I am starting to believe "white" people, as a group, build better societies for human living, and in this respect, are superior in some significant way to other races. CMV please. (self.changemyview)

{changemyview}

659 ups - 343 downs = 316 votes

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a measure for the "potential for human development", per the United Nations. It was created by the UN and ranks countries based on a number of factors such as life expectancy, gross national income, and years of schooling.

  • Of the top 25 countries, 20 countries have "white" origins, are "run/governed" by mostly "white" people, and/or have a "white" majority in their population.

I looked up 'Happiest Countries' on Google and came across this Forbes article. The list is based on measures collectively called The Prosperity Index, developed by a group called the Legatum Institute (seems legit enough if it's on Forbes).

  • Of the top 20 countries on that list, 1-17 are countries of "white" origins, are "run/governed" by mostly "white" people, and/or have a "white" majority in their population.

Another list, found through this Business Insider article, ranks the "Top 15 countries with the Highest Quality of Life".

  • Of the 15 listed, 15 are countries of "white" origins, are "run/governed" by mostly "white" people, and/or have a "white" majority in their population.

So please, r/changemyview, CMV. I really dislike this thought which has stuck in my mind for a while now. In no way am I saying that "white" people are better than all other races in all ways. Actually, I have no clue what makes white people better at building happier places to live, if they are better at that.

I am not white myself.

How I define "white" is pretty loose, but I suppose my definition of a white person is someone who would check the "Caucasian" box on any official document and that would be more true than false. Like I said, it's a loose definition.

419 comments submitted at 04:06:57 on Jan 2, 2014 by curiousduck905

  • [-]
  • Canuck147
  • 1 Points
  • 06:00:10, 2 January

I've seen a lot of plugs for Guns, Germs, and Steel. It's a good introduction, but I'm going to recommend Why the West Rules for Now - it handles the topic you're looking a little more deeply.

At the end of the day, the question of 'why are white societies more successful' is usually rephrased as 'why did western europe have the first industrial revolution'. 'White people' came to dominate the world for centuries because they industrialized, developing powerful economies and powerful armies. Using these powers they colonized or conquered their way across the globe until we reached our present power structure.

So why did western europeans have the first industrial revolution? Guns, Germs, and Steel makes one very important observation concerning the development of civilizations: Eurasia has an East-West orientation, while the Americas have a North South orientation. Why is this important? Because climates tend to be similar along lines of latitude (ie. an east-west axis), but different along longitude. This means that crops and animals domesticated in Eurasia could spread quickly compared with the Americas because they wouldn't have to adapt to new climates. This is why wheat spread through Eurasia in a few centuries, but corn spread through American in a few thousand years. All of this means that the deck would end up stacked in the favour of some society from Eurasia.

So why did it end up being England at the head of the industrial revolution? Ultimately a confluence of geography, geopolitics, and luck. I believe the romans and chinese developed combustion engines, but they exploded and had no obvious use. English miners used these engines to pump water from mines, which conveniently cooled them and prevented them from exploding - hence a bit of luck playing into it. As for the rest, remember that from 500-1700 CE China was the centre of the world. All the exploration that European countries were doing was essentially to establish trade with Asia.

This immense economic incentive to reach Asia drove the development of more sophisticated navigational and marine technology, and began Europe's stumbling into Africa and America and establishing colonies. It is precisely because Europe was so poor that they continued to explore and establish colonies. China essentially halted exploration early into 1100s I think - extravagant voyages around the world were seen as a waste of money. China was the centre of the world and any worthwhile trade would come to them.

Britain on the other hand, had to develop itself through colonies. It established a sophisticated trade network between Africa (trading slaves), the Americas (trading raw materials), and Europe (trading industrialized goods). This flow of trade and materials helped further develop Britain's manufacturing sector. By this point Britain had accumulated enough power to dominate India by the mid 1700s and China by the mid 1800s.

So if I were to try and summarize things, saying that 'white people' produce better societies is a pretty short view of the situation. Western European societies came to dominate the world in the last 400 years precisely because they were in a political/economic backwater giving them motivation to explore and colonize, fortunately located on substantial coal reserves to drive industrialization, and conveniently located near the Americas to exploit their land and resources.

I wont say that culture played no part in all of this. Obviously if the Chinese had taken a greater interest in what Europeans were getting up to halfway around the world things may have played out differently. But at the end of the day the incentives in the 1700s - which is arguably the first time industrialization was socially, politically, and environmentally possible - Western Europeans were incentivised to industrialize, while Asia was not.

Sources:

  1. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

  2. Why the West Rules for Now by Ian Morris

  • [-]
  • asm_ftw
  • 1 Points
  • 08:26:47, 2 January

How much would you think the mongol conquests have a hand in growing european power? The mongols basically crippled the most powerful and flourishing muslim societies, entirely wiped out han and sung china (while kublai still reestablished china as the yuan dynasty, it was still set back for a huge time), but the mongols stopped short of finishing the job in europe, leaving them essentially the only historical theatre not dominated by a khanate.

