- Author : Karl A. Wittfogel
- Publisher :
- Release Date : 1960
- Pages : 10
- ISBN 10 : OCLC:64936943
Class Structure and Total Power in Oriental Despotism Book Description :
The concepts of economic backwardness, Asiatic despotism and orientalism have strongly influenced perceptions of modernization, democracy and economic growth over the last three centuries. This book provides an original view of Russian and Asian history that views both in a global perspective. Via this analysis, Alessandro Stanziani opens new dimensions in the study of state formation, the global slave trade, warfare and European and Asian growth. After Oriental Despotism questions conventional oppositions between Europe and Asia. By revisiting the history of Eurasia in this context, the book offers a serious challenge to existing ideas about the aims and goals of economic growth.
China and Taiwan have similar political cultures. However, Chinese intellectual and political elite have failed to democratize the Middle Kingdom since the 4 May 1919 Movement: whilst their Taiwanese counterpart succeeded in making the island state fairly democratic in just over four decades since the 28 February 1947 Uprising. After an examination of the approaches they applied, the author finds that the former have pursued a culturalist road by trying to change the psycho-cultural make-up of the Chinese people: whilst the latter followed an institutionalist one in which they tried to win elections and to set up political organizations, such as parties.
Through an historical analysis of the theme of Oriental despotism, Michael Curtis reveals the complex positive and negative interaction between Europe and the Orient. The book also criticizes the misconception that the Orient was the constant victim of Western imperialism and the view that Westerners cannot comment objectively on Eastern and Muslim societies. The book views the European concept of Oriental despotism as based not on arbitrary prejudicial observation, but rather on perceptions of real processes and behavior in Eastern systems of government. Curtis considers how the concept developed and was expressed in the context of Western political thought and intellectual history, and of the changing realities in the Middle East and India. The book includes discussion of the observations of Western travelers in Muslim countries and analysis of the reflections of six major thinkers: Montesquieu, Edmund Burke, Tocqueville, James and John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, and Max Weber.
The present work Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient Indian discusses different views on the origin and nature of the state in ancient India. It also deals with stages and processes of state formation and examines the relevance of caste and kin-based collectivities to the construction of polity. The Vedic assemblies are studied in some detail, and developments in political organisation are presented in relation to their changing social and economic background. The book also shows how religion and rituals were brought in the service of the ruling class.
In his 1850 article "Prostitution," W. R. Greg asserts that nineteenth-century society conceived of prostitutes as "far more out of the pale of humanity than negroes on a slave plantation or fellahs in a Pasha's dungeon." Elsie B. Michie here provides insightful readings of novels by Mary Shelley, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot, writers who confronted definitions of femininity which denied them full participation in literary culture. Exploring a series of abhorrent images - Frankenstein's monster, a simianized caricature of the Irish, the menstruating woman alluded to in debates on access to higher education, and the fallen woman - Michie traces the links between the Victorian definition of femininity and other forms of cultural exclusion such as race and class distinctions. Michie considers a range of fiction written in the period 1818-1870, paying particular attention to changes in the construction of gender which coincided with changing attitudes toward colonial and class relations. Drawing on the work of such theorists as Teresa de Lauretis, Catherine Gallagher, Mary Poovey, Gayatri Spivak, and Homi Bhabha, she maps out connections between two excluded territories, one defined by gender and the other by class, race, and economics. Michie transforms our understanding of familiar novels including Wuthering Heights and Middlemarch in which the two themes are articulated together, as she illuminates political, economic, and social issues connected to models of difference. Literary theorists, feminist scholars, Victorianists, and others interested in cultural studies and the history of the novel will welcome this perceptive and engaging book.