that it deserves." That is very decent of him,
since the AMP hardly deserves even that. We need not go into the
controversial and controverted history of this "concept" to see that on
the evidence it never had the slightest basis in fact to begin with. I say
'to begin with,' because before the AMP was invented all the world already
knew that the real world was not that way at all.  Various citations above
testify to the knowledge even in Europe of the economic, political,
social, and cultural advances and developments in Egypt, West Asia, South
Asia and East Asia. Still in 1776, Adam Smith testified that on all
accounts China and India were ahead of Europe even in technology. Why then
did he also say that China seemed not to have changed in five centuries
past?  Of course, that was not so; but if it had been, it would mean that
China was so far advanced earlier on that Europe had been unable to catch
up even with five centuries of its own development. In fact, India and
China were far more developed and as we noted in particular about India in
EPW July 26, 1996 their economies continued to expand and develop. So did
most other parts of Asia. We have observed above that, far from Asia being
"stagnant," population, production, and trade expanded rapidly; and
economic and financial institutions generated or at least permitted the

Therefore, Marx's description of China as a "mummy preserved in a
hermetically sealed coffin ... vegetating in the teeth of time" had
absolutely no basis in fact.  Nor did his idea that a supposed AMP reigned
in India, Persia, Egypt or anywhere else. That was no more than
"Orientalism painted Red" as Tibebu (1990) aptly remarked. Marx's
contention that "in broad outline, Asiatic, ancient, feudal, and modern
bourgeois modes of production may be designated as epochs marking progress
in the economic development of society" was pure ideological fiction and
had no basis in fact or science [quotations from Marx are from Brook
(1989:11,6)]. There never have been any such epochs, and the very idea of
unilinear transitions from one "mode of production" to another, be they on
a "societal" or a world-wide basis, only divert attention from the real
historical process, which has been world-wide, but horizontally
integrative and cyclical. 

Alas, "the importance of Marx's analysis of Asia is ... that it functioned
as an integral part of the process through which he constructed his theory
of capitalism" (Brook 1989:6). "The importance of Orientalism for the
study of Marxism lies ... [in] the notion that, in contrast to Western
society, Islamic [and other Oriental] civilization is static and locked
within its sacred customs, its formal moral code, and its religious
law" (Turner 1978:6). To that extent, Marx's entire "theory of
capitalism" was vitiated both by the lack of support from the Eurocentric
leg of its fables about a supposed Asian Mode of Production  and by his
equally Eurocentric supposition that Europe was different and that what
happened there must have originated in Europe. We have seen that no such
thing really originated --  let alone because of any supposed transition
from feudalism to capitalism -- in Europe. The historical process was
world-wide and world - including Europe - encompassing.   

For another severe theoretical and empirical critique of the AMP, see
Islamoglu-Inan (1987) and several of the contributors to the book she
edited on The Ottoman Empire and the World-Economy. It illustrates how
slavish or even only servile attempts to squeeze the evidence into, and
even uncomfortable rebellion to escape from this procrustean category,
handicaps and contorts rather than aids and extends the analysis of the
authors' own evidence. Alas, the same book also vividly illustrates how
limiting is not only the category of the "Asiatic," but also the
"Capitalist Mode of Production" as well as Wallerstein's European based
"modern world-system" and the idea of its "incorporation" of the Ottomans
or any other region in Asia, to which we return below.

Marx seems to have been selective in the sources he drew on to
characterize "Asia" not to mention Africa. Among the classical political
economists that also influenced Marx so much as we have already observed,
Smith (1937: 348) had given "credit to the wonderful accounts of the
wealth and cultivation of China, of those of antient Egypt and of the
ancient state of Indostan." In this regard however, Marx preferred to
follow Montesquieu and the Philosophes like Roussseau and also James Mill,
who had instead "discovered" "despotism" as the "natural" condition and
"model of government" in Asia and of "The Orient."  Marx also remarked on
"the cruellest form of state, Oriental despotism, from India to
Russia." He also attributed to them and to the Ottomans, Persia and China,
indeed to the whole "Orient." In all of these, Marx alleged the existence
of an age-old "Asiatic Mode of Production." He alleged that in all of Asia
the forces of production remained stagnant and stationary until the
incursion of "The West" and "capitalism" woke it of its otherwise eternal

Although Marx noted that the Indian and Chinese purchasing power gave
impulse to European markets, England was allegedly showing India the
mirror of its future and the United States was bringing progress to Mexico
thanks to its 1846 war against that country. Furthermore, Marx alleged
that the "transition from feudalism to capitalism" and the "rising
bourgeoisie"  in Europe had transformed the world, supposedly since the
genesis of capital [if not capitalism] in the sixteenth century - also in

For Marx, Asia still remained even more backward than Europe, where
"feudalism" at least had the seeds of a "transition to capitalism" within
itself. In alleged contrast, "The Asiatic Mode of Production" would
required the progressive benefits of this "transition" in Europe to jolt
and pull it out of its built in stagnation -- even though he said that it
was the Asian markets that gave impetus to those of Europe! The supposed
reason for this alleged stagnation was the imagined lack of "capitalist
relations of production," which kept all of Asia "divided into villages,
each of which possessed a completely separate organization and formed a
little world to itself."  

