been reading to read his stuff for some time, saw the movie and didn't think much of it, also really want to watch/read noble house, iirc it's the show that launched Pierce Brosnan
it's pretty interesting as the qing weren't chinese but foreign occupiers who were universally despised by the population they governed, after they first took power, they went out and either conquered or vassalized every single neighbor - this led to an era called the great Qing Peace
anyway, with literally no threats from neighbors the qing began growing more concerned with internal rebellion than outside invasion - they took power as a a warrior elite allied with other warrior elite mongols - however, after a few generations of wealth, these mongols and manchus became less interested in life in the saddle which meant they'd have to rely more upon ethnic chinese to carry to military load
but... they were terrified of arming people who hated them, so again, looking around and not seeing any external threats, they turned themselves from a modern military force using bleeding edge weaponry to literally going back in time and arming their local forces with pikes and crossbows like centuries prior, the existing weapons were not upgraded and allowed to dilapidate, furthermore, simply just wanting a police force rather than one that could march on beijing, they had no incentive to combat nepotism and corruption within the ranks so commanders would often not even bother showing up for work and their soldiers would then not train or have any sort of cohesion or discipline, it essentially became more like dmv government job, you just show up, eat your lunch, collect your paycheck and not really care nor do anything meaningful
while these forces were pathetic, they were able to do their jobs for the most part. there were a handful of rebellions that these men had difficulty putting down that likely grew and expanded far beyond what they'd have done if they faced a regular army, but those rebelling farmers themselves didn't have modern weapons nor advanced training either - most importantly, while putting down those rebellions would prove difficult, none of the rebel armies were capable of defeating the small but elite and modern armed manhcu/mongol army that guarded beijing
late qing would happily allow millions to die in rebellions so long as the dynasty itself was secure - this would be their overarching theme and they grew to fear any change whatsoever because it would bring in unknown factors that could break the dynasty - so businessmen who built railroad lines would have them seized, officials who suggested mordernizing got demoted or even executed, in short, pushing forward any sort of change was not only very risky to your career but your life as well
this fear of change extended to foreigners as well, while earlier dynasties like Tang and Yuan were cosmopolitan capitals with dozens of languages spoken in the capitals and people from all over the world, Qing strictly forbid foreigners from entering and those who did trading had to do so at designated locations and times and through appointed middle men - for example, while the Portugese lived on Macau, iirc they could only go to the mainland once or twice per year to trade and even then they were still not allowed to mingle but had to dock on an island in the middle of a river
all this happened during heavy conflict in europe (again look at the chart on page 6) that coincided with rapid technological development so europeans were progressing rapidly via competition as china stagnated - with the increase in dutch and portugese trading in east to cut out the ottoman middlemen, they couldn't help but notice how much better their ships were, how much more accurate and long range their cannons, etc. there are literal letters that still exist today in various archives written by merchants pointing out with absolute shock that they sailed past a chinese coastal fort and saw that the cannons had rusted into place or that they observed military drills where the officers refused to leave the shade of their umbrellas and thus gave no instruction as the soldiers just did whatever they pleased etc
in the end, the qing may have been justified in their actions as they finally created a modern army comprised of Han Chinese after the opium wars and taiping rebellion and that army promptly told the Manchus that they were going to take over from there and they had the options to die or abdicate - a warlike society that conquered a population a thousand times larger than itself ended up abdicating without a fight because they'd gotten so fat and rich they no longer had it in them to fight
while manchu is still recognized as an official ethnic group today, they went from easily the wealthiest ethnic group in the world to now living in abject poverty and their language and culture are now officially extinct, they suffered tremendously at both russian invasion of their homeland and han vigilante retaliation after their dynasty fell where they had to shed everything and "become Chinese" in order to blend in and survive
rickroll, you would really enjoy Clavel's Tai-Pan and Noble House........ they are long and of course silly in parts but very informative... ultimately the are awesome books, Tai-Pan especially
and there are 1 or 2 books in-between....... i can't remember exactly how many... ok, i looked it up. only 1 book in-between. Gai-Jin, about Japan. but the same hk family is key to the story.......... sho-gun was way before these books.......... in all cases, i am talking chronology of the books contents, not the publishing dates.\
clavel's books get me very interested in literary tourism........ i spent so long trying to locate "the knoll" that played a huge role in Tai-Pan. it doesn't seem to go by that moniker in the real world.
ty for the recs again, been meaning to read them, first need to finish a few academic papers on soccer & golf modeling as well as finish Mason's new book (which I'm quite enjoying thus far)
no problem. thx for your comments.
i am very interested in golf and soccer modelling.
i have looked at brodie's work (broadie?). seems like pros are much better at everything than me....... on a relative basis though, i would rather have TW hit shots from somewhere off the green for than doing my putting
soccer modelling fascinates me...... for such a massive bettor market and culture, i don't see that much out there on soccer.......
soccer seems good in that there is huge variance in team's ability, team's strategy, team's motivation and home/road..... especially interested in ties being underbet often.
sorry, big derail
as per china and other places that didn't progress at times for many years, i wonder if you have politicians (dictators?) who put their own needs above those of their countrymen. you'd think keeping millions of people happy would fulfill your own greedy needs better, but it seems like if you have the military suppress its own population you can take all the country's wealth
i read papers on countries with economic miracles. it seems like it's 1) lack of significant corruption, 2) education being prioritized. often there is no #3.
China has a rich history. I think that every civilization has its own stages of development. On the example of the last years of China's development, one can only observe the expansion of this state on the world stage. Now Western civilization is just trying to restrain the development of China and its impact on the world.
One of the more convincing theses I have heard on this topic is that European civilization became dominant because Europe has always been politically divided. Having multiple powers competing against one another promoted growth and innovation. In contrast, although China had historically been more advanced, the lack of such divisions and competition led to complacency and stagnation.
The colonization of the Americas, Africa and eventually Australia resulted directly from such division and competition. During the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, the wealthiest and most prosperous area of the world was indeed in East Asia. Trade with this part of the world was desired throughout all the budding and growing European nations. This trade was primarily land-based and dominated by the Italian city-states, especially Venice. Eventually long range ocean going ships were developed for the very purpose of attempting to bypass this overland trade and allow direct trade without going through Venice. The Portuguese were among the earliest to do so, exploring the western coast of Africa and eventually rounding the cape. Then an Italian named Columbus had the idea to sail westward to Asia. He was rightly met with skepticism by most leaders (rightly because the notion that people thought the earth was flat at that time is BA. Leaders were skeptical because the earth was believed to be too large to allow such an expedition to succeed). The monarchs of the newly liberated Spain were desperate enough to catch up with their Portuguese rivals and willing to take a risk, thereby leading directly to the colonization of the Americas.
Had Europe been ruled by a single government like China, it is likely that the overland trade would have been sufficient and this exploration would have been delayed until another power arose to challenge the overland trade.