Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tea, Trade, Tariffs, Taxes, and War

Franklin Hiram King, in 1911 tome, Farmers of Forty Centuries: Organic Farming in China, Korea, and Japan (originally titled Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan) calls for "the maintenance of an international code of rigid ethics which shall secure to all concerned a square deal and a fair division of the profits" and at the same time notes that "the erection of impassable tariff barriers is a declaration of war and cannot make for world peace and world progress." The full passage:
    If tea drinking in the family is to remain general in most portions of the world, and especially if it shall increase in proportion to population, there is great industrial and commercial promise for China, Korea and Japan in their tea industry if they will develop tea culture still further over the extensive and still unused flanks of the hill lands; improve their cultural methods; their manufacture; and develop their export trade. They have the best of climatic and soil conditions and people sufficiently capable of enormously expanding the industry. Both improvement and expansion of methods along all essential lines, are needed, enabling them to put upon the market pure teas of thoroughly uniform grades of guaranteed quality, and with these the maintenance of an international code of rigid ethics which shall secure to all concerned a square deal and a fair division of the profits.

    The production of rice, silk and tea are three industries which these nations are preeminently circumstanced and qualified to economically develop and maintain. Other nations may better specialize along other lines which fitness determines, and the time is coming when maximum production at minimum cost as the result of clean robust living that in every way is worth while, will determine lines of social progress and of international relations. With the vital awakening to the possibility of and necessity for world peace, it must be recognized that this can be nothing less than universal, industrial, commercial, intellectual and religious, in addition to making impossible forever the bloody carnage that has ravaged the world through all the centuries.

    With the extension of rapid transportation and more rapid communication throughout the world, we are fast entering the state of social development which will treat the whole world as a mutually helpful, harmonious industrial unit. It must be recognized that in certain regions, because of peculiar fitness of soil, climate and people, needful products can be produced there better and enough more cheaply than elsewhere to pay the cost of transportation. If China, Korea and Japan, with parts of India, can and will produce the best and cheapest silks, teas or rice, it must be for the greatest good to seek a mutually helpful exchange, and the erection of impassable tariff barriers is a declaration of war and cannot make for world peace and world progress.
"The burdens of society," he reminds us on the last page of his tome, "... have been and still are so largely burdens of war and of government..."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Tracy Fennell said...

Thanks so much for the posts on this book.

1:03 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

'Twas a great read. Having some land, you might like some of the practical tips, which I didn't post and might be summed up with "compost" and "night soil."

2:15 AM  

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