Alas, this division of Asia into separate little worlds was already
contradicted by the simultaneous claims of Marx and other European writers
that Asia was also characterized by "Oriental Despotism."  That was
regarded to be a form of socio-political organization that was necessary
to manage these societies' large scale irrigation projects, which were of
course themselves incompatible with the allegedly isolated
villages.  Wittfogel (1957) would later popularize this "theory," but then
ironically as a cold-war ideological weapon against "communism" and
Marxism! But never mind all these internal contradictions! For as we will
see below throughout this book, all of this Marxian characterization was
no more than a figment of his and other Eurocentric imagination anyway,
which had no foundation in historical reality whatsoever. 

Indeed, in his excellent critique of Marxists like Perry Anderson and
others, Teshale Tibebu (1990: 83-85 emphasis in original) argues
persuasively that much of their analysis of "Feudalism, Absolutism and the
Bourgeois Revolution"  and  "their obsession with the specificity
... [and] supposed superiority of Europe" is Western "civilizational
arrogance," "ideology dressed up as history" and "Orientalism painted
red," that is the "continuation of orientalism by other means."

Marxist economic history may seem different, but it is equally, indeed
even more, Eurocentric. Thus, Marxist economic historians also look for
the sources of "The Rise of the West" and "the development of
capitalism" within Europe.  Examples are the famous debate in the 1950s on
"the transition from feudalism to capitalism" among Maurice Dobb, Paul
Sweezy, Kohachiro Takahashi, Rodney Hilton and others (reprinted in Hilton
1976) and the Brenner Debate on "European feudalism" (Aston and Philpin,
Eds. 1985). De Ste. Croix (1981) on the class struggles in the ancient
"Greco-Roman" civilization and Anderson (1974) on "Japanese
feudalism" also considered each of these as a particular
"society." Marxists may claim to devote more attention to how the economic
"infrastructure" shapes society; but they show no awareness of how one
"society" is shaped by its relations with another "society" and still less
of how all societies were shaped by their common participation in a single
world economy. The very existence of a world economic system was
explicitly denied by Marx and only belatedly acknowledged by
Lenin. However, his "imperialism" also was of recent European origin. In
Rosa Luxemburg's version, the "world" capitalist economy had to rely on
"external non-capitalist" space and markets outside of the capitalist
system into which to expand.

Little is gained in my view, and much better opportunities at
reformulation are needlessly squandered, by inventing new latter day
variations on this old theme, which are little more than euphemistic. Thus
Eric Wolf (1982) and Samir Amin (1991) stand by a so-called "tributary
mode of production," which supposedly characterized the whole world before
1500 according to the former and much of it still until 1800 according to
the latter. This book will show that, regardless of the variety of their
domestic relations - never mind mode/s - of production, far more important
is participation in a single world economy, which is only obscured by this
undue or even misplaced emphasis on "modes of production."  The same is
still the case for Gates (1996), who builds her analysis of a thousand
years of China's Motor  on "the tributary and petty-capitalist modes of
production" and is hard put to show, as she tries, how and why it is these
that support and promote patriarchy in China.

The latest misplaced and therefore irrelevantly misleading discussion is
summarized by its very title "Do We Need A Theory of Merchant
Capitalism?" (van Zanden 1997). The Spring 1997 issue of Review, edited by
Wallerstein, devotes an entire issue, to which he also contributes, to
this "issue." On the basis of his analysis of labor markets in the Dutch
seventeenth century 'Golden Age,' Van Zanden argues for the
affirmative: "Merchant Capitalism" was a heretofore insufficiently
recognized necessary 'stage' between pre- or proto- capitalism and
industrial capitalism. To his credit, Wallerstein (1997) denies this
thesis by showing that Merchant and Dutch capitalism were no more than
part and parcel of "Historical Capitalism," which then and still now has
quite similar features elsewhere as well.  Several other authors (Ad
Knotter, Catharina Lis and Hugo Soly, who in turn draw on other recent
works about "industrialization before industrialization" in the
Netherlands, Flanders and elsewhere in Europe).  It is enough to make only
these comparisons to show that "van Zandem's terms do not enable analysis
of the process: the articulation of merchant capitalism and precapitalist
modes of production was not at issue, and the protoindustry was not the
most dynamic element in the transition to industrial capitalism" (Lis and
Soly 1997:237).  All the moreso the would these modes of production cease
to be the issue if instead of limiting their purview only to parts of the
marginal peninsular Europe and extend the examination to the rest of the
world, let alone analyzing them as part and parcel of the whole global
economy, as this book does.