Could this have basically laid the ground for inevitable european advancement?

  • [-]
  • magpie1234
  • 1 Points
  • 10:26:35, 2 January

Some argue that the destruction of Baghdad caused the relative stagnation of the Islamic empires. Here are some relevant askhistorians threads: 1, 2, and 3. These threads propose different explanations for the significance of that event, but some points to consider: a) Baghdad was a major cultural center, possibly #1 in the islamic world at the time; b) much of the Islamic world and its culture survived the Mongols, despite such an incredible spectacle of destruction as the sack of Baghdad; c) Other factors were conspiring to weaken the Islamic empires, such as growing European trade empires. As to Yuan China, the Mongols didn't necessarily set back China - they entered a disunited China and ultimately failed, but I would hesitate to say the conquest itself set China back. One point mentioned in G,G&S is that until about 1750, European nations weren't really the most powerful - other nations often exceeded them in every category except raw military strength. Therefore, the conquest of Asia by the Mongols occurred 400-500 years before the balance began to slip.

  • [-]
  • typesoshee
  • 1 Points
  • 13:54:21, 2 January

The bubonic plague fucked up Europe a century after the Mongol threat, though, so you could say Europe did experience a "Mongol-scale catastrophe" at as similar point in time. And there are people who say that the social upheaval caused by the Black Death actually led to the Renaissance in Europe (and one can argue that the Renaissance led to the Enlightenment, which gave Europe sort of a modern institutional and scientific motor to power its colonization and modernization toward the industrial revolution). Also, as someone else has pointed out, while Muslim lands were very much damaged by the Mongols, China was ok. The Ming dynasty doesn't have a great pop reputation for the whole "prevented exploration" thing but by most accounts (taking in to account technology and economy), China had materially "rebounded" from the Mongol conquests by the Ming era.

  • [-]
  • AE-lith
  • 1 Points
  • 11:39:40, 2 January

The mongol conquests may have favored growth, but in a more indirect way than a potential weakening of Asian societies (that /u/magpie1234 addresses). By laying the foundations for their empire, Genghis Khan & friends created the Pax Mongolica that stabilized the Eurasian region enough that European-Asian trade boomed like crazy. These trade channels ()like the Silk Road) were an essential factor in future Western dominance, in that they were the base for the mercantilist period and a massive wave of colonization (the first globalization, some argue). Later, the availability of foreign food and grain imports made possible for Europe not to be completely wiped off by the Black Death (and even to benefit from it), and not to starve under the population boom that came just before Industrial Revolution.

source : mainly Power and Plenty, Kevin O'Rourke

  • [-]
  • eetsumkaus
  • 1 Points
  • 16:56:05, 2 January

Isn't the Mongol Empire responsible for a lot of cultural development in the East too? The cultures they did spare were allowed to trade and proliferate under the auspices of the Mongol emperor, and a lot of the world's modern religions trace their growth through the expansion of the Mongol Empire

  • [-]
  • BloosCorn
  • 1 Points
  • 08:57:08, 2 January

I'm going to piggy back on your success to hit another point in the same vein, because I think it's really important that people think about this.

Humans are really good at improvising when they are presented with limitations. These limitations come in many forms, in prose in poety, in laws in business, in climate in agriculture. If you present a challenge to people, especially one of survival, wealth, or beauty, they will find a way to overcome it.

Why did places in northern climates develop advanced agricultural technologies? They friggin needed it. In wamer climates, you can toss seeds on the ground just about any time of year and food will grow. In Poland, you've got a few months time to get all the food you, your family, and your comunity will need for the year. Hurry up, or the snows will come and you'll all starve to death.

Karl Marx spends half the pages in Capital attesting to this fact. Everytime Britain imposed conditions on business for the purpose of protecting the rights of workers, business found another way to compensate to make more money than ever. Humans are ingenious, and invention and improvisation are the lifeblood of our advancement. Sometimes, we have to be coerced and inspired to action by fear of loss. Life in Europe used to suck, so they had a ton of incentive to work to make it better.

  • [-]
  • mrpithecanthropus
  • 1 Points
  • 12:58:27, 2 January

Doesn't this just beg the question about why similar problem solving skills have not led to ingenious outcomes in other inhospitable regions, such as Saharan Africa?

  • [-]
  • BloosCorn
  • 1 Points
  • 13:14:05, 2 January

Honestly, I think malaria is just that shitty.

  • [-]
  • eetsumkaus
  • 1 Points
  • 16:58:10, 2 January

Malaria exists in the Sahara?

