Saturday, March 23, 2013



Emperor Ch'ien Lung, letter to King George III (1793), in E. Backhouse and J.O.P. Bland, Annals and Memoirs of the Court of Peking (from the 16th to the 20th Century) (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1914), p. 325:
As your Ambassador can see for himself, we possess all things. I set no value on objects strange or ingenious, and have no use for your country's manufactures.
Id., p. 326:
[O]ur Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks no product within its own borders. There was therefore no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians in exchange for our own produce.
Aristotle, Politics 1.2 (tr. Benjamin Jowett):
When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life. And therefore, if the earlier forms of society are natural, so is the state, for it is the end of them, and the nature of a thing is its end. For what each thing is when fully developed, we call its nature, whether we are speaking of a man, a horse, or a family. Besides, the final cause and end of a thing is the best, and to be self-sufficing is the end and the best.

James Gillray (1756–1815),
The Reception of the Diplomatique
& his Suite at the Court of Pekin

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