Other social "scientists" may have risen to dispute Marx [and supposedly
to agree with Smith], but they all agreed with each other and with Marx
that 1492 and 1498 were the two greatest events in the history of mankind,
because that is when Europe discovered the world. Never mind that the
world had been there all along and that at least the Afro-Asiatic part of
it had long since shaped Europe itself. Indeed, the eminent historian of
medieval Europe, Henri Pirenne (1992) stressed Europe's external
dependence when pointed out long ago that there could have been "No
Charlemagne without Mohammed."  Nevertheless, history and social theory
have been marked ever since not only by the alleged uniqueness of [West]
Europeans, which supposedly generated "The Rise of the West."  What is
worse, they allegedly also had to assume the civilizing mission of the
white man's burden which bestowed "the  development and spread of
capitalism" on the world as Europe's and the West's gift to
mankind. [Lately, some feminists have at least denied that this process
has been a gift also to womankind].

For Max Weber of course agreed with Marx about all these European origins
and characteristics of "capitalism," and with Sombart too. Weber only
wanted to go them one better. Sombart had already singled out European
rationality, and its alleged roots in Judaism, as the sine qua non of
"capitalism" and its "birth" in Europe. Weber accepted that too.  He
further embellished the argument about the irrigation based "Oriental
despotism" to allege that Asia had an inherent inability to generate
economic, not to mention "capitalist" development on its own.  However,
Weber actually went to a lot of trouble to study "the
city," "religion" and other aspects of different civilizations in Asia. 

That additional acquaintance of Weber with Asian realities also
complicated his argument and made it more sophisticated than the crude
Marxian version. For instance, Weber recognized that Asia had big
cities. So they had to be somehow "fundamentally different" from European
ones, both in structure and in function. Weber's mistake in this regard
emerges clearly from the Rowe's (1984, 1989) carefull examination of this
argument in his study of the Chineese city Hankow.  The great student of
bureaucracies that Weber was also had to recognize that the Chinese also
had and knew how to manage cities and the country at large. Moreover, he
had more time than Marx to observe that and how Western money made its way
to and around various parts of Asia. 

To continue the already above quoted critical summary of the use and abuse
of "Weberian" theory, their argument is that "Oriental" and 

        Islamic society is either timelessly stagnant or declines from its
inception. The societies are consequently defined by reference to a
cluster of absences [that allegedly] define the West - the missing middle
class, the missing city, the absence of political rights, the absence of
revolutions. These missing features ... serve to explain why Islamic
civilization failed to produce capitalism (Turner 1978:81).

So what was the essential difference, the missing ingredient that "The
West" allegedly has and "The Rest" does not have if Weber himself did not
find all these factors missing in the Oriental societies he studied? For
Marx it was "the capitalist mode of production;" and Weber added also the
proper religion and how it interfaces with the other factors to generate
that "capitalist mode."  Weber went to the trouble to study various major
world religions and concluded that all of them had an essential mythical,
mystic, magical, in a word anti-rational component, which
"necessarily" handicapped all their true believers in coming to grasps
with reality rationally, unlike the Europeans. Only the latter were
beneficiaries of "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism." No
more than Marx did Weber argue that this ethic and spirit was the be all
and end all of "capitalism," and the Weberian argument has been even
harder to understand than the Marxian one. This rational spirit is
supposedly the missing secret ingredient that, when combined with all the
others, distinguishes "The West" from "The Rest."  Without it, the Asians
could not possibly develop capitalism and therefore really "develop" at
all, or even use their cities, production and commerce. 

This Eurocentrism had nineteenth century sociological great-grandfathers
in the "father of sociology" Auguste Compte and in Sir Henry Maine who
distinguished  between supposedly new forms of thinking and of social
organization based on "science" and"contract," which allegedly replaced
age old "traditional" ones. One grandfather was Emile Durkheim who
idealized "organic" vs. "mechanical" forms of social organization and
another was Ferdinand Toennis, who alleged a transition from traditional
"Gemeinschaft" to modern "Gesellschaft." In a later generation, Talcott
Parsons idealized "universalist" vs. "particularist" social forms, and
Robert Redfield claimed to have found a contrast and transition or at
least a continuum" between traditional "folk" and modern "urban" society
and a certain symbiosis between "low" and "high civilization." The Marxist
and contemporary neo-Marxist version is the alleged fundamental difference
between "Asiatic," "feudal" or other forms of "tributary" and the
"capitalist" mode of production (Wolf 1982, Amin 1991,1993, 1996). 