  • [-]
  • Rhomaion
  • 1 Points
  • 15:55:11, 2 January

Europe had the fortuitous position of not being exploited by any other large, militaristic, colonial powers. What gives you the impression that similar outcomes didn't occur in Sub-Saharan Africa? One gets the impression from that comment that the entirety of the region would have been depopulated by now.

Industrial agriculture isn't objectively superior to other forms of subsistence, taking for granted that it successfully feeds its producers. It's just much more productively efficient. If such were not the case, why do so many people still go hungry every day in the first world, with an almost infinite availability of food to feed them?

I mean, it seems to me like there are obvious limitations in inhospitable regions -- they're inhospitable. But semi nomadic pastoralist-agricultural production has worked for thousands of years. These days many African nations are adopting more advanced forms of agriculture and production, but this surplus is usually either just flowing out of the country and into international corporations, or is being expropriated by neocolonial warlords to fuel conflict over valuable strategic resources.

Or to fuel national and tribal conflicts over sovereignty movements. I mean, I don't think I need to point out that all the borders of Africa were sculpted by European invaders and don't represent the true territorial heritage of their citizens. I mean, it was a scant 50 years ago before most of the countries in Africa even declared independence from their imperial and colonial overlords! And these days they just have to deal with neo-colonialism from industrialized nations that lend them infrastructural loans; assuming, of course, that they'll destructively open their economy in return and allow the extraction of their nation's wealth from large foreign corporations.

  • [-]
  • ddxxdd
  • 1 Points
  • 07:57:53, 2 January

I gotta award you a delta for this comment. ∆.

I never thought that this could be answered in terms of lattitude/longitude, and the ability/economic incentive to globalize

  • [-]
  • DeltaBot
  • 1 Points
  • 07:58:36, 2 January

Confirmed: 1 delta awarded to /u/Canuck147. ^[History]

^[Wiki][Code][Subreddit]

  • [-]
  • larebil
  • 1 Points
  • 10:09:07, 2 January

Another book to read - why nations fail: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Nations-Fail-Origins-Prosperity-ebook/dp/B0058Z4NR8

  • [-]
  • PeteWTF
  • 1 Points
  • 11:33:52, 2 January

Just want to second this, great book

  • [-]
  • BassmanBiff
  • 1 Points
  • 06:50:53, 2 January

I'm no expert on the subject, but this seems like the best response I've read here in terms of sensibility, understandability, and direct relation to the initial topic. I'd really like to see some educated responses!

  • [-]
  • doctorpwn
  • 1 Points
  • 07:50:36, 2 January

Brilliant, brilliant answer.

This goes to show how education, and not just science, medicine, and engineering, really can lead to a better world: through history we begin to understand what happened to create the world that we live in.

  • [-]
  • thabonedoctor
  • 1 Points
  • 07:54:10, 2 January

Great response, I've seen the Netflix version of Guns, Germs, and Steel (which is on streaming by the way) and after having read this, I definitely would say I support this theory over anything else I've heard.

Interesting to point out that all the European nations were competing to establish trade with the East. My question is what exactly prevented China from ever venturing across the Pacific and finding California? Sheer disinterest? Wouldn't it have benefitted China also to establish a convenient trade route with Western Europe, as it would benefit both? And of course the closest route would have been the same way Columbus took but from the complete other side of the world. It seems strange to me that China would have never bothered to just make the journey themselves, or at least try to get a slice of the pie that was North America.

  • [-]
  • space_guy95
  • 1 Points
  • 09:03:52, 2 January

It was a cultural thing IIRC. Whereas in Europe explorers were lauded as heroes and given entire fleets by governments to allow them to do more, China had a complete lack of interest. They had the view of "why would you need to look for somewhere else when you already have China? Do you have an issue with your country?", and they just believed that they already had the greatest country in the world, so there's no point looking for more.

  • [-]
  • vwermisso
  • 1 Points
  • 08:20:57, 2 January

My understanding is it was cultural, they thought of other nations as inferior. They also had some economic mismanagement during the 1400's which hampered their ability to assemble a fleet.

  • [-]
  • RufusTheFirefly
  • 1 Points
  • 10:15:30, 2 January

Ironically the same attitude that provokes questions like op's from those of European descent today. Are other peoples simply inferior? Meanwhile, the rest of the world is starting to leave Europe behind.

  • [-]
  • looking2doit
  • 1 Points
  • 16:22:21, 2 January

No check my comment above.

  • [-]
  • Canuck147
  • 1 Points
  • 18:08:19, 2 January

I think it comes down to both geography and incentives. For starters, the Pacific is a much larger and more dangerous ocean than the Atlantic - it was always going to be easier to make an Atlantic journey than a Pacific one. With that in mind, you're going to need a damn good reason to make the trip. The Americas had plenty of silver and lots of land, but if the world is coming to trade with you and you already have incredible productive agriculture you don't have a strong incentive to go through the effort of colonization and exploitation. Consider that it took several hundred years for European colonies to develop into strong societies.

