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Abstract:

Japanese Studies Programme Paper
The Role of Japan in the International Economy: A Private View
Michio Morishima
January 1986
Paper No' JS/1986/129:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: international economy; japan; karl marx; max weber; asiatic mode of production; western feudalism; confucian states; capitalist nations; world economic stage.

In earlier times economists used to view the world in terms of dual economic models. For Marx the Asiatic mode of production(1) was the concept which was the counterpart of the Western feudalism from which the capitalist regime and bourgeois society emerged: Weber regarded the Confucian prebendary state as the pair of the Protestant civic society.(2) At the time, however, the various countries conforming to the Asiatic mode of production and the Confucian states played no more than a marginal role on the world economic stage and, though they might have been objects for exploitation by the capitalist nations of the west, they could not be equal competitors. For this reason the mechanism possessed by these obverse models (ideal types) was never subjected to in-depth analysis. (1) Marx's view of the Asiatic mode of production appears in various places throughout his many publications. See, for example, 'Capital', vol.III (Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1966) p.791. V Melotti, 'Marx and the Third World', (Macmillan, 1977) is a convenient synthesis of these writings for those wishing to know more about the manner in which Marx perceived Asia. (2) M Weber, 'Konfuzianismus und Taoismus', in 'Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie', vol.1, (J.C.B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], Tübingen, 1920).