All of these "ideal type" diads have several things in common. The most
important ones are that first they posit essentialist socio-cultural
features and differences that are far more imaginary than real, and then
they allege that the differences distinguish "us" from "them," or in the
latter day terminology of Samuel Huntington  (1993,1996) separate "The
West" from "The Rest." Indeed, allegedly these features  also distinguish
modern [Western] society from its own past as well as from other
societies' often still lingering present. Moreover, these "ideal" types
attribute some kind of pristine self-development to some peoples - mostly
to "us" -  but not to others, and their subsequent diffusion [when
positive] or imposition [if negative] from here to there. " The
quintessential culmination of this "tradition"  was Lerner's (1958) The
Passing of Traditional Society. In the real world, the only practical
holistic choice has been  "none of the above." This "underdevelopment of
sociology"  was already challenged by me thirty years ago (Frank
1967). However successful, this challenge was nonetheless insufficiently
holistic. The present book is my attempt to do better.

However, evidence alone is still not enough and no substitute for a
holistic whole world encompassing theoretical model. That is what we need
but still lack to help organize and interpret the existing evidence. There
are now those who admit the reality of the trees and even of a world
economic and systemic forest. For instance, Wallerstein (1974,1980, 1989),
Frank (1978), Braudel (1979, 1992), Wolf (1982), Blaut (1993a), Sanderson
(1995), Modelski and Thompson (1996), and Chase-Dunn and Hall (1997) have
offered a more helpful "perspective of the world" and its impact on local
economic and social trees. Moreover, all of them have self-consciously
already tried to offer broader perspectives to counter parochial
Eurocentrism. Yet none of their scheme of things has been sufficiently
global and holistic to encompass the whole world economic forest. 

Braudel's "Perspective of the World" since 1500 is broader than most. Yet
he too divided the world into a "European world-economy" and several other
and separate external "world-economies" outside the same.  Braudel did, of
course, also study and describe at least parts of these "other" world
economies, especially in Volume III of his trilogy on Civilization &
Capitalism. Indeed, so did Marx in his own Volume III of Capital! Yet both
neglected to incorporate the findings of their third volumes into the
model and theory of their first volumes. Moreover, their neglect was quite
conscious, intentional and deliberate: Their Eurocentrism convinced both
that any and all historical model and social theory, be it universal or
not, must be based on the experience of Europe alone. Their only
concession was that Europe and its model did have consequences for the
rest of the world. 

This debate about "internal vs. external" turns even the analysis of the
European based  "modern world-economy/system" itself into yet still
another obstacle and resistance to be overcome! For their argument is also
that something "internal" to the European "modern world-system" generated
the transition for feudalism to capitalism, which then spread to the rest
of the world "outside."  I contend that instead Europe and its
"world-economy" were part and parcel of a long pre-existing Afro-Eurasian
economy whose own systemic structure and dynamic became global -- and
itself generated many developments in Europe as well. Therefore, it is the
"internal" operation of the global world economy - and not just of the
European "world-economy" - that requires analysis.  


We must take exception to this alleged European "exceptionalism" on
several related grounds:

-- 1. As already noted above, the theses of AfroAsian "Orientalism" and
European "exceptionalism"  empirically and descriptively  MIS-represent
how Asian economies performed and societies were. Not only the alleged AMP
and "Oriental" Despotism, but also the allegations about non-rational,
anti-profit seeking, and other supposed pre-/non-/anti-
commercial/productive/capitalist features of Asia are very much off the
mark, as demonstrated by our review of Asia's participation in the world
economy.  In fact,  AfroAsian economic and financial "development" and
institutions were not only up to European "standards," but largely
excelled them in 1400 and still in 1750 and even in 1800. 

-- 2. For over these three centuries as also earlier, there was nothing
"exceptional" about Europe, unless it was Europe's exceptionally marginal
far off peninsular position on the map and its correspondingly minor role
in the world economy. That may have afforded it some "advantage of
backwardness" (Gerschenkron 1962). None of the alleged European
"exceptionalisms" of "superiority" is borne out by historical evidence,
either from Europe itself or from elsewhere, as Hodgson (1993) warned long
ago and Blaut (1993) unequivocally again demonstrated recently. Therefore,
the really critical factors in Europe's economic participation and
"development" have also been both empirically and theoretically
misrepresented by almost all received historiography and social theory
from Marx and Weber to Braudel and Wallerstein. No matter what its
political color or intent, their historiography and social theory and that
of Tawny or Toynbee, and Polanyi or Parsons and Rostow -- is devoid of the
historical basis from which its authors claimed to derive it. Just as Asia
was not stuck-in-the-mud, so did Europe not raise itself by its own

