Re[2]: A New Question (decentralization)

Thu, 6 Jul 1995 10:41:56 CDT

According to Marvin Harris, in *Cannibals and Kings* and following Karl
Wittfogel and--indirectly--Richard Wilkinson, European states perhaps
never were strong enough to plunder budding capitalist enterprises; this
was due in part, they suggest, to their rainfall- rather than
irrigation-agricultural basis, which entailed that governments could not
control people's water supply. So, the explanation goes, capitalism
flourished in Eruope rather than in the ancient hydraulic empires.
Another context in which capitalism did get off the ground, though, was
in earlier trade-based societies, including preSocratic Greece, Minoa,
Genoa, and Venice--all blessed with excellent locations for trading
purposes. --Bob Graber