John Stuart Mill and China: Peeking behind China’s Stationary State

Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University Working Paper Series, No. 2019-21, 2019

37 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2019

See all articles by Yue Xiao

Yue Xiao

Zhongnan University of Economics and Law; University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 18, 2019

Abstract

Current literature on John Stuart Mill’s writings about Asia has mainly focused on his influence in India because of Mill’s 35-year career in the East India Company. Scholars in both China and the West have not paid attention to Mill’s views on China. This paper delves into Mill’s notion of China’s stationary state and categorizes Mill’s discussion of China into three major topics: (1) capital accumulation, (2) liberty and individuality, and (3) democratic government. Mill made an empirical analysis of the relationship between China’s high interest rate and the desire for capital accumulation. He went on to explore the negative connection between China’s “despotism of custom” and individual liberty. Finally, he considered the autocratic government and the lack of civil rights. Mill traced China’s stationary state from the time preferences of people to broad institutional failures.

Keywords: John Stuart Mill, China, Stationary State

JEL Classification: B1, B3

Suggested Citation

Xiao, Yue, John Stuart Mill and China: Peeking behind China’s Stationary State (November 18, 2019). Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University Working Paper Series, No. 2019-21, 2019 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3489284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3489284

Yue Xiao (Contact Author)

Zhongnan University of Economics and Law ( email )

No.143, Wuluo Road
Wuhan, Hubei 430073
China

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

725 University Hall (UH)
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
9
Abstract Views
101
PlumX Metrics