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[–] carlinco 12 points 28 points (+40|-12) ago 

The cradle of modern civilisation was mostly the area around modern day Iraq. That's where farming started, where the first 'modern' religions formed, the first writing systems, where knowledge from east, west, and south was collected and all the good stuff was carried to the rest of the world. And so on.

Greece was the first advanced European civilisation - and all of a sudden so advanced it's unbelievable, judging by Epikur or by the Antikythera mechanism. And was eventually destroyed by a far less advanced Rome, which then was destroyed from the inside by a primitive governing system, and finished off by European barbarians.

Only when those backward barbarians got threatened by the Muslims did they start learning from them. At the same time, dry conditions in the Middle East and other factors made those areas grow less, while new farming methods in the north led to a population explosion.

The Chinese, first with the Huns, then with the Mongols, nearly overran us. Which would have stopped the European age dead in its tracks. And were stopped by pure luck, not by our non-existing skills or weapons at the time. And they brought us paper, explosives, and so on. It's actually a miracle that from 800 to 1800, they stagnated on pretty much the same level, which we only surpassed in the middle of the industrial revolution, and only thanks to dirty tricks like opium trade.

We'd probably still be a backwater farming region (all praying to Allah by now) if it wasn't for Averroes and other brilliant thinkers, which gave us the knowledge of Greece and some new knowledge added in the meantime by others, preparing the way for the Renaissance. Some great luck helped, too - like establishing smiths in every town, probably only thanks to the British taking part in the crusades, who were already used to the masses using weapons, while the rest of the world preferred weapons technology in a few select hands.

While the Muslim world, for inexplicable reasons (and because the Mongols destroyed the ivory tower of the world at the time, Baghdad), turned their backs on their best thinkers and deteriorated into dictatorships, infighting, and stagnation - probably also partly because of desertification.

Only since the renaissance did we actually have a few advantages over others - at that time mostly in thinking and economics, not so much technologically. It was already enough to discover the whole world, to prosper from trade routes to all corners of the world, and so on.

The Spanish kicked the Jews out, who, as they were not allowed to work in traditional areas, helped create banks and markets, among others; making possible the spread of modern banking and trading from Italy to the rest of Europe, whereby interestingly, every step further north added new advances - see Netherlands in the 1600s, or Britain from 1688.

And only with the industrial revolution and enlightenment did we actually leave everyone else completely in the dust - which is the reason why Europe was suddenly not only having some outposts and barely managed territories, but actual colonies everywhere. And could take over the territories of the more isolated and therefore less developed people all over the world.

During the whole time, the Chinese and Japanese actually kept up quite well. The Indians and Egyptians would have, if colonial powers hadn't deliberately kept them down. It's likely the industrial and scientific revolution would have started there if the Netherlands had lost a war too many, and William of Orange had never happened.

And Europe is nothing special anymore since the two world wars destroyed all its advantages. Europe's standard of living is not higher than in many other places in the world. New technology is barely coming out of it. And so on.

That all is now with the US - not least due to all the bankers, scientists, and other talents who left Europe when it only used them as scapegoats for everything going wrong.


[–] ForgotMyName 4 points 17 points (+21|-4) ago 

Thank you for the rebuttal. All this nonsense about Europe being independently awesome with no mention of Asia is completely idiotic.


[–] downtownchinatown 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I upvoated this faggot simply because he wrote a bigger picture, but still has lots of incorrect flaws. Forgot to mention that European empires are responsible for making the rest of the world look slightly more civilized. So India would still be a shithole if not for the British, and etc etc.


[–] salsamang 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Epic narrative


[–] CobraStallone 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Only since the renaissance did we actually have a few advantages over others

I'm sorry, the Greeks and the basis of philosophy, mathematics, democracy, out ideal canons of the human body, is that for nothing? The Late Republic Early Imperial professional legionnaire and their impressive organization? Better than most. Better than everybody except the Han Chinese core during a few peaks of high population but stable centralized states.

So yeah we rule, sorry about that.


[–] carlinco 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

The problem is that after those two highlights and the Roman implosion, there was pretty much nothing in Europe for easily a thousand years. So I count Europe as the most advanced (but only thanks to one small city heavily influenced by Egypt and Asia) during the Greek golden age, then Europe as the strongest during the conquests at around the time Rome turned from republic to empire (thus starting the destruction from within, though the violent democratic competition already did more to kill off the elite than Hannibal). And then we had to wait until Italy entered the Renaissance - probably only because the popes finally realised that continuing their policies would make the rest of Europe Muslim pretty quickly, as they already had southern Italy, Spain, and the Balkans. The renaissance brought one of the biggest advances to Europe in the history of the world, and a golden age which would last for 500 years - but is over for the last 100 or so years.


[–] bdmthrfkr 2 points 2 points (+4|-2) ago