Of course human history is not a record of advances and nothing else There were

Of course human history is not a record of advances

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the struggle for survival. Of course, human history is not a record of advances and nothing else. There were periods in every part of the world when there were temporary setbacks and actual reduction of the capacity to produce basic necessities and other services for the population. But the overall tendency was towards increased production, and at given points of time the increase in the quantity of goods was associated with a change in the quality or character of society. This will be shown later with reference to Africa, but to indicate the universal application of the principle of quantitative/qualitative change an example will be drawn from China. Early man in China lived at the mercy of nature, and slowly discovered such basic things as the fact that fire can be man-made and that seeds of some grasses could be planted in the soil to meet food requirements. Those discoveries helped inhabitants of China to have simple farming commu- nities using stone tools and producing enough for bare subsistence. That was achieved several thousand years before the birth of Christ or the flight of the Prophet Mohammed. The goods produced at that stage were divided more or less equally among the members of society, who lived and worked in families. By the time of the T’ang dynasty of the seventh century A.D., China had expanded its economic capacity not only to grow more food but also to manufacture a wide variety of items such as silks, porcelain, ships, and scientific devices. This, of course, represented a quan- titative increase in the goods produced, and it was interPeìated with qualita- tive changes in Chinesesociety.By the later "date, there was a political state, where before there ẅëte-only self-governing units. Instead of every family and every individual performing the tasks of agriculturalists, house- builders, tailors, there had arisen specialization of function. Most of the population still tilled the land, but there were skilled artisans who made silk and porcelain, bureaucrats who administered the state, and Buddhist and Confucian religious philosophers who specialized in trying to explain those things that lay outside of immediate understanding. Specialization and division of labor led to more production as well as inequality in distribution. A small section of Chinese society came to take ã disproportionate share of the proceeds of human labor, and that was the section which did least to actually generate wealth by working in agricul- ture or industry. They could afford to do so because grave inequalities had
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6 HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA emerged in the ownership of the basic means of production, which was the land. Family land became smaller as far as most peasants were concerned, and a minority took over the greater portion of the land. Those changes in <5 land tenure were part and parcel of development in its broadest sense That j ia^whyrlevelopment cannot bé seen purely as an economic affair, but J rather as~ãn~õveran social process which is dependent upon the outcome of i
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