chapter  5
Towards a theory of social evolution: on state systems and ideological shells
ByJ. A. Hall
Pages 12

In this chapter I offer an account of the role of political and ideological factors in the rise of capitalism. The argument is based on a comparison between Rome and China, or, more specifically, between the ‘blocking’ of capitalism in Imperial China and its triumph in Europe after the fall of Rome. However, I believe that this case-study points to a more general theory of social evolution, and this accounts for my title.