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 I: The Making and Unmaking of Empires: Domination of Political Power
[Page 2]In the empires of antiquity of the first millennium bc with which our story begins, political regimes were constantly preoccupied with war and organising resources for its conduct and prosecution. Rulers wanted power, and power came from territorial acquisition, so their primary objective was to concentrate fighting power and build a strong war-making apparatus. Empire building thus hinged on the logistics of resource management, and the resources— whether men or materials—were drawn occasionally from military booty but mostly from the wealth-generating activities within the empire. The surplus available from land and other activities fed the requirement of not only the military aspect but also the ...