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Old 08-10-2019, 06:01 AM
 
1,174 posts, read 220,316 times
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China is behind hundreds of inventions that Europeans took great advantage of..
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:26 AM
 
Location: San Angelo, TX
1,788 posts, read 3,007,272 times
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Yes, but China has not invented anything of note in the modern world, say over the last 150 years. And, out of her 1.35 billion population, a billion Chinese still live in total economic degradation.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:20 PM
 
143 posts, read 95,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
500 years ago is the start, I would argue, of the European rise. Whereas the Victorian period was its apogee. My question for you is this, does the Great Divergence become easier or harder to explain by moving it forward into the future? Your own printing press explanation is closer to the 1500 year mark, and both your and my explanations involve some time of "gestation" before a flowering.

Modernity began in northwestern and central Europe, and radiated out from there. I don't think "whiteness" is simply a construct, since it maps pretty cleanly on to "Christendom", or in other words a shared culture. I'm not saying Christianity had anything to do with modernity, but that modernity flowed along cultural channels established by the shared European culture. The fact that modernity hit a geographical limit when it bumped up against Islamic civilization indicates to me that "whiteness" is not meaningless.
Point 1 - I agree about 1500 being a sort of watershed moment in world history and a reasonable estimate for the start of European advancement. However , you said " Europeans have been dominant over the last 500 years instead of they started to become dominant 500 years ago" and that is what I am pointing out . You seem to agree with me on this one.

Point 2 - Agree that what we call " Modern life " now began in North-western Europe .

Point 3 - Of course " Whiteness " is a construct . How can you even argue otherwise ? Identity is not biological , it is cultural . Modernity hit a limit with Islamic civilization as you correctly observed because , well , it is the Islamic civilization. It has nothing to do with the " Phenotype " of the people populating it's lands . An example is the American south . Would you call pre civil war American south " Modern " ? Was it not Christian ? Was the majority population not Northern European ? over 600 thousand men died to bring this land to modernity and link it with industrialization .
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Toronto
1,666 posts, read 2,844,059 times
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Originally Posted by Danbo1957 View Post
Iron, ballistics, and guns.
Or as another famous book posits: guns, germs, and steel. A worthwhile read, IMO.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:40 PM
 
1,791 posts, read 610,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dude5568 View Post
Point 1 - I agree about 1500 being a sort of watershed moment in world history and a reasonable estimate for the start of European advancement. However , you said " Europeans have been dominant over the last 500 years instead of they started to become dominant 500 years ago" and that is what I am pointing out . You seem to agree with me on this one.

Point 2 - Agree that what we call " Modern life " now began in North-western Europe .

Point 3 - Of course " Whiteness " is a construct . How can you even argue otherwise ? Identity is not biological , it is cultural . Modernity hit a limit with Islamic civilization as you correctly observed because , well , it is the Islamic civilization. It has nothing to do with the " Phenotype " of the people populating it's lands . An example is the American south . Would you call pre civil war American south " Modern " ? Was it not Christian ? Was the majority population not Northern European ? over 600 thousand men died to bring this land to modernity and link it with industrialization .
Whiteness uses skin color as a signifier, but white-skinned East Asians are not considered white. Whiteness is a term that describes European civilization that has spread to the Americas and Oceania. Since this civilization spans continents, it is confusing to refer to it as "European" at this point. And since it is no longer Christian, the term "Christendom" is also useless. Now people refer to "Western Civilization" to mean the same thing, both to deracinate the concept and to historically distinguish the West from the old Eastern Bloc. You brought up the term "whiteness", so I addressed it. But I personally prefer to use the term Western Civilization (expanded to include eastern Europe at this point).

In fact I explicitly defined "whiteness" in cultural rather than biological terms, so I don't know why you said identity is cultural not biological.

Your tautological dismissal of Islamic civilization sheds no more light on the subject, doesn't address my point, and betrays a certain orientalism.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:54 PM
 
11,466 posts, read 7,415,562 times
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White nationalists and nazis like to take pride in things they had nothing to do with because they live miserable, pointless lives.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:56 PM
 
1,791 posts, read 610,276 times
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Originally Posted by Winter_Sucks View Post
White nationalists and nazis like take pride in things they had nothing to do with because they live miserable, pointless lives.
It's August dude. Cheer up!
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:07 PM
Status: "NEVER try to ride the angriest bull in the pen." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,132 posts, read 2,156,411 times
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Why did Europe become the most advanced around 1500 or so? In essence, two reasons: geographic and cultural.

TL;DR: Europe had a lot of geographic advantages, the cultural part is an accident of history.

Hint: if you've already read Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, this is old hat for you.

Geographic- Eurasia as a whole, from Atlantic to Pacific, is a huge land mass that also has an east-west orientation. That makes for large areas with very roughly average similar temperature despite obvious differences in rainfall from point to point. That, in turn, makes it easier to move crops and animals from place to place.

Thus you can raise cattle, horses, pigs, and many crops in one long continuous strip from Ireland to Japan, or if further south, from Portugal to at least India. That allows for a larger diversity of lifestock and crops than other areas of the world, including better odds of having animals fit for a large diversity of roles and tasks whose adult weight is over 100 lbs (45.5 kg). No such other animals were present anywhere else in the world except South America's llama, which while good pack animals cannot be used fore the same tasks as horses. That alone put the rest of the world at a severe disadvantage relative to Eurasia.

