Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Thlayli, Mar 20, 2010.
Dem darkies dun know how to rule themselves doncha ya know?
I suppose it could be in the World History forum
lol. My point was essentially that Eurocentrism is the belief that all things European are inherently superior, as propagated by the colonialism of the 1600's-1800's, and the effect it created of European nations trying to stretch their control over larger parts of the world, both militarily as well as culturally, and a conscious effort (particularly in Australia, if you've ever read some of the sordid chapters of history that occurred there) to rob indigenous societies of their culture and castrate their ability to rule themselves.
I dunno. I'd say it existed at least as early as the High Middle Ages. There's a religious aspect there too.
And no offense, Elfie, but most imperialistic cultures tend to behave that way. It's not exclusive to Europe. Sinocentricism, for example, is more persistent and longer-lived than Eurocentricism, and they never engaged in overseas colonialism.
I take absolutely no offense. I have longed stated that the Aztecs and the Spaniards, for example, were on equal grounds of brutality. Child sacrifice... Eugh. I don't believe Europe is limited to imperialism, and would be happy to argue that in fact colonialism has in some ways helped to spread representative government, despite its negative effects, but that would not exactly be a good path to go down.
Point being that no culture or society in existence is innocent of undesirable practices. The idea that it is limited to Europe is a gaping hole in any attempt to understand history.
So if the Aztecs were equally Aztecocentrist without engaging in colonialism, you've just poked a gaping hole in your previous argument.
All cultures are guilty of brutality in one form or another. Furthermore, "centrism", does not have to result from colonialism. It is, in my opinion however, that Eurocentrism resulted from colonialism and imperialism. The more European cultures expanded their influence, the more they became involved in crushing the cultures of other societies. Aztecocentrism, if such a term even exists, would more likely be the result of hundreds of years of cultural isolation, as opposed to the anti-Muslim sentiments of High Medieval Europe.
In the end, all cultures are guilty of centrism, which is what I have argued from the beginning. I've kind of lost the chain of this discussion... Where are we?
The eurocentric view is vastly more prevelant in the modern world than anything else. I don't simply mean in terms of cultural norms. I also mean everything from history, to politics, to the arts. Its not that europeans, or aztecs, or random japanese dudes thought their culture, and their way of thinking was better than everyone else. It is that they were able to
1. Push that Eurocentric vision onto others
2. Eliminate the [insert culture]centric way of thinking and replace it with their own (making them feel culturally inferior)
3. Change history to suit.
4. Make it seem that european arts/government/philosophy/military thinking/religion are the hallmarks of civilization, when in fact they were equally as inefficient, and in most cases the same thing, as what others did.
That is not what you were saying at all. You had multiple arguments within your first post that were incomplete and in some cases contradicted each other. I tried to understand it, but I failed miserably.
I don't think that Muslim states were any different in their pattern of conquest and cultural domination. Nor, for that matter, any other group. The Western Euros just adopted a more effective naval tradition earlier on.
Thinking that your culture is superior to other cultures is generally a hallmark of being born into that culture. Eurocentricism didn't arise as a result of colonialism, it was inherent in the nature of those states. We only become aware of it when it becomes a dominant global colonialist ideology, but that isn't the source of it.
For cripes sakes people, Eurocentrism is not the belief in european superiority, thats Euro-chauvinism. Eurocentrism is the belief that Europe is the most important part of the world or the centre of the world system, being less aware of/ignoring events outside of Europe (or european descended states), and asserting that the European system of values is the only way to view events.
One can extoll the virtues of the Islamic Renaissance, and still be Eurocentric in how you do it.
Ugh, cultural history, aka "a canvas for anybody on which to paint his personal fact-free interpretation of reality". I'm sure there are good cultural historians about but I haven't a clue as to who they might be.
wow Dis injected some awesome reality into that discussion
Ehh, that's a marginal distinction dis.
This is why I was against continuing the conversation. Post spam with a million people, who also claim to be able to read minds.
If you want to have a coherent discussion with me about the matter, just PM me.
Is it about Srivijaya?
EDIT: your paper, Masada
It'd probably be best to ask Plotinus about the Rules on turning academic material into history articles, since none of us here in the NES forum is a published historian.
I must say that you do have a point in how the colonial era has led to Eurocentrism. It was the perceived superiority of the Europeans over the other peoples of the world resulting from imperialism that led to the euro-centric views thst are commonly held today.
*bow* Someone finally understands what I was saying. Kudos to you, sir.
I must say however that most other cultures do hold superiority views and 'centric' views of their own culture, for their own reasonings. It just seems that the West is also in a period of self-flagellation perhaps due to the period when we acted so superior to everyone else.
Eurocentric views that were spawned during the imperialist periods are however the first to be held by peoples outside the 'centric' area.
The views weren't spawned during the colonial period. They are no different from the views of other cultures that didn't colonize. The argument makes absolutely no sense.
Take, for example, the Tokugawa Shogunate. Totally arrogant, completely Japan-centric, but about as far from colonialist as you can possibly be.
In fact, it's eurocentric biases that make people think that eurocentricism or euro-chauvinism or whatever you want to call it, is special. It isn't. By saying "Europe was especially arrogant and brutal," you are still saying "Europe is special," just using a different approach. Europe was LUCKY, not special.
Mughal conquest of India. And, for that matter, anywhere where the dhimmi was imposed.
I'm not saying Europe is especially arrogant or brutal. What I'm saying is, Eurocentrism spread more rapidly and had greater effects because European nations had, especially during the 19th century, a large sphere of influence. Eurocentrism was spread, and in many ways, was the product of colonialism, and European nations used the idea that "They're heathens and barbarians, and their culture is a joke", as a justification for their actions. What I'm saying is that all types of centrism come about for different reasons, not that certain centrisms are somehow "worse".
The only way in which Eurocentrism is separated from other centristic views of society, is that European nations made a large effort to expand their influence outside of Europe.
What you think I'm saying is not what I'm saying at all. I hope the previous paragraph clears things up.
Separate names with a comma.