“Marx had echoed Hegel in seeing China as “without movement”, and as having a “capacity for resistance” to all social change. Marx conceived of four main stages in the economic formation of society, each linked to the nature of the control over the means of production: these were “progressively” (that is, sequentially) the Asiatic, the Ancient, the Feudal, and the Modern Bourgeois. But though the last three were analytically linked, the Asiatic was isolated and had no specific role in the scheme of development. “From immemorial times”, Marx wrote, the Asiatic governments such as China’s functioned at only three levels: “plunder of the interior” (finance); “plunder of the exterior” (war); and the sphere of public works, designed to control water use and distribution through irrigation. In the West, private industry seeking equitable water use led to “voluntary association”. But in the Asiatic societies, the control by the state was so strong that private industry did not emerge and foster such associations; instead, their place was taken by isolated and dispersed village communities. As part of his inquiry, Marx analysed the Taiping Rebellion carefully, but estimated that British capitalism would have a greater revolutionary effect on China’s overall development than would domestic rebels, for the British would end by splitting apart agriculture and industry there, and forcing new patterns to emerge (10)” [Jonathan D. Spence, The Chan’s Great Continent. China in Western Minds, 1998] [(10) G.L. Ulmen, The Science of Society; Toward an Understanding of the Life and Work of Karl August Wittfogel’, The Hague, 1978, on Marx see p. 44, 66-68]