Europeans on the other hand had a big economic incentive to trade with Asia - they had fantastic luxury goods - but you had very little that they wanted and it was difficult to get there. This incentivized you to travel to the Americas and around Africa, and to establish colonies to provide gold and silver that Asian markets wanted.

You have to keep in mind that from the Asian perspective there was very little reason to go the Americas. In hindsight we can see it as a great opportunity for expansion, but the modern world has a much more progressive mindset given how rapidly we've seen the world change.

  • [-]
  • RandomMandarin
  • 1 Points
  • 11:57:19, 2 January

> Because climates tend to be similar along lines of latitude (ie. an east-west axis), but different along longitude.

I wish the words were not nearly alike. For clarity, because I had trouble for a minute deciding if you got them mixed up or not:

Places on the same line of longitude are north or south of each other.

Places on the same line of latitude are east or west of each other.

On reflection, you got them right.

  • [-]
  • Vaynax
  • 1 Points
  • 15:42:07, 2 January

Here's a trick from my childhood: You climb a ladder (latitude) to go up and down, and the bars on the ladder are long (longitude).

Hope it helps with remembering ;)

  • [-]
  • PotatoMusicBinge
  • 1 Points
  • 13:21:47, 2 January

Really cool. Any sources or info on China being the centre of the world a thousand years ago?

  • [-]
  • haikuginger
  • 1 Points
  • 13:51:21, 2 January

I hadn't thought about this issue in the context of what might have been driving European societies' industrialization. I always thought that there was some sort of unexplained internal factor that explained European technological supremacy over the last few centuries, but now I understand that the development of technology was simply a response to adversity.

  • [-]
  • DeltaBot
  • 1 Points
  • 13:53:01, 2 January

Confirmed: 1 delta awarded to /u/Canuck147. ^[History]

^[Wiki][Code][Subreddit]

  • [-]
  • baabaa_blacksheep
  • 1 Points
  • 13:52:01, 2 January

I'd like to add something I read in Niall Ferguson's 'The Great Depression':

A vital factor was the rule of law, where business contracts could be enforced outside of blood ties.

Another important part of GB's rise was their handling of finances. Unlike most other European countries who relied on squeezing taxes from their respective population, the Brits came up with bonds. This allowed them to borrow money, which could be paid back once a new colony was established.

(Got this from r/askhistorians)

  • [-]
  • techz7
  • 1 Points
  • 14:31:32, 2 January

While I don't hold his opinion exactly I did have one that was close good work sir. I saw another redditor post about the movie g, g&s being in Netflix I'll try and watch it today. ∆

  • [-]
  • Rhomaion
  • 1 Points
  • 15:46:41, 2 January

I think describing Europe as a "backwater" is rather inaccurate, if what they're missing are exotic spices and rare metals (like specie). You said yourself that they had vast arable land available to them, common crop species, and access to bottomless industrial resources. That sounds fairly 'rich' to me.

But you're right, I guess the beauty is that they were able to utilize these resources to exploit foreign nations and people and accelerate their wealth through mercantile subjugation or outright slavery.

  • [-]
  • jimethn
  • 1 Points
  • 16:24:55, 2 January

Really great summary, thanks. I knew there had to be a better explanation than genetics but couldn't think of what it might be. It makes perfect sense that white society dominates because they happened to get dealt the best hand and not because of any intrinsic property, which seems to be a recurring theme throughout existence...

  • [-]
  • ninjaburger
  • 1 Points
  • 16:38:57, 2 January

I'm going to toss in a bonus recommendation for Charles Mann's 1491, which examines our ideas about pre-Columbian American cultures and what the arrival of Europe did to the continents.

There has been a lot of debate about some of his specific conclusions, but I think his main point with the book is pretty hard to argue: that the assumptions many people bring into discussions of pre-Columbian civilization are massively inaccurate, and these ideas have been perpetuated by an education system which almost categorically refuses to update it's teaching model on the subject.

Also it's just a fun book to read.

  • [-]
  • vaginal_animal
  • 1 Points
  • 17:13:05, 2 January

That also lead to the birth of a consumerism society, which although many may despise today certainly provided the average Westerner with more material goods, hence improving 'quality of life' comparatively. Banks also started becoming more prominent, and so did loans, meaning people could literally start getting money out of nowhere and purchasing things above and beyond their economic limitations.

edit I actually wrote an essay on why Britain rose above the rest of the world which got a first, if anybody is interested I'll post it.

  • [-]
  • bruce_xavier
  • 1 Points
  • 17:20:54, 2 January

∆

I realised that the White people seem to be better simply because their location turned out more favourable for them and thus it does not have anything to do with colour.

  • [-]
  • grapesie
  • 1 Points
  • 17:21:17, 2 January

good response, although you're a bit off on the dates of Chinese exploration, with regards to the early 15th century treasure fleet of Zheng He, whose mission for decades was to establish tributary states for the Chinese empire, reaching as far as the southeast coast of africa.

