Sunday, November 2, 2008

What factors most likely account for the West gaining global ascendancy?

I think the most important factor in Europe's dominant global influence is the deep-seated desire for progress found so strongly in Europe. Other nations had no lack of technological, cultural, and moral progress, but Europeans always seem to be the first on the list when it comes to perfecting guns, making better slaver ships, and trying to find more ways to make themselves money. Maybe it’s not a need for progress, maybe its some kind of genetic desire for laziness, an innate disposition towards anything that makes their life easier. The Incas and the Maya, from what I have seen, had thriving civilizations that did not move towards new ways to avoid doing something themselves, whether by paying someone else to do it or finding a way to make it happen at the push of a button. Whatever this underlying feeling was, it was what drove Western merchants and patriots to other continents. Once there they attempted to westernize the area to make them compatible with the flow of money and ideas. And thus, through force and corruption, the Western way became the worldly way.


Cote Laramie said...

I agree with you 100% Sam. In fact, the restlessness of Europeans is something the book stresses in the beginning and throughout its chapters as the cause for their substantial influence on the modern world. Perhaps, specifically, one might also suggest that the hierarchical system of feudalism put lazy noblemen on a pedestal; and there's also the anti-tribalism of Christianity (as compared to the beliefs of other world cultures), which might've caused Europeans to expand and modernize faster than other cultures. In any case, your point still stands.

Atticus said...

Sam you made some valid points in your prompt. i like the part when you describe how prosporous the INcans and Myans were. i agree with you when you said that they had a great empire with no disire to make life easyer.. unlike the lazy europeans.