Elvin, money and technological change

Saw this title “More empires have fallen because of reckless finances than invasion” just after reading DeLong’s links to Mark Elvin on the bewildering end to China’s 12th century technological advance.  And assumed they were related.  Not.

It’s always been my opinion that technological advance is closely tied to paper monetary systems.  And that when a paper monetary system collapses, so does the capacity of the economy to support the kind of growth that makes technological advance possible.  So I’m guessing it was the collapse of China’s monetary system (in the 14th century) that put an end to technological advance.

Is there a lesson in here somewhere?

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