-- 3. The comparative method itself suffers from inadequate  holism and
misplaced concreteness. At its worst, and alas Marx was among these, some
"features" were rather arbitrarily declared to be essential [to what?] but
wanting everywhere except in Europe. At best, western observers [and alas
also some from Asia and elsewhere] "compare" "Western" civilizational,
cultural, social, political, economic, technological, military,
geographical, climatic, in a word racial "features" with "Oriental" ones
and find the latter wanting on this or that [Eurocentric] criterion. Among
the classical writers, Weber devoted the greatest study to the comparisons
of these factors, and especially to embellishing the above cited Marxist
notions about Oriental "sacred customs, moral code, and religious
law." His many followers have further embellished this comparative
approach with still more "peculiar" features.  Even if these comparisons
were empirically accurate, which we have observed that most were not, they
had and still have two important shortcomings: One is how to account for
the allegedly significant factors that are being compared; another is the
choice to compare  these features or factors in the first - and last -
place. Yet the choice of what features or factors to compare is based on
the prior explicit or implicit decision that European characteristics are
significant, distinct and therefore worth comparing with others. Let us
examine these decisions and implicit choices in turn.

-- 4. The sometimes explicit supposition but mostly implicit assumption is
that the institutional basis and mechanisms of production and
accumulation, exchange and distribution, and their functional operation
are determined by "traditional" historical inheritance and/or other or
local, national, or regional developments. This kind of "analysis" does
not even consider the possibility that the factors under consideration
were local, national, or regional responses to participation in a single
world-wide economic system and process. Yet as we have argued and
demonstrated above, accumulation, production, and distribution and their
institutional forms throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas did
adapt to and reflect their common interdependence. Certainly the
institutional form and very lifeblood of all entrepots like Hormuz and
Malacca, and most other ports and caravan crossroads was a function of
their increasing and decreasing participation in the world economy. But so
were their productive and commercial hinterlands. My study of Mexican
agriculture 1520-1630 showed how successive institutional forms of labor
recruitment and organization were local responses to world economic and
cyclical exigencies (Frank 1979). In Chapters 2, 3 and 4 we observed
analogous institutional  adaptations and development on the Bengal
frontier (Eaton 1993), South China (Marks 1995), South East Asia
(Lieberman 1995), and the Ottoman Empire (Islamoglu-Inan 1987).      

Even related  "civilizational" or "cultural" variables are not so much
determinant or independent, as they are themselves derivative from and
dependent on the world-wide economic structure and process. All attempts
to account for or explain local, national or regional ripple
"development/s" primarily in terms of their respective supposedly cultural
or class "determinants" are too limited in their purview. They neglect the
fundamental world economic sea change of which the local ones often are
only superficial expressions and manifestations. In short, all attempts to
account for features and factors of "development" on the basis only or
even primarily of local antecedents and in the absence of their world
economic "function" can result only in the neglect of factors that are
essential to any satisfactory explanation.
-- 5. Therefore, even the best comparative studies violate the canon of
holism, for they do not study the global whole and the world
economy/system from which the factors to be compared are or may be
derivative. That is, we also need to construct a holistic theory and
analysis of this global economy and world system, as well as of its own
operation and transformation. For these also generate and shape the
institutional forms themselves. A vivid illustration that we need such a
completely different approach is the issue on NEW APPROACHES TO EUROPEAN
HISTORY published in the Turkish journal Metu. Development Studies, 22,3
1995. It offers a "Theory of the Rise of the West" by John A. Hall and its
discussion by several Turkish colleagues. Hall admits to "more than a
touch of megalomania" in being "able to offer a completely new account" of
the rise of the West in which he "is going to solve Max Weber's problem in
entirely different terms" (ibid: 231-2). He begins with his own
examination of China and brief references to Islam and Hindu/Buddhist
India, which he still compares unfavorably with Europe, as he already did
before (Hall 1985). Economic development allegedly was impossible in China
because of the imperial state, in India because of Hindu caste, and under
Islam because of nomadic pastoral tribalism. All allegedly lacked the
unique European state and inter-state system. So Hall reverts to the same
old argument about European exceptionalism, except that he gives the
latter a slightly "new" twist.  One of his Turkish commentators makes
"rather a defense of Mr. Hall. I think most of the counter-arguments base
themselves on a certain misunderstanding" (ibid:251). Alas, the
"counter-arguments" of his Turkish colleagues do no more than take
exception to some of Hall's European exceptionalism and comparisons. They
themselves have no alternative explanation or even approach to offer
whatsoever, least of all a holistic one that would not just compare but
relate Europeans and Ottomans within a single world system. We have only
just begun this task here !

