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Old 07-10-2012, 11:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
Actually it goes back to ancient times, the Greeks of city-state and Romans of republican times contrasting themselves with the monarchical empires of the eastern Mediterranean and Mesopotamia (a theme later used by the political philosophers of western Europe and the Americas during the so-called enlightenment period), until of course they themselves became one.
But in ancient time this difference was not a big deal; the feudalism, peasant's uprisings, inquisition, Crusades - all this was still ahead of the West, while the "East" ( I use this word in a broader sense now) was experiencing its own ups and downs; the culture and science was flourishing in Abbasid Califat for example, or Novgorod's veche in Russia was more democratic form of government than anything you'd find in the West at that time.
So no, there I don't see yet any particular difference, until the "Age of Enlightenment," that was ( quoting Wikipedia) "a cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe and the United States, whose purpose was to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted science and intellectual interchange and opposed superstition,[1] intolerance and abuses by church and state."

This is where I already see the difference. This is where the West starts getting a cutting edge over the "East," when its upper class ( or at least part of it) starts siding with the most progressive ideas. And when the progressive ideas start from the top, it sure makes life much easier for the "bottom" in the long run.

Quote:
In any case in the modern sense, I relate it to the countries of early industrialization and their spawns, first and foremost France and the UK, also the Netherlands, US, and also Australia and NZ, a bit later also Germany, Italy, and in general those countries west of the iron curtain in the post WWII period (i.e. Europe's second industrial war), plus Japan as an "honorary" member.
"Early industrialization" is nothing to sneeze at, because this was yet another decisive advantage that the West received over the East, although I am not sure how it relates to a question "what westerners are." Is predisposition to math and science a predominant "western feature" comparably to the East?

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At any rate, with the globalization of industrialization and telecommunications the concept is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
What do you mean it's irrelevant?
Why then all the immigration goes to the "Western countries" and not to the "East?" Why the Western banking/ western economy defines the fate of global economy, why "Eastern" countries in many ways are trying to emulate the modern Western culture, and the last but not least, why Russia is still exploring the opportunity of driving the wedge between the Western counties, and going her own way in geopolitical game?
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:27 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Originally Posted by erasure View Post
What do you mean it's irrelevant?
Why then all the immigration goes to the "Western countries" and not to the "East?" Why the Western banking/ western economy defines the fate of global economy, why "Eastern" countries in many ways are trying to emulate the modern Western culture, and the last but not least, why Russia is still exploring the opportunity of driving the wedge between the Western counties, and going her own way in geopolitical game?
haha! Touche!
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Central America is largely developing.. they are considerably poorer than Spain, Portugal and Italy.
I understand that they are "developing," however the question is - why, if they are "culturally related" to the "West" ( i.e Spain or Italy,) they are still not considered "Western" as in case of the US or Australia?
Could it be that Spain and Italy to begin with have something in their cultures that is deeply *unwestern* and thus they blend somehow with "Eastern cultures" when given a chance, instead of shaping the culture of a new nation in a very distinct, "Western" way?
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:41 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Originally Posted by erasure View Post
I understand that they are "developing," however the question is - why, if they are "culturally related" to the "West" ( i.e Spain or Italy,) they are still not considered "Western" as in case of the US or Australia?
Could it be that Spain and Italy to begin with have something in their cultures that is deeply *unwestern* and thus they blend somehow with "Eastern cultures" when given a chance, instead of shaping the culture of a new nation in a very distinct, "Western" way?
You mean, Spain and Portugal? Corruption, possibly? The rule of law maybe was more poorly developed than in British and French society back when the Americas were settled and began developing? Just a guess.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post

So, erasure, you said you don't consider yourself a Westerner. So...what are you?
I am definitely a product of Russian upbringing, no matter what I am - that's for sure, and I definitely feel that I would never survive in British culture - I can tell you that much)))
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
I understand that they are "developing," however the question is - why, if they are "culturally related" to the "West" ( i.e Spain or Italy,) they are still not considered "Western" as in case of the US or Australia?
Could it be that Spain and Italy to begin with have something in their cultures that is deeply *unwestern* and thus they blend somehow with "Eastern cultures" when given a chance, instead of shaping the culture of a new nation in a very distinct, "Western" way?
The West is always used to describe the affluent and powerful nations such as the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and so on.

Despite cultural similarities, it would be totally perverse to label a country like Honduras or Nicaragua 'Western' simply because the people and their culture are similar.. Honduras and Spain are totally different in economics, politics, social structure etc.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:08 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Originally Posted by erasure View Post
I am definitely a product of Russian upbringing, no matter what I am - that's for sure, and I definitely feel that I would never survive in British culture - I can tell you that much)))
You're absolutely right. You probably wouldn't have survived any upbringing related to Anglo-Germanic culture. (The only way I survived was by being raised part-time by Russian relatives.) I've heard Russian emigres have a hard time in Germanic countries, including Holland. I don't know what they say about the US. It probably depends in part on which generation you talk to.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
The West is always used to describe the affluent and powerful nations such as the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and so on.
I am aware of that, however I am pointing at the fact that when Spain ( or Portugal) is "in charge" of creating a "new nation," in the "new world" the result is clearly different comparably to *Anglo-Saxon* countries in the new world.


Quote:
Despite cultural similarities, it would be totally perverse to label a country like Honduras or Nicaragua 'Western' simply because the people and their culture are similar.. Honduras and Spain are totally different in economics, politics, social structure etc.
Very well, how about Argentina? Brazil?
You see, the results are still different, when Anglo-Saxons are not in charge.
( Yet Spain, Portugal and Italy are still considered "Western powers.")
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:20 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post

( Yet Spain, Portugal and Italy are still considered "Western powers.")
They're sort of the West's bargain basements. Well, except for Venice, maybe.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
I am aware of that, however I am pointing at the fact that when Spain ( or Portugal) is "in charge" of creating a "new nation," in the "new world" the result is clearly different comparably to *Anglo-Saxon* countries in the new world.


Very well, how about Argentina? Brazil?
You see, the results are still different, when Anglo-Saxons are not in charge.
( Yet Spain, Portugal and Italy are still considered "Western powers.")
Again, economics, politics and social structures are still different. Argentina at a push maybe. But I wouldn't consider Brazil western, language aside, it's not really similar to Portugal.
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