Archive for May, 2012

Culture as determinant of economics

From: Southeast Asian Exports since the 14th century:


“As is well known, the passion to obtain pepper more cheaply and to stop the flow of European silver and gold into Muslim hands to pay for it was one of the principal factors which propelled the Portuguese and Spanish on their voyages of discovery.”

So the discovery of the Americas and the invasion of the protuguese to the east indies was not simply because Europe was external trade oriented as Arrighi says but also because of cultural and religious factors.

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Late Victorian Holocausts/ on social anxiety of the third world

(140) people saw a connection between the disasters and the advance of European economic and political power. Beginning of dependency theories.

It was the age of anxiety for colonized societies. If Europeans came up with sociology to understand social cohesion despite colonial disruption, colonized countries in this period 1890 came up with their own millennial and academic theories to understand how they could have been destroyed so badly. Conrad prophesized that Europe itself was downstream to this disaster and unrest.


If Durkheim and Weber were writing for perceived disruption of their own societies and trying to understand how society could remain cohesive, then what of the third world, the entirety of the globe subject to triple whammy of disease, famine, and colonial imperialism in 1890. First drought was 1877. What were the theories of social stability that emerged from these areas and  who was their Durkheim or Weber or even Marx. Why are European theories ones that deal with European unrest the most prominent whereas non-European unrest which is far more disastrous as shown in the book make no showing. In a sense dependency theory and independence liberation movements are one example.  Create new sociology to deal with questions of social cohesion from 3rd world perspective. Although there is no one third world, so maybe by region.

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