Source: a bad potato (id:iamhtd)
In the long history of mankind, Chinese civilization has been at its peak for a long time. However, why did the West enter the capitalist society but China did not? The so-called capitalist sprout in the Ming Dynasty is still far away from the real capitalism
Some time ago, I read some historical articles. Many people said:
If there is no unification, China’s commercial development will not be restricted all the time;
Without centralized power, China would develop into capitalism;
There is an agreed understanding and premise here, that is, since ancient times, China and the West have different genes. China has always been dominated by agricultural civilization, while the western society represented by Europe has always been a commercial civilization, er, in fact, it is also called a pirate civilization.
So many people believe that the western society has always been ahead of China in terms of business endowment.
I have read many papers like “why China lags behind the West in modern times” and “why China has not moved towards a capitalist society”, but I always think it is similar rather than not. I also talk about my own ideas in response to some comments.
Part 1: first, have a clear concept of China’s leadership and to what extent;
China’s debut is the peak. This business really can’t go on!
Part 2: the size and characteristics of China and the west make China’s international trade impossible.
Capital densification and overcapacity.
Part 3: Why did the capitalists in ancient China not have the motivation to set sail? You can’t rob anything.
Part 4: the essence of Chinese civilization, why the Chinese nation is bound to revive;
First of all, we need to look at a basic premise, that is, is the Western business endowment ahead of China in ancient times?
Let me just say the answer. This sentence is nonsense, because China and the West have not been in the same dimension for a long time, and there is no comparability.
This article does not need to talk about the most basic logic on the basis of simple facts.
I want to give you a concept first. How far is China ahead of the world?
Starting from the Silk Road, which everyone is familiar with, for thousands of years, Chinese civilization led the world. At that time, only “made in China” represented luxury goods, which is the de facto unified global standard.
Not to mention that Chinese papermaking was introduced into the Arab world in the 8th century, and then spread to Europe through Arab countries. Finally, it fundamentally changed the pattern of global civilization, making reading and writing cheap and popular.
Let’s talk about ordinary consumer goods.
Silk, tea, ceramics and other Chinese products were the only luxury goods recognized by the whole western world before the 19th century. They were the most representative “made in China”.
Well, you don’t think these things are technical? Let’s just say that ceramics has been introduced into Europe from China for nearly 2000 years. For a long time, only noble and royal families in Europe can own Chinese porcelain. The price of porcelain has doubled dozens of times from China to Europe via the silk road.
In the 17th century, Louis XIV, the French Sun King, built a luxurious palace filled with blue and white porcelain from China. Augustus II, the craziest king of Saxony, once used 600 guards to exchange for 150 large dragon pattern porcelain vats. In the 18th century, the price of blue and white porcelain was about the same as that of silver of the same weight.
The question is, why don’t Europeans produce such a profitable product? Are they stupid if they have to import from China?
China can produce ceramics, and so can Europeans. But until the 19th century, the ceramics made by Europeans were garbage, and no one wanted them. It has been unclear about the key issues of fetal and enamel.
Ceramics is not so simple. It needs the support of a series of basic technologies. If Europe wants to make porcelain comparable to China, it is like using the smelting technology of the 13th century to make today’s warships.
First of all, in the process of firing porcelain, the temperature needs to be concentrated at 1200 ? ~ 1300 ?. The firing of porcelain requires not only ultra-high temperature, but also stable reduction air flow. In short, it is necessary to ensure the entry of a certain amount of oxygen air flow in the kiln. The Chinese invented the kiln after realizing this principle as early as the Qin and Han Dynasties, when Europeans were still eating earth.
In the dragon kiln site unearthed in Wucheng, Jiangxi Province, Shangyu, Zhejiang Province, the kiln chamber is long and has a certain slope, so as to ensure that the flame can change from rising flame to flat flame. On the one hand, such an extraction design can ensure the continuous entry of oxygen into the kiln, and on the other hand, it can accurately control the air flow.
The reason why the ancient West could not produce porcelain was that they did not have such smelting technology and could only burn glass, which needed only 600 to 700 degrees.
It was not until the 18th century that the Germans mastered this technology after more than 30000 experiments.
Kiln technology is only one of them. In ancient China, there was no supply chain in industrial technology in the western world.
Besides kiln firing, the raw materials of Chinese ceramics are carefully selected granite, which has been weathered for a long time. Silicate minerals and unique glazing techniques such as dipping, brushing, spraying and swinging glaze can only make Europeans stare.
