< < <
Date Index
> > >
Re: Frank as a world-systemist?
by Bruce McFarling
22 March 2002 01:25 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >
At 14:50 17/03/02 -0500, Elson Boles wrote:
>The oddity in the Frank-Wallerstein debate is that Frank and Gills 
>have no reason to use the unhyphenated "world system" term, except 
>to distinguish their world-system as being bigger in TimeSpace than

Is there a sense in which Franks "world system" is a shorthand for
"that world-system which grew to cover the world" ... that is,
"the world world-system"?

If a major part of the argument is whether the Central World-System
included Europe as periphery and it grew to dominate the Central 
WS for a hundred fifty years, give or take, or whether the Central 
World-System was in contact with but did NOT include Europe, 
so that it is a story of one WS being supplanted by another ... 
then I can see a certain amount of sense in not just using 
the term Central WS, since the what that terms refers to is a 
main point in the dispute.

On systemicity, it would seem to me that if the development of 
import competing textiles in Europe was in fact sufficient 
to reverse the India's bullion surplus to the west, and place 
it in an untenable financial position with bullion deficits 
to both the east and west, then the conquest of Indian by 
the BEIC with an Indian army in effect financed by New World 
silver following on that financial reverse would seem to 
indicate a bit of mutual causality.  Of course, one could 
envision someone arguing an intermediate position that the 
European WS was a distinct WS pre 1500, on lack of mutual 
causation grounds, that it developed to the point of merging 
into the Central WS over 1500-1800, and toward the end of 
that period the process of shift in dominance in the Central 
WS took place.

It would seem that the place to look for mutual causality 
pre-1500 would be India.

Of course, the point from General Systems Theory should 
be made that the ability to identify systems at higher 
and higher levels all the way up to the "universe" is 
normal in systems analysis, and certainly not the basis 
for a critique on its own.  Most General Systems analysis 
occurs at the level of a system with both supersystems 
and subsystems of interest.  Obviously given a strong 
definition of system for world-system, and one that is 
NOT hierarchical, one would expect world-systems to 
be part of higher order systems, and to contain 
lower-order systems.  One would expect some sort 
of major impact if what was formerly a system of 
world-systems developed into a world-system in its own 
right, with the "middle position" envisioned above 
perhaps being a concrete example of exactly that sort 
of emergent features of the "World System" ... that 
is, "One World System of World-Systems, then 
World World-System".


Bruce McFarling, New Lambton, NSW

< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >