jhelb wrote:GarryB wrote:Makes me doubt the history I have been taught all my life about the west from western sources...
Churchill stated that history would look favourably on him and his actions because he intended to write it...
What a self centred dirt bag he was.
No reason to doubt. Europe become the major technological, expansive power in the world even when other cultures were much more advanced primarily because of
(1) Ethical Monotheism, which set up basis for intra-human interaction, common value basis, set of rules and created trust within society, and led into abolition of slavery. It also laid basis on philosophy and judicial system and rule of law instead of despot’s whim
(2) Capitalism, which was result of abolition and prohibition of slavery, ethical system creating trust, and scientific Weltanschaung
(3) Roman jurisprudence, which set the basis for judicial system, constitution of the society and rule of law instead of despot’s whim.
Incidentally, these are the three most crucial leverage points on Donella Meadows’s Twelve Leverage Points’ theorem
So why did other civilizations failed ?
Islamic civilization - Islamic countries never got rid of slavery. They had all the ingredients on the rise, but they did not realize how destructive thing slavery is.
China - The Chinese never separated philosophy from mysticism. They were excellent engineers, but they failed to make the connection between philosophy and mathematics, and that of mathematics, science and engineering. (Though this is fast changing now)
India - The Indian statehood was one of horrible division - that of castes. It basically paralyzed any evolution. As there was no way to improve your part in this world, why bother to try anything? Such lethargy led into a horrible divided society of filthy rich and dirt poor
You can not say democracy experience absence of despotic whim as is not correct because in every society there is someone who makes decisions and some who does not and that despotic whim is the decision bearer as for instance in the western democracies where economy has superior position to society where society is regulated by economy rules based system (homoeconomicus) principles of economy established and changed as per their own will makes the despotic whim where some suffer and some thrive.
You can as per your belief negatively refer to mysticism still you are judging something you know nothing about because how could you explain difference between belief in some mystic form from any other belief like for instance belief that capitalism can sustain itself forever? Nor can the confirmation of one domain say anything about any other as for instance domain of science in part that is verifiable say anything about the mysticism (or negate it)where from for instance China people can draw inspiration, will-power and endure to make great things including science as by mysticism defines everything that is unknown and not just mumbo jumbo
But most important of the reason which I value ineffective such reasoning that are mentioned in your post is because they can be referred only to some fixed position in time and than in reference with the others of that new time from which the accuser is than viewed. The essence of the problem is that while it correctly underlies the reasons of the fixed moment in time says nothing about the reasons about why it happened and by my opinion there lies the point in case. For instance while viewing from a fixed in time position reasons why one state failed and from another fixed position why some other state failed soon you will have all the reasons you can think of on your plate still those same reasons are root cause why those states also succeeded in some point of time as all of the mentioned ones where the great ones and than when you gather all reasons in the same basked you have nothing to work with. So I would rather dismiss them all as the principle you work with is wrong as the west now proclaims its end still having evaded all the "traps" of the past while taunting all the "right" values still we see it rise and demise at the time others are still plagued by "traps" of the past in one form or the other mentioned in the article. There is still no ultimate truth. There is no one size fits all system invented by people so only beliefs exist that it is this or that. Regressive religious belief systems stick to only few of thruts that have prove its value throughout history but dogmatic essence of them forbids further inquiry so they are dismissed.
I think that at some point in time every belief system that where and went on to succeed thought of it as the only one since every other up to that point failed. Aggressive through justice and existentially frightened part of such system will justify its expansion for the obvious reasons while disregarding as unimportant obvious moral dilemma whether to build upon belief system survival even when it is required on the expense of others and if yes how will you justify to the people difference between existentialism of the system and existentialism of the people (in most cases in a way that it is one and the same thing or by means of dependence because they have the best system) and if no risk falling into unknown of which possibility of oblivion gives one initiative by emotion of fear. Now that was that about dismissal part. Now on the affirmative part. I think that as some form of life we have throughout our history experienced only fundamentally different few systems of governance and because we can communicate and express only by means of words which in a sense makes a bottle neck I would rather advise taking numerous continuous small steps forward with lots of testings because in reality there can be infinite number of ways and optimising value of life around one (materiarialism) factor in importance superior to all others or few of them can infuriate Gods and enlight the phrase evil appears as good in the minds of those whom Gods seek to destroy meaning ultimate destruction or some equivalent like revolution that sets the belief system to square one while during the meantime people experience absence of security organized society provides.
That is why I believe no belief system can give themselves by themselves a right to judge any other belief system much less make aggressive processes toward it as it always leads to war as is fueled by irrational. Prove your belief system by battering time against it and the people will start rising its worth not by exploiting shiny moment in time by proclaiming "lead by example".