Before the Qing Dynasty, whether it was steel casting and iron smelting, agriculture and textile, engineering and water conservancy, astronomy and mathematics, art and culture, or military technology, China had no suspense about greatly surpassing the western world.
Well, China’s technology has been leading the world for a long time, which is not my point. Many people think that European business has surpassed China in modern times. The reason for this misunderstanding is that:
China’s debut is the peak. This business can’t be done.
Quite simply, China continuously imported ceramics, tea, silk and technology to the western world through the Silk Road, but we have been unable to answer what the West could give China before the 19th century?
Except for some crop seeds, no one can answer them because there are trees!
There is no answer to this question.
For thousands of years, it can only bring to China corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, which have no technical content at all.
When the United States first became independent, it was completely blockaded by Britain. It could only do business with China. The porcelain and silk bought in China would be sold short when they returned home. President Washington would have to make a reservation first, otherwise it would be impossible to grab them. But what can the United States sell in China?
For decades, the United States has sold ginseng, leather, sweaters, pepper and cotton to China. Do you think anyone wants these things?
So it takes seven months or more for the United States to sell American goods in China, because it can’t be sold, but it only takes seven minutes to install Chinese goods and sell them back.
This is just like if China only does business with Ethiopia, how do you think this business should be done?
The western world can’t give China anything. How can we produce businessmen who travel in the west?
Moreover, Chinese goods are valued by the western world as treasures. We didn’t go out. Spaniards and Arabs came here to take them. However, we have no motivation to explore the world, because the West hasn’t produced our favorite consumer goods for thousands of years.
Made in China has a direct impact on the world. The Arabs have crushed Europe by selling Chinese products. The Italian city-state Republic, as a distributor made in China, became the most prosperous region in Europe in the middle ages because of its superior geographical environment
Moreover, there is another key problem. The population of Europe is too small. In addition, there is no technical content to produce. They have no money at all and their consumption capacity is too weak. If China wants to do international trade, it cannot expand its scale because the demand is too limited.
Well, let’s take this question to see why capitalism could not develop in China at the end of the Ming Dynasty but in Britain.
First of all, because of the huge differences in scale between China and the West.
This is very important, because to have capitalism, we first need to increase capital density.
In the 17th century, Britain had a population of 10million and the Ming Empire had a population of about 200million;
If Britain is a colony of Daming, it will have no impact on Daming because the market has only increased by 5%;
However, if the Ming Empire was a British colony, the British market would flourish because it had a market 20 times as big as its own;
In the early 19th century, Britain defeated Spain and the Netherlands respectively and began crazy overseas expansion. India, with a population of 160million, was the colony that made the greatest contribution to Britain. In addition to the global market, the problem faced by British capitalists was that the productivity could not keep up with the market demand. All factories did not have enough power to make textiles for global consumption.
Therefore, the UK has made efforts in two aspects:
The first is the crazy internal exploitation. The workers work more than 16 hours a day. At the same time, they are crazy about employing child workers. Many child workers are even exploited to death;
Second, the lack of productivity eventually led to the transformation of technology and the outbreak of the industrial revolution.
Of course, in addition, at this time, Britain could not open up the Chinese market, because the things they made were not popular in the Chinese market. Until the end, they chose to grow opium in India.
But for China, the environment is completely different.
Because the European market was too small, Spain went to South America to rob a huge amount of silver. Ships of silver came to China to buy things. China didn’t have much trouble. Half of the silver flowed into China.
The Ming Empire only needs to start up 20% of its production capacity to meet the needs of Europe.
The two make a big difference.
The capitalists opened a factory, made money, and found that there was still a market, so the capitalists put their profits back into the factory to expand production capacity, continued to make money, continued to invest, and finally the capital continued to increase, resulting in capitalism;
However, the capitalists have opened a factory and employed 10 people. The market needs 10 people to produce more goods. No matter how much, it is useless. It is called overcapacity.
Therefore, the profits of the factory will not be used for reinvestment in production. Instead, the capitalists can only use the money to buy land to speed up land acquisition to a certain extent, or hide the profits “silver” and bury them in the cellar. The capital can never be recycled.
Or to put it bluntly, if Europe really has the ability to consume, are Daming’s capitalists stupid? Do not know how to continue to expand reproduction, but bury the silver in the cellar?
The problem is that Europe has neither the consumption capacity nor the production capacity that is attractive to Daming.
The foundation of business or economic development lies in circulation. The development of domestic economy is an internal cycle, which requires more people to get employed and participate in the economic cycle.
The development of international trade requires both sides to create value, and international trade can be recycled.