-- 6. However, studies that compare "Western" and "Oriental"  societies
are therefore already vitiated by their choice of the  features or factors
to be compared, unless that choice is itself derived from the study of the
whole world economy/system to begin with. And of course it is not. Indeed,
the choice of the very features and factors to be compared is derived from
focusing on a part, be that Britain, Europe, the West or wherever. That
is, the very design of the study, from Marx and Weber to Braudel and
Wallerstein, et al suffers from the misplaced concreteness of looking for
the explanandum with a magnifying glass or even a microscope, but only
under the European streetlight. The real task is first to take up a
telescope to gain a holistic view of the global whole and its world
economy/system. Only that can reveal what passive features, or more likely
active factors, we then need to regard with greater care with a magnifying
glass. To that task as well, we turn in the discussion of implications
below. But first, there are some more derivative conclusions about what
not to do, because doing so prevents seeing "wie es eigentlich gewesen
ist" in the global whole. 

NO BREAK IN 1450/1492/1498/1500

Another and derivative but inescapable conclusion is that the alleged
break before and after 1500 never took place. Historians often mark a
break in "world" history in 1500 (eg. Stavarianos 1966, Reilly 1989). Even
Bentley's (1996) innovative proposals
in The American Historical Review to derive "Periodization in World
History" not only from European but from world-wide processes still marks
the beginning of the last period in 1500.  Historians and social theorists
of Europe, both of earlier generations and still contemporary ones mark
this same break all the moreso. So do world-system theorists like
Wallerstein (1974), and still Sanderson (1994) and Chase-Dunn and Hall
(1996). The allegation that there was a sharp break around 1500 was
already reflected in the above-cited opinions of Smith and Marx that 1492
and 1498 were the most important years in the history of mankind. Perhaps
they were directly so for the peoples of the "New World" and indirectly so
for those of Europe. However, Braudel (1992:57) disputed Wallertstein's
allegation of this break in Europe, where Braudel saw continuity since at
least 1300 and even from 1100. 

Indeed, even Wallerstein (1992) refers to the widespread agreement that an
expansive "A" phase from 1050 to 1250 was followed by a contractive
"B" phase from 1250 to 1450 and then after that by still another expansive
"A" phase in the "long sixteenth century" from 1450 until 1640. The
evidence above, however, suggests that this expansive phase already began
in much of Asia in 1400 -- and that it lasted there until at least
1750. Wallerstein's European "long sixteenth century" probably was a
belated and more temporary expression of this  world economic expansion
itself. Indeed, the very voyages of Columbus and Vasco da Gama themselves
should probably be regarded as expressions of this world economic
expansion, to which Europeans wanted to attach themselves in
Asia. Therefore, the continuity across 1500 was actually far more
important and is theoretically far more significant than any alleged break
or new departure. 

Thus I suggest that it is not appropriate or even necessary, as the so
common argument has it, to regard early modern and still contemporary
history as the result and/or as the harbinger of a significant historical
break. The widespread dis-continuity theses are far less a contribution,
let alone a necessity, and far more and impediment to understanding the
real world historical process and contemporary reality. These mis-leading
discontinuity theses have been presented in various forms, including the
"birth of capitalism,"  the "Rise of the West," "the incorporation of Asia
into the European world-economy," not to mention the West's alleged
"rationalism" and "civilizing mission." I prefer to leave for
philosophical consideration by others elsewhere whether or not modern and
contemporary history is a vehicle or manifestation of
"progress," unilinear or otherwise.

Here, I prefer to re-consider and question the scientific validity or
analytic usefulness to such time related concepts and terms as
"proto-capitalism" or "proto-industrialization," or for that matter such
"quantitative" ones as "petty-capitalism," "semi-feudalism" or
"proto-socialism"] here in Europe or there in Asia. The endless
disputations about the alleged transitions from one to another of these
categories at particular but different times in any  part  the world is a
literally blind alley, which cannot possibly lead to even the faintest
enlightenment. For only the study of the continuing structure and dynamic
of the one and only world [system] can illuminate the hows, whys, and
wherefores of the "development," "rise" or "fall" of any part of the world
[system], be it in Europe, America, Africa, Asia, Oceania and/or any part


Of late, that is since Marx, the "fascination" [as Braudel
(1992:54) called it] with 1500 as the date of a new departure that makes a
supposed break with the past is mostly a function of the allegation that
it ushered in a new, previously unknown or at least never before dominant,
"capitalist mode of production." That was of course the position from Marx
and Sombart to Weber and Tawney, and all it is still shared by their many
contemporary followers. This is still the position of
"world-system" theorists from Wallerstein (1974) and Frank (1978) to
Sanderson (1995) and Chase-Dunn (1996). Even Amin's (1991,1993) and
Blaut's (1993) vehement critiques of Eurocentrism stop short of abandoning
1500 as the dawn of a new age of European born and borne capitalism.  All
of the above Marxists, Weberians, Polanyists, world-systematizers, not to
mention most "economic" and other historians, balk at pursuing the
evidence and the argument to examine the sacred cow of "capitalism" and
its allegedly peculiarly exceptional or exceptionally peculiar "mode of

