The time has perhaps come when the mirror which anthropologists direct at other societies should be turned back by them on ourselves, when we should try to formulate our own institutions in comparative language, i.e. in a language modified by what we have learnt of different societies, however incomplete it still is. About the difficulty of the task there is no doubt. But this might well be the royal road for the advancement of sociological understanding.
It is not passing a value judgement on ancient philosophy, nor denying the part it played in the genesis of the individual in the West, to say that political philosophy, and that of the Greeks in particular, represents on the whole, between the two extremes I have been considering, an intermediary stage in so far as the yardstick it applies to society and state is not the individual but is derived from all-embracing ultimate values, as in the religious sphere. It might then be asked whether it is advisable to define the political sphere as narrowly as I have done. As this is the (dominant) modern conception of it, within which we live, and which the sociologist or anthropologist consciously or not carries with him, I think it is at any rate necessary to distinguish it, under one name or another, if confusion is to be avoided.
Sung Roots of Chinese Political Conservatism:
The Administrative Problems
James T. C. Liu
ment for the last millennium. Carrying forward the trends originating in late T'ang, it integrated both the traditional and the new ingredients into a distinctive way of life which gradually permeated the entire society down to the level of the average villager. The result was a broadly based, deeply rooted, stable, but conservative culture.1 Remarkable eco____________________