Now, if Germany and Afghanistan are simply taken out, there will be no businessmen in Germany to do business in Afghanistan, or even if they want to find Afghanistan’s comparative advantages, they will have to look for half a day, unless Afghan people go to Germany for labor export.
But what if Germany itself is overpopulated? I still can’t help it.
So, did the West surpass China in its commercial capacity in ancient times?
Are there still few legends about ancient Chinese merchants? It’s just that there are no Anglo Saxons who rob while doing business and engage in pyramid selling under the banner of God.
Europeans are racking their brains to go to China to find Chinese made goods and sell them to make money. What can Chinese people bring to China when they go to Europe?
On the other hand, apart from the fact that the scale could not increase production continuously, why could capitalism not develop in the Ming Dynasty? Or why didn’t China form a powerful capitalist regime, whether it was the aristocratic Republic in the Jin Dynasty or the scholar bureaucrats in the Song Dynasty?
There are only three ways for any country to increase its capital and enter industrialization:
First, foreign robbery;
Second, it accumulates slowly in pairs;
Third, selling state sovereignty in exchange for capital accumulation;
But in the first item, China encountered a difficult problem. We don’t talk about morality and culture here. Even if Chinese capitalists are allowed to rob, they have nothing to rob and no motivation to rob. This is the root cause of China’s failure to form capitalism.
Europe has entered the middle ages since the collapse of the Roman Empire. At that time, Europe was a wild era. The Arab brothers next door had more money than they did by being made in China. They formed a brilliant Arab civilization. Of course, it is no longer possible now. Cang Tian knows etiquette. Now, it does not represent advanced civilization. On the contrary, many people think of terrorists first.
But in the middle ages, Pope Urban said: the Middle East is a land flowing with milk and honey. Wave after wave of European farmers were called to rob Yelv Salem, so nine Crusades were launched.
Similarly, Marco Polo described China as a paradise, full of gold and silver. Although it is doubtful whether Marco Polo had ever been to China, Europeans certainly believe that when they look at the Chinese made, magnificent silk and exquisite ceramics from all the way to China.
Therefore, Europe had nothing at all from the beginning, let alone made in China. Spices from Southeast Asia were valued as treasures. Of course, they had strong ambitions to rob. Only then did they have the original driving force for the development of navigation technology. Finally, gold and silver were discovered from South America and the secret of wealth was discovered from India.
Getting rid of the Arab traffickers and doing business directly with China is also a powerful driving force for European capitalists to constantly take risks to rob.
But even if Chinese nobles or capitalists are allowed to rob, the first question is: what are you going to rob??
From the very beginning, China lacked the original power to develop capitalism.
The European royal family is filled with Chinese porcelain, wearing Chinese silk and tasting Chinese tea. However, in the trade between China and the west, the United States gives China ginseng, leather, sweaters, pepper and cotton, not even Chinese capitalists.
What’s more, made in China is hard currency in the West and made in the west is dispensable in China. Therefore, for a long time, China has been “doing business” and there is no need to go so far to do business. Spanish and British people have come here with silver to buy, which has also led to China’s lack of determination to sail for hundreds of years.
Today, the United States will rob European enterprises, but will the United States rob Afghanistan? Was the war in Afghanistan waged for economic reasons?
In fact, the United States not only does not rob Afghanistan, but also allocates funds to Afghanistan for so-called construction assistance every year. Then the White House and the Pentagon share the money for construction assistance
OK, if we look at the problem from another angle now.
At the end of the Ming Dynasty, capitalism sprouted in China. If there were 600million people in Europe at that time, and a considerable number of people could afford to buy made in China, and had considerable cultural attainments, and there were a large number of British or German specialties that the Chinese people liked, could capitalism develop at the end of the Ming Dynasty?
However, it is a pity that these prerequisites are not available. Therefore, it is in vain to give capital at the end of the Ming Dynasty another 100 years.
On the other hand, the land outside the circle of Chinese civilization is too backward in the development of civilization. It is not at the same level with us at all. Moreover, the transportation is very inconvenient. It exceeds the limit of ancient transportation capacity and increases the difficulty of management. Therefore, Zhenghe’s voyages to the West can only spread Chinese culture.
What else can you do? You are Zhu Di. You won’t rob these places to help the poor, will you? In fact, it is true that many small barbarian countries hope to become vassals of the Chinese civilization circle. We really don’t see it.
All western countries started capitalism through “outsourcing”. Britain really couldn’t find what China wanted, and finally sent opium to China. The United States, too, accounted for 10%-15% of the opium trade, completed its own primitive accumulation of capital, and started the process of industrialization. However, before the Qing Dynasty, China really couldn’t afford to export, and really couldn’t afford to.