Therefore, the mere suggestion that perhaps this conviction might or even
should be open to question is already rejected as unacceptable
heresy.  Having already broached this heresy to little effect before
(Frank 1991, Frank and Gills 1993), there is little point in trying to
pursue the argument further here. Suffice it to point out that the same
evidence and argument that support the first four conclusions above also
have implications for the idea of "capitalism." These conclusions deny the
AMP and European exceptionalism, but affirm a world economy and its
continuity across 1500. Yet world-system theorists and Blaut accept the
first two above-cited conclusions about the AMP and European
exceptionalism, but they reject the last two that affirm the continuity of
a global economy and deny the break in 1500. Braudel in turn also denies
the break in 1500 and de facto recognizes a global economy, even if hit
does not fit it into his model of a European "world-economy."  Yet all
four of the previous conclusions inexorably render questionable to say the
least the very concept of a "capitalist" mode of production and the
supposed significance of its alleged spread from Europe to the rest of the
world. Indeed, the first four conclusions question the very significance
imputed to different "modes of production," of course including
"feudalism" and "capitalism," not to mention any alleged
"transition" between them. This received conceptualization has at the very
least diverted our attention away from the much more significant world
systemic structures and processes, which themselves engendered the
organizational forms that were then misleadingly termed "feudal" and
"capitalist" "modes of production."

As we have observed, not only was there no unilinear "progress/ion" from
one "mode" of production to another; but all manner of relations of
production were and remain widely intermingled. Many different relations
of production have "delivered" products that have been competitive on the
world market. However, it has not been so much one relation or another,
and still less any "mode," of production that has determined the success
and failure of particular producers. Instead, competitive pressures and
exigencies on the world market have been and continue to be much more
determinant of the choice and adaptation of relations of production

The incessant discussions about non-, pre-, proto-, blooming-, full
blown-, declining-, post-, or any other "stage"  and quantity or quality
of capitalism or the lack thereof have led us down the garden path and
diverted us from analyzing the real world. A recent example was already
mentioned: Hill Gates (1996) does very well to examine the relations
between commercialism and patriarchy in a thousand years of China's
Motor. However, her continued insistence on using the categories of "the
tributary and petty capitalist modes of production" and their uneasy
relations handicaps instead of illuminating her analysis of the real world

The review of van Zanden's "merchant capitalism" also rebuts the
contention that it represented a distinctive "articulation of modes of
production" between "non-capitalist" modes of reproduction and use of
labor "outside the system" and others inside the "world market" of the
"world-economy." However, the hidden but most revealing aspect of this
discussion is that, irrespective of which side of the arguments they
support, all of the discussants recur to these terms in quotation marks
again and again. But they all use them without quotation marks, because
they largely agree on the meaning and referents of what is allegedly
excluded by these terms. Indeed, van Zanden and others even name several
of them: slaves, peasants,  those who work at home in cottage industry, in
West Africa, and in East Asia (van Zanden 1997: 260). In all this
discussion and the related literature it refers to, all these producers
and even traders remain outside their universe of discourse in which
"admittedly, the Dutch Republic became the largest staple market the world
had even known;" so "Amsterdam was both the central warehouse of world
commerce and the pivotal money and capital market of the European
world-economy at the same time;" and therefore it was "the world-economy's
control booth" (Lis and Soly 1997: 233, 211, 222). That is, for all these
discussants about "modes of production." the real  world economy, of which
Amsterdam was but an outpost, does not exist.

Indeed, Wallerstein's (1997: 244) intervention even stresses "let us not
quibble about the unit of analysis"!  But the most important issue in this
whole discussion is precisely the unit of analysis, which all of the
participants disregard: the world economy and not their little European
one. The moment we recognize that, the whole discussion about "modes of
production" more than pales into  insignificance and irrelevance: For then
it can finally been seen as the distraction that it really is from the
real issue, which is the holistic analysis of the whole.

Therefore, it is much better to cut [out] the Gordian knot of
"capitalism" altogether. That was already my argument in Frank (1991),
Frank and Gills (1992, 1993), and Frank (1994,1995); and it is well put by
Chaudhuri (1990:84) writing under the title Asia Before Europe: "The
ceaseless quest of modern historians looking for the 'origins' and roots
of capitalism is not much better than the alchemist's search for the
philosopher's stone that transforms base metal into gold." Indeed, that is
the case not only for the origins and roots, but the very existence and
meaning of "capitalism." So, best just forget about it, and get on with
our inquiry into the reality of "universal history, wie es eigentlich
gewesen ist." 