  • [-]
  • daviscampbell
  • 1 Points
  • 04:36:17, 2 January

I can't fully answer this question as I don't have nearly enough knowledge to do so. I can suggest that you read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. In the book he tries to figure out why some societies seem so advanced and prosperous while others are not. I think you'll find that it's not caused by "white"ness, but by the circumstances surrounding the development of different civilizations. You can look at the cultural and intellectual heritage of these countries as well.

All of the "happiest" countries share the intellectual heritage of classical liberalism, at least to some degree. This has significantly contributed to their prosperity and success. Economically, it has allowed them to become far more prosperous than they would have otherwise. It is worth asking why people from these areas ended up adopting more classically liberal ideas. My best answer is that the combination of their prosperity and their culture allowed them to theorize in such a way, and caused such theories to become dominant.

Going back further, their culture was heavily influenced by Christianity, which was the basis for liberal ideals such as human rights and private property. Furthermore, their prosperity was determined primarily by biogeography. Diamond wrote in his book that the cultivation of wheat millenia ago allowed humanity to flourish in the Fertile Crescent, and that this crop could be cultivated in similar latitudes, allowing European countries to achieve the same prosperity as those in the fertile crescent.

There's too much I don't know about this to explain why the earth is as it is today, but there is nothing about "white" people that has allowed them to build good societies; rather, it is the ideas associated with these societies which have made them successful, and this is not related to peoples' skin color, but to the circumstances surrounding the formation of societies.

  • [-]
  • curiousduck905
  • 1 Points
  • 04:56:33, 2 January

I'll definitely check that book out! I've heard of it many times but never got around to actually reading any of it. It seems to be directly related to the central confusion I have on this subject. Thanks for your response!

  • [-]
  • Zachattck93
  • 1 Points
  • 06:39:17, 2 January

Guns Germs and Steel has been said to simplistically equate geography as the main reason for the growth of Europeans. There are many false equivalencies that build this "European miracle" idea that makes the Europe area out to be some homogenous haven for civilization.

I'd highly suggest checking out "Colonizer's Model of the World" by James Blaut. He does a great job dispelling some of the numerous false theories on the topic and offering some very plausible ones in their place.

  • [-]
  • BeatlesLists
  • 1 Points
  • 05:10:32, 2 January

I see people are referencing that book, the Germs, Guns and Steel. It is a nice introduction to a layperson in terms of history, however it is oversimplified.

A more strictly economic view of the Industrial Revolution can be found by WW Rostow, a US economist. Stages of Economic Growth

Another version

  • [-]
  • hunt_the_gunt
  • 1 Points
  • 15:04:45, 2 January

Economists often miss a lot about the psychological nature of things, but I am keen to check that book out!

  • [-]
  • lollerkeet
  • 1 Points
  • 08:09:22, 2 January

It's an interesting read, but doesn't really cover the questions you're asking.

  • [-]
  • therapy
  • 1 Points
  • 06:35:35, 2 January

That book is literally dedicated exactly to answering your question here. He even begins the book with an introduction about how someone from Papua New Guinea (iirc) asks the question, and how it led him to do the research and write the book.

Very good read, highly recommended. It will CYV ;)

  • [-]
  • flythechildren
  • 1 Points
  • 06:50:07, 2 January

His theories completely ignore the whole of meso-america, so take that into account. I think his views leave out a lot of things in order to make sense.

  • [-]
  • anriana
  • 1 Points
  • 16:45:13, 2 January

You might also want to read "Europe and the People Without History" by Eric Wolf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EuropeandthePeopleWithout_History. Wolf looks at the history of colonized countries before they were colonized and shows how European contact changed the established way of life. It would be a good read if you're interested in knowing how other cultures truly interacted pre-colonization. I think you'd really enjoy the book based on some of your other comments like "why were Europeans the only ones who exploited others?" Wolf shows how that's not exactly the case.

  • [-]
  • Wizardoflalaland
  • 1 Points
  • 07:17:57, 2 January

> All of the "happiest" countries share the intellectual heritage of classical liberalism, at least to some degree. This has significantly contributed to their prosperity and success. Economically, it has allowed them to become far more prosperous than they would have otherwise.

I think you may be making the correlation implies causation fallacy here (not saying that your statement is false, simply that it lacks support). Nothing demonstrates that an intellectual heritage of classical liberalism is contributes in a causal manner to prosperity and success. It could be a side effect of economic prosperity rather than something that contributes to it.

  • [-]
  • Nafetsg
  • 1 Points
  • 06:20:57, 2 January

Environmental determination is undoubtedly a factor when it comes to the rise of civilizations. But how does that help the egalitarian position?

Environmental determination doesn't eliminate selective pressures, it enforces them. Agriculture and civilized life still happened. Who is to say that evolution didn't mould populations in the past 10.000 years?