For example, if you earn 200000 yuan a month, you will soon become the president of the group. Will you rob the lollipops of primary school students?
The centralized and unified regime has unparalleled strong advantages, making the Chinese civilization at the top of the world for a long time.
But to say so today is not to be complacent or proud of past achievements.
After all, we have lost our edge since the 18th century.
Sometimes, we have to believe in the word “prospering the country through difficulties”, just as in the northern and Southern Dynasties, when the Southern Dynasties were relatively peaceful and the gentry enjoyed themselves. The Northern Dynasties were in the midst of war for a long time. As a result, the Northern Dynasties absorbed fresh blood and washed away the original gentry class in the continuous struggle and integration. Finally, the land equalization order was widely implemented, forming a strong driving force, and destroyed Chen with the momentum of destroying the dead, It opened a colorful peak era of Sui and Tang Dynasties.
However, the divided Europe, which has been eating on the land for a long time, has always been in a high-pressure state during the long war, resulting in continuous iteration in technology, and finally opened the industrial revolution, leading the world.
And China would not have thought that 300 years ago, the little shriveled sanmeilijian, who came to China with cotton and lead to beg his grandfather and grandmother to sell goods, finally poisoned the Chinese people by selling opium. From then on, he got out of control. Today, he is also a gold belt for killing people and setting fire. He said with a plausible voice: I robbed the money by my ability
However, some ethnic groups have never and will never rise. The 100million people of black millet were killed by Europe and they are still confused. When India was robbed by Britain, tens of millions of people starved to death and still regard Britain as their father.
China has been able to rise because the world is written in the blood of the Chinese nation. Although no one has ever been strong forever, it is necessary to stand upright when being beaten and admit mistakes. Silence is doomed to be short-lived.
In 1840, China had no time to feel sorry for itself, let alone remain complacent. From the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of the peasantry, to the resistance faction, to the reformist Westernization Movement, to the revolutionary revolution of 1911, China explored almost all the ways to save the country that the world could think of, and even to the innovation of the whole culture of the vernacular movement, and finally melted the rise of a great power with the blood of thousands of heroes, Once again, we are on the road to great rejuvenation.
The brave are angry and draw their swords at the stronger; The timid are angry and draw their swords at the weaker.
Why was China born great? China is neither India nor Japan. Japan can only be the villain of the Chinese cultural circle. After being bullied by the west, Japan turned around and robbed more backward Asia. However, China roared at the world’s strongest 16 nation Coalition for a century.
China is almost the only atheist country. It is a nation with unlimited desire for victory. It is a group of heroes who will never give in.
Of course, many people may not recognize it, saying that China also has the Jade Emperor and the supreme old prince? But have you ever seen a religion that dares to create a hero in its own popular novels and shout the Jade Emperor? What’s more, the traditional myth of that nation, such as China, has a rebellious spirit and is full of struggle against fate?
In American mythology, fire is given by God; In Greek mythology, fire was stolen by Prometheus; Only in the Chinese story, the fire is made by their perseverance and friction!
The sun, in the myths of all countries in the world, is an undisputed God and absolute authority. No one has ever dared to question the existence of the sun. Only in Chinese myths, there are Kuafu who dares to challenge the sun and still benefits future generations after death, and Houyi who dares to shoot down nine Taiyang.
Such a myth can only appear in China.
China is not the pirate civilization of Anglo Saxon. In 2012, China proposed a community of shared future for mankind, which can not be understood by the western world who lives by robbery. This is the vision and ambition that only China, a long-term global leader who has entered the era of civilization from mankind, can have.
China’s failure to move towards capitalism is the inevitable result of China’s long-term role as the peak of the world. This is China’s luck and can also be said to be China’s national destiny.
If there is national luck.
However, the national fortune has never fallen from the sky. It has always been gained through sacrifice and blood donation.
In addition to India, the Anglo Saxon pirates also made sacrifices in exchange for national fortune. Robbery also required costs. The Japanese also paid a heavy price in the war between Japan and Russia, which was not for nothing.
However, there has never been a nation that, in the face of the crushing advantage of the enemy’s strong ships and sharp guns, has always been a hero who can bravely lead the people to die rather than surrender, throw his head and blood on the enemy, and unswervingly defend the dignity of this country and democracy for more than a century.
In terms of sacrifice and sacrifice, no nation has ever paid such a heavy price and casualties. This time, their sacrifice and sacrifice have undoubtedly shaped China’s National Games in the next 1000 years!