A chapter summary of
[Berkeley: University of California Press 1998 & 
New Delhi: Vistar/Sage Publications 1998] 
Andre Gunder Frank

The introductory Chapter 1 suggests that received historiography and
social theory fall seriously short of what we need.  Marx and Weber or
Parsons and Rostow and their many disciples are far and away too
Eurocentric, and Braudel and Wallerstein also are still not nearly
holistic enough. None of them is able, or even willing, to address the
global problematique, whose whole is more than the sum or its
parts. Chapter 2 outlines the productive division of labor and the
multilateral trade framework, as well as the sectoral and regional
inter-connections within the global economy between 1400 and 1800. Chapter
3 signals how American and Japanese money went around the world
circulatory system and provided the life blood that made the world go
round. Chapter 4 examines the resulting world population, productive,
income and trade quantities, the related technological qualities and
institutional mechanisms, as well as how several regions in Asia
maintained and even increased their global preponderance therein. Chapters
5 and 6 propose a global marcohistory that treats the Decline of the East
and the Rise of the West as related and successive processes within and
generated by the global world economic structure and dynamic. Chapter 6
inquires how Asia's world economic advantage between 1400 and 1800 turned
to its disadvantage and to the [temporary] advantage of the West to face
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  World-encompassing macro- and
micro-economic analysis is used to account for The Rise of the West in
global instead of the received Eurocentric terms. The concluding Chapter 7
then builds on the historical evidence and argument of this book to derive
theoretical conclusions about how to analyze this global whole. Only a
globally holistic analysis can permit a better, indeed any even minimally
satisfactory, comprehension of how the whole world economic structure and
dynamic shape and differentiate its sectoral and regional parts East and
West, North and South. Recourse to a  more holistic global historiography
and social theory suggests how Asian, and particularly Chinese,
predominance in the world economy through the eighteenth century presages
its return to dominance also in the twenty-first century.


Amin, Samir 1989. Eurocentrism. London: Zed.

------ 1991. "The Ancient World-Systems versus the Modern
World-System" Review XIV, 3, Summer: 349-385.

----- 1993. "The Ancient World-Systems versus the Modern        Capitalist
World-System" in A.G. Frank and Barry K. Gills, Eds. The World
System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand? London and New
York: Routledge: 292-296.

----- 1996. "On Development: For Gunder Frank" in The 
        Underdevelopment of Development: Essays in Honor of Andre Gunder
Frank, S.Chew & R. Denemark, eds. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage: 57-86.

Anderson, Perry 1974. Lineages of the Absolutist State.         London: New Left

Asante, Molefi Kete 1987. The Afrocentric Idea. Philadelphia: Temple
University Press.

Aston, Trevor and C. Philpin, Eds. 1985. The Brenner Debate. Agrarian
Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial
Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Bernal, Martin 1987. Black Athena. The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical
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Blaut, J.M. 1977. "Where was Capitalism Born?", in R. Peet, Ed. Radical
Geography. Chicago: Maasoufa Press. pp.95-110.

----- 1992. Fourteen Ninety-Two. Political Geography 
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Colonialism, Eurocentrism and History, Trenton, NJ:Africa World Press

------ 1993a. The Colonizer's Model of the World: Geographical
Diffusionism and Eurocentric History, New York/ London: Guilford Press,

------ 1993b. "Mapping the March of History," paper read at the
        annual meetings of the American Association of Geographers, April
8, Atlanta, Ga. 

------ 1997. "Eight Eurocentric Historians," Chapter 2 in
Decolonizing the Past: Historians and the Myth of European Superiority
[manuscript] forthcoming.

Braudel, Fernand 1982. The Wheels of Commerce. Vol. II of
Civilization and Capitalism 15th-18th Century  London:Fontana. 

------ 1992. The Perspective of the World Vol. III of   Civilization and
Capitalism 15th-18th Century. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Chase-Dunn, Christopher and Thomas Hall 1997. Rise and  Demise: Comparing
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------- 1990. Asia Before Europe. Economy and Civlisation of the Indian
Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750. Cambridge: Cambridge University

Chaudhuri, N.K. 1990b. "Politics, Trade, and the World Economy in
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European Discovery of the World and its Economic Effects on
Pre- Industrial Society, 1500-1800.  Edited by Hans Pohl.
Papers of the Tenth Internatinal Economic History
Congress.  Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

------- 1991. "Reflections on the Organizing Principle of       Premodern
Trade" in James D. Tracy, Ed.The Political Economy      of Merchant
Empires. Cambridge: Cambridge University        Press:421-442.

Chaudhuri, N .K. 1990. Asia Before Europe. Economy and  Civilisation of
the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to      1750. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.

------ 1990b. "Politics, Trade, and the World Economy in the    Age of
European Expansion: Themes for Debate" in  The  European        Discovery
of the World and its Economic Effects on        Pre-    Industrial
Society, 1500-1800.  Edited by Hans Pohl.       Papers of the Tenth
Internatinal Economic History Congress.         Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

------- 1991. "Reflections on the Organizing Principle of       Premodern
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