Mr. Diamond himself doesn't deny differences in average mental faculties among groups; His book clearly states so on page 21. Strangely enough, he believes that Papuans are the smartest because of the hardships presented by the jungle, but nonetheless he acknowledges the possibility.

  • [-]
  • magpie1234
  • 1 Points
  • 07:33:24, 2 January

Are you saying that all of this is from Guns, Germs, and Steel? Because it's not clear if you are intentionally juxtaposing your references to Guns, Germs, and Steel with your statements that aren't referring to Guns, Germs, and Steel.

More Comments - Not Stored
  • [-]
  • 23percent
  • 1 Points
  • 08:01:03, 2 January

I would separate both culture and government from race.

I think it's quite legitimate to have a positive or negative view of a particular culture (eg US/"European"/Chinese/Yiddish) or government/state (US/China/Israel) but not of a particular race (white/black/Chinese/Jewish). Unfortunately often the same word is used for all three, so it's easy to mix and match if you're not careful.

If the "white" culture is successful, that is very different from the white race being successful. Similarly, that culture of (say) Northern Europe, has evolved a somewhat common form of government, with proximity of some countries encouraging a flow of similar ideas, and the UK in particular has exported it to several places with its colonization in the last 2-4 centuries. Other predominantly white states like Russia and Belarus are (currently) much less successful in some of the measurements you use.

Now how that culture and system of government came about is fairly complex, but I don't think the racial makeup of the peoples is much of an influence. For example, in the UK 2000 years ago, human sacrifice was a cultural norm. The Roman invasion changed that, and many other events since then have shaped the culture and governance of the British Isles, some you might see as for the better, some for the worse. I think both the renaissance and age of enlightenment in Europe helped to shape the culture in positive ways. I'm also not discounting that such a culture was more or less warlike, but I don't see any evidence either way of it myself.

Measures of happiness are always going to be hard and quite subjective. In fact it was King Jigme Singye Wangchuck of Bhutan that first proposed the importance of such a measurement as opposed to just wealth/power. Bhutan has been relatively isolated from the entire history of 'white' culture.

  • [-]
  • Noobchum
  • 1 Points
  • 15:53:03, 2 January

So what you're saying is that the chosen forms of government are to blame? I had been reading through this thread because I had similar thoughts with OP. You have changed my view with this. Thank you!

  • [-]
  • krulos
  • 1 Points
  • 05:09:00, 2 January

Did you ever stop to think why these countries are the way they are today?

Before the Euros and their brand of greed under the guise of Christianity destroyed the Americas, Africa, India, and the Middle East, there were thriving cultures leading the way in science, medicine and technology. People and cultures were forced to adapt to the European way, and not necessarily for the better.

The "white" populations have pillaged and now control a large portion of the world's resources. This isn't because they are white, but because the Euros were lucky in their geographical origin. If they had been closer to China or the Mongolians, they would have been destroyed. For "white" America, it is shielded by two oceans that are difficult to cross easily.

China has an ancient and grand culture that, if it had been situated in Europe, could have far exceeded the Romans. The Egyptians were among the leaders in science and medicine. The Arabs merchants built the beginning of our modern accounting and business practices. Chinese, Indian and Persian scholars made great discoveries in mathematics.

However we don't know about many of these because the conquer writes history. Discoveries attributed to Europeans had been found out by other cultures many years, decades, and even centuries prior, but those were wiped out by the invaders. European wars have destroyed countless centers of knowledge and culture that existed in these once great civilizations.

It's not about race - it's about class - the haves and the have nots. If you research into who controls the resources and why, the bigger picture will start to unravel.

  • [-]
  • magpie1234
  • 1 Points
  • 06:48:27, 2 January

I disagree with some of your points. > the Euros were lucky in their geographical origin. If they had been closer to China or the Mongolians, they would have been destroyed.

Your statement seems to imply there weren't massively destructive, powerful invading forces assailing Europe in its history. However, the Huns, as well as migrating Germanic tribes, contributed to the downfall of the Roman Empire, which destroyed much of Europe's economy, military power, and culture. In the same way that nomads attacked China, various nomadic groups attacked Europe, to various effects.

> Before the Euros and their brand of greed under the guise of Christianity destroyed the Americas, Africa, India, and the Middle East, there were thriving cultures leading the way in science, medicine and technology. People and cultures were forced to adapt to the European way, and not necessarily for the better.

This statement implicates Christianity in the "destruction" of several global regions. I don't think Christianity has been particularly helpful to these regions, but your claim is hyperbole. I would ask how you can say that one area is "destroyed?" India is now one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and its time as a colony helped build its (relatively) modern industry and culture. Egypt, under the British and French, developed an economy far in advance of its neighbors'. Do let me know if you think I've committed a post hoc fallacy. I don't know what makes you think Europeans destroyed the other areas, either. All have cultures and peoples today. Perhaps you could clarify While I agree with your general point, that much of Europe's power came from raping other regions of their resources, I don't think it's fair to say that Europe's effect on the world was universally negative.

