This concluding chapter synthesizes the various stories from the Chinese and Indian tea war into a handful of observations about history and historiography. First, this book has given substance to a reconceptualization of capitalism's history more flexible and globally oriented than past approaches. Second, this view from two marginal sites in rural Asia also illuminates new conclusions about the rise of the modern economy. In particular, there is evidence to support the hypothesis that putatively backwards and marginal social formations were at times more predisposed to industrial production than their metropolitan counterparts were. Third, beyond challenging the Orientalist categories of economic backwardness and tradition, this book has sought to account for their emergence through a critical history of political-economic thought. Finally, this book can only speculatively gesture in the direction of another major question, namely, the historical relationship between transnational competition and national ideology.
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