Re: chinese anarchism after 1949

From Jonathan Lassen <>
Date Mon, 21 Nov 2005 03:53:10 +0800
Cc Matt Hale <>,Zhong Guo <>,,, Chuck Morse <>
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> I have a question too:  I'm writing a paper refuting the Eurocentrism
> and Orientalism of Karl Wittfogel's theory of hydraulic
> civilizations.  I think this is a hegemonic concept that has found
> consensus among Chinese, who say that Mao was another tyrant in a
> long line of despotic and authoritarian dictators.  I'd like to use
> the work of Chinese geographers to refute Wittfogel but I'm
> unfamiliar with that field in China.  Can someone recommend Chinese
> geographers, particularly of the radical or critical geography vein?
> Thanks, much appreciated.

Don't know of any geographers in China who write on Wittfogel. My
impression is that you'd find more people writing in the discipline of
history. That's where all the references to Wittfogel came up on a
CNKI search (for 魏特夫).

Here's a critique by an historian (the article is from 95, there are
few articles indexed after that with 魏特夫 in the title) :
and a more recent comparison with Marx:

If you haven't already, you might also want to look at Timothy Brook's
(I think related) book on the Asiatic Mode of Production, which has a
number of articles translated from the Chinese. Rebecca Karl at NYU
also knows lots and lots on the topic.

I'm not so sure of the importance of Wittfogel for Chinese liberal
intellectuals who are critical of Mao. Arendt and Hayek seem much more