> However we don't know about many of these because the conquer writes history. Discoveries attributed to Europeans had been found out by other cultures many years, decades, and even centuries prior, but those were wiped out by the invaders. European wars have destroyed countless centers of knowledge and culture that existed in these once great civilizations.

It would be good of you to list specific examples. Rather than blaming the failures of these regions on the Europeans, perhaps it would be more helpful to list actual causes of these civilizations' failure/stagnation relative to that of Europe - such as changing economies and cultures.

> It's not about race - it's about class - the haves and the have nots. If you research into who controls the resources and why, the bigger picture will start to unravel.

What about when non-whites were the "haves?" When these regions controlled the majority of the world's wealth? Why did it go away? You can argue that geography is the cause, but there were often cultural aspects to these declines as well.

Europeans/white people have been very successful at exporting and sustaining a cultural, economic, and political paradigm to the rest of the world. But is this evidence of superiority? I don't think so.

  • [-]
  • simsoy
  • 1 Points
  • 06:22:58, 2 January

Technically the Jewish people built modern business because Christians and Muslims were refrained from lending money.

  • [-]
  • krulos
  • 1 Points
  • 06:31:12, 2 January

Can you expand on the particulars of why Christians and Muslims were unable to lend money?

  • [-]
  • RugglesIV
  • 1 Points
  • 06:58:41, 2 January

Lending money at interest is a sin called usury. Early Christians universally condemned it, but opposition sort of fizzled out over time. There are still Muslim countries that enforce usury laws, though.

  • [-]
  • krulos
  • 1 Points
  • 07:03:44, 2 January

Thanks for the explanation. I was aware of the Muslim usary law, but unaware that early Christians also practiced this.

  • [-]
  • bezjones
  • 1 Points
  • 07:34:00, 2 January

Not just early Christians. Many Christians still do.

  • [-]
  • Cyrus47
  • 1 Points
  • 07:00:41, 2 January

They weren't unable to lend money per se. They were unable to charge interest on it because Usury is forbidden in the Bible and the Quran.

  • [-]
  • atrde
  • 1 Points
  • 06:50:23, 2 January

Well I know Islam forbids Interest on loans which makes it difficult. Google Usury for more information.

  • [-]
  • bezjones
  • 1 Points
  • 07:33:03, 2 January

So does Christianity.

  • [-]
  • lollerkeet
  • 1 Points
  • 06:12:33, 2 January

That does nothing to explain the freedoms and rights which Westerners enjoy but are others are deprived. Citizens of other conquering powers are often treated awfully (e.g. Russians in the USSR).

I think you have a rather warped view of history, too.

  • [-]
  • krulos
  • 1 Points
  • 06:25:50, 2 January

> That does nothing to explain the freedoms and rights which Westerners enjoy but are others are deprived. Citizens of other conquering powers are often treated awfully (e.g. Russians in the USSR).

Would you be willing to expand a little more on this in order to properly respond to your post?

  • [-]
  • k5josh
  • 1 Points
  • 05:16:04, 2 January

Not the OP obviously, and mostly just being a devil's advocate here, but:

If these groups were so superior to their white conquerors, then why were they conquered? Might doesn't make right, but it does make might—i.e. whoever does the conquering is more advanced and, dare I say, superior.

  • [-]
  • donalbini
  • 1 Points
  • 05:27:52, 2 January

If we equate military superiority and the desire to lord over other cultures (or other people in general) as "more advanced," we take a really narrow view of progress. This implies that these traits are inherently desirable.

Applied at a micro-level, that douche bag MMA fighter in your hometown who bullies people and gets what he wants through superior knowledge of violence and the will to use it is quite the "advanced" individual.

  • [-]
  • loblollyboy
  • 1 Points
  • 05:34:40, 2 January

And at a macro level, Russia could fuck up their neighbor Sweden in a war, but they aren't necessarily more advanced as a society.

  • [-]
  • insaneHoshi
  • 1 Points
  • 06:24:50, 2 January

>And at a macro level, Russia could fuck up their neighbor Sweden in a war,

But they do not, the alliences and relations that sweeden has forged with the UN and EU severely dissuade an attack from russia.

IE Russia's military power is countered by Swedens political power

Political power is military power and vice versa as war is just politics from different means.

  • [-]
  • MrDrBeak
  • 1 Points
  • 15:36:55, 2 January

Well, yes, that's the case today, but the world hasn't always been so civilized. It was only after World War I that the European anti-war culture began to develop. Prior to that, military power dominated political influence, since intimidation was always more effective than diplomacy. We can't apply today's political world to the completely different cultures that came before it.

