I keep coming back to that train of thought on geographical determinism that I first encountered in (I think) guns-germs-and-steel, that talked about how it was much easier to form a mega-state in the (relatively) flat, contiguous, and irrigable valley where China is, than in, say, the territory where Europe lies, where all would-be states and empires are broken up into little territories by virtue of the more mountainous terrain.1. Supported also by arguments in art-not-gov If, as Kohr claims, collectivist attitudes are a result of social size, it'd certainly explain some of the stereotypes of the East-West cultural divide we hold today—as well as the ongoing collectivisation processes we see worldwide.
The argument for scale => collectivism
Examination as the ceremony of objectification)
Confucianism & Gender in mass society (TK)
art-not-gov Scott, James C. 2009. The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. Yale University Press. ↩︎ 1
guns-germs-and-steel Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. ↩︎ 1