HISTORY 250 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Anarchism In Russia, Externals, Attai

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An Outline of a Theory of Civilization Chapter 2 Yukuchi Fukuzawa
Introduces 3 stages of development that are sequential
o Primitive stage (Africa, Australia): food/shelter are not stable, no tools, no book learning
(even if there is writing); brute strength is a dominating factor in society
o Semi-developed stage (China, Japan, Turkey): large-scale agriculture, book learning
exists but there are few who are actually learning, dearth of original production,
accepted rules governing society exists but they do not form their own rule
o Civilized (Europe, US): learning/innovation common, human welfare is constantly
increasing due to industrial/business ventures, more autonomous action without
dependence on others; intelligence becomes a dominating factor in society (rather than
physical prowess) and the means whereby civilization can progress
These terms are relative so civilization is an open-ended process in which present
“civilization” will be surpassed by a new modern civilization (“Europe can only be called the
highest level that human intelligence has been able to attain at this juncture in history”)
We must be selective in applying foreign civilization to a semi-developed country
o Only adopting the external forms of civilization (easy part) while neglecting its spirit
(hard part) will not yield civilization
o Externals of civilization (food, clothing, shelter, government laws) are tangible and can
be built through manpower or purchased with money
o The spirit of civilization “permeates the entire lifestream of a people” and has “no
visible form”; also known as the “spirit of the people” or the “trend of the times” or “a
nation’s ways” or “national opinion”
o A nation must first adopt its own spirit of civilization and only then adopt its external
o Some externals are more difficult to adopt then others such as roads/bridges before
government/law/parliament (although laws aren’t necessarily tangible, they are still
considered external)
Japan vs. China development
o Both developed largely under absolute autocratic rule but in China the emperor held the
most sacrosanct and the most powerful position whereas in Japan, political power lay in
the hands of the samurai (most sacrosanct and most powerful were separated)
o In China, the First Emperor of Qin burned all of the books destroying the sources of
diverse ideas (Confucius, Mencius)
o In Japan, the power dynamic between the sacrosanct emperor and the militarily-
endowed shogun allowed for a freedom of intelligence/reason among the public so it is
easier for Japan to adopt Western civilization than for China
National polity and civilization are compatible
o National polity is not something immutable/absolute it can unite/divide
(England/Scotland), expand/contract, or vanish entirely
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