Business and Polity explores, through a variety of economic and political formations over the past two and a half millennia, right from the Greco-Roman civilization to present day globalization, the behavior of two power networks: those who control the levers of political power and those who engage themselves in wealth-generating activities. It traces the dynamics of interdependence between these two powerful networks and what happens when one or the other becomes more powerful.
The rational and logical approach taken by the author reveals the links that our modern state of affairs has with the experience of past civilizations—knowledge that can potentially enhance our ability to make informed decisions to shape the global future. Though the content is academic and interdisciplinary in scope and nature, its lucid presentation will appeal to a wide range of readers who are interested in geopolitical issues and economic, political and business history.
Part IV: A Boiling Cauldron
[Page 224]Trade networks and connections in the Indian Ocean had developed for centuries through dialogue and accommodation, unlike those created by the Atlantic powers in the 16th and 17th centuries, which were based on the extensive use of force and violence as they expanded into the western coast of Africa, Spanish America, the Caribbean, the Atlantic Europe and the Indies. The Portuguese and the Spanish led the way, followed by the Dutch, the English and the French. Religion may have been the excuse, but gold was the common motive. Behind these expeditions was a unique combination of state and private initiatives, as the business of war mingled with business across the seas creating a relationship impossible to disentangle.
The acquisitive spirit ...