  • [-]
  • Beeenjo
  • 1 Points
  • 06:08:54, 2 January

Finland is a geographically closer target than Sweden, however Russia always tries to make nice with its neighbor after what happened during the Winter War :)

  • [-]
  • TheSonofLiberty
  • 1 Points
  • 06:24:37, 2 January

Snowy mountains and forests = +150% bonus defense.

  • [-]
  • IamlegendAMA
  • 1 Points
  • 07:01:57, 2 January

Yeah, but if you end a turn on a mountain you lose 50hp

  • [-]
  • AdvocateForLucifer
  • 1 Points
  • 07:02:44, 2 January

Just so you know, Finland lost the Winter War.

  • [-]
  • Beeenjo
  • 1 Points
  • 07:33:49, 2 January

They may have ended up losing 1/3 of their territory by the end of it which by most definitions of war means that they lost. Even though Finland allied with Germany during WW2, their reasons were only because they thought it would be a defense against Russia. Russia used to feel like it was entitled to Finland's territory. Finland's initial cost to Russia for every meter they gained forced a peace agreement after the Winter War. Finland may have lost the war, however their losses were insignificant compared to what the Soviets invested in the war.

  • [-]
  • altrocks
  • 1 Points
  • 09:06:37, 2 January

A Pyrrhic Victory is still a victory!

  • [-]
  • SgtVeritas
  • 1 Points
  • 17:05:53, 2 January

> Pyrrhic Victory

Thanks for the new knowledge, I had never heard of that before.

The "War on Terror" can be a Pyrrhic victory at best... am I using that right?

  • [-]
  • MaleFascistAdvice
  • 1 Points
  • 17:10:51, 2 January

>Even though Finland allied with Germany during WW2,

Technically it was a non-aggression pact, and not officially considered an alliance.

  • [-]
  • verygoodname
  • 1 Points
  • 07:09:11, 2 January

::awkward glances:: They got better.

  • [-]
  • krulos
  • 1 Points
  • 06:03:47, 2 January

donalbini, this is an excellent response that I'd like to add to below.

In response to k5josh's comment:

>Applied at a micro-level, that douche bag MMA fighter in your hometown who bullies people and gets what he wants through superior knowledge of violence and the will to use it is quite the "advanced" individual.

Lets use a recent example from history and assume for a minute that Hitler had not invaded Russia - that the Nazis were able to retain control over Europe. Most of us can probably agree that the Nazis do not represent our current views of a high moral standard due to their purging of Jews, gypsies, gays, and others they deemed unfit. However, since they had a strong military power through advanced technology and mandatory conscription, does this mean the Nazis are superior culturally and morally because they were able to conquer and control more advanced and culturally diverse, but militarily weaker civilizations?

As to why great nations rise and fall, which is a much more complex topic than can be discussed in a small comment box, I'd recommend a great book on this matter called The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.

  • [-]
  • themasterof
  • 1 Points
  • 18:12:10, 2 January

But if Germany won, wouldn't their moral standards be the moral standards we would adhere too? If they won, they would be considered the pinnacle of humanity and moral standards, as well as militarily.

Thus they would have been the most advanced country, if they had enough military might. They didn't, they lost, and the winners wrote the history.

  • [-]
  • LT-Riot
  • 1 Points
  • 15:55:28, 2 January

It might be worth noting that the desire to conquer and 'lord it over' other peoples and places is not strictly a white european trait. The moors , while at the height of the power of the arab world , attempted an invasion of Europe while the Europeans were still foundering about in the dark ages. It failed, barely, but not before the Moors had pushed through Spain and all the way into France to be barely turned back at the battle of Tours.

I am just saying, it seems to be inherant in the primitive and powerful to attempt to take control of the weak. Especially when religion is involved ( a large part of the moorish invasion was the spread of Islam). Not just a European one. Europeans just happened to militarize themselves much faster than many cultures. Now whether those advancements in science which were, yes, at one point far behind many cultures, and THEN shot past those cultures with alarming speed, can be considered a level of superiority, is debatable.

  • [-]
  • redmosquito
  • 1 Points
  • 11:58:56, 2 January

>Applied at a micro-level, that douche bag MMA fighter in your hometown who bullies people and gets what he wants through superior knowledge of violence and the will to use it is quite the "advanced" individual.

Except it wasn't Britons being bigger and tougher than their adversaries that made them superior conquerors. One on hand they had developed far superior technology and they also used diplomacy with local stake holders and played them off each other so that much of their empire building was done without risking a single one of their soldiers. Building and maintaining an empire has very little to do with being a violent brute.

  • [-]
  • caaaaat
  • 1 Points
  • 13:20:56, 2 January

Explain North America?

Edit: I am going to have to apologize, this was a purely sarcastic question. Thanks for legitimate care put into answers, guys. This is actually part of my field of study, though.

  