Also, while travel from NW Europe to China was long and difficult, there were many other civilizations along that route: India, Persia, the Arab World, the Mediterranean world. Roman ships traveled to India frequently (lots of Roman coins found in southern India).

Climate: Tropical climates have rains that leech soils of nutrients, while Mediterranean and desert river valley climates often require irrigation, which deposits salt in the soil. NW Europe got spared from that by having even distribution of rainfall througout the year. Also, all Europe save the Eastern Slavic lands have easy access to the sea, which greatly helps bring about trade in goods and exchange of ideas. That also put Europe at a long-term advantage: more motivation to build better ships, plus easy ability to grow a wide variety of crops (save the explicitly tropical).

Geology: As discussed, Europe is exceptionally well-suited for encouraging shipping. On top of that, Europe didn't suffer from the "false blessing" of easy wealth via an abundance of precious metals. Instead, it was forced to rely on producing actual goods (foods and practical minerals) in order to maintain itself, preventing the curse of easy wealth that so tempts people go for the "quick bucks" instead of doing actually sustainable development.

Culture Simple accident of history. For some reason, Europe simply developed the notion that the present world did matter, and built on older philosophies that stated as such (whether from Greece, the Middle East, and such). The Renaissance is also one of the accidents of history. Still, China did come *this* close to discovering the all-sea route around Africa before the Europeans (at least), if not outright discover the Americas before Europe did.

In short, NW Europe lucked up by having the right portfolio of traits that enabled it to have the culture that it did. It could just as easily have been China, but after Cheng He's voyages to what's now Tanzania, their Emperor ordered the ships and journey logs destroyed. Like I said, accident of history.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:07 PM
 
10,152 posts, read 6,950,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
"White supremacy" only exists as a concept because the last 500 years of history have been dominated by Europeans. How did that come about?

There is the geography theory, as espoused by Guns, Germs, and Steel. The northern European plain is the nearest large agricultural region to the cradle of civilization, so the theory goes it was bound to become dominant. I generally don't buy this, because China and India were actually more prosperous until about 1500, so why did the geography hand dealt take so long to be played?

There are genetic theories, mostly garbage since genetic diversity within the Homo sapiens out-of-Africa group is small compared to hominid diversity, and yet only one part of this group became Europeans. Also a genetic advantage would have again not waited until 1500 to take hold.

More plausibly, the development of the scientific method is easily shown to be an antecedent of most of Europe's modern advantages, and the scientific method was developed around 1500. That raises the further question of why Europe developed the scientific method, which Christian and classical apologists have played with for quite some time. I think the classicists have more to work with, which raises the question why the ancient Greeks were so advanced. This is a bit of a rabbit hole.

Most compelling to me is the European discovery of the new world. It happened around 1500 as well, and produced fabulous riches for Europeans, as well as acting as a population pressure release valve. I don't think any other civilization has had such a stroke of good fortune befall them as a discovery which triples the amount of land available to you. As to why Europeans were pressed to explore and others weren't, we know the reason is the exorbitant cost of the spice trade as exacted by middle Eastern and Mediterranean middlemen. And the Chinese voyages of exploration were abandoned for petty reasons with world-historical implications.

I think you are missing the boat here by focusing on advancement and the like. Let me ask you a philosophical question, first. Who is superior.....a sprinter or marathon runner? A smart person would say that it depends on where the finish line is. Where is the finish line for humanity? Being "ahead" or more advanced at a point in time does not mean that at a later point on time or previous point in time you will not be behind. Regardless of the race of Egyptians....where were Europeans and how were they living when pyramids and technology and engineering was flourishing in Egypt? Why are not the Egyptians dominating today?



Secondly, for biological entities....the only measure of success is propagation and continuation of the blood line. The most successful races, biologically, are the races whose populations are growing the fastest. That's it. It's a numbers game for species. The race that is growing the fastest is the superior race biologically, at that moment in time. The race that is living a sustainable existence and pace, in harmony with nature, would probably last longer than a race that is "sprinting" by exhausting resources and creating instruments of mass destruction....which balances out and offsets all the great technological constructions they may achieve as the power that they invent for good will eventually be turned against themselves.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:11 PM
 
12,663 posts, read 3,960,291 times
Reputation: 3832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
Whiteness uses skin color as a signifier, but white-skinned East Asians are not considered white. Whiteness is a term that describes European civilization that has spread to the Americas and Oceania. Since this civilization spans continents, it is confusing to refer to it as "European" at this point. And since it is no longer Christian, the term "Christendom" is also useless. Now people refer to "Western Civilization" to mean the same thing, both to deracinate the concept and to historically distinguish the West from the old Eastern Bloc. You brought up the term "whiteness", so I addressed it. But I personally prefer to use the term Western Civilization (expanded to include eastern Europe at this point).

In fact I explicitly defined "whiteness" in cultural rather than biological terms, so I don't know why you said identity is cultural not biological.

Your tautological dismissal of Islamic civilization sheds no more light on the subject, doesn't address my point, and betrays a certain orientalism.
I don't agree white, European or "whiteness" is cultural and not genetic. Their genetic pool influences their psychometric traits which strongly influences the cultures they create. It's not really confusing that white Americans are Europeans. Even after centuries in America they can match their DNA most closely to natives in specific regions of Europe. I don't agree that the West, among whites, is no longer Christian especially America. It's still the most dominate religion and majority of whites still ascribe to it and at least derive many of their values from it.

I don't mean to create an argument. I just don't think the starting premises are right.
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