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.
Chapter 7: Business on Leash: Japan
Business on Leash: Japan
The isolation of the Japanese islands gave the country an unusually unified and self-contained history. Protected from the play of competing civilisations or disruptions caused by foreign invasions, the Japanese people have lived a relatively undisturbed existence. Yet Japan went through some fundamental changes that transformed it from the primitive tribal society that it was before the 6th century ad into a nation of aristocratic bureaucrats from the 7th to 12th centuries, and then into a nation of contending feudal powers, and finally to the nation state of today.1 There is a slow organic quality that has distinguished Japan's political and social evolution, partly as a result of long periods of isolation (Hall, 1971: 3–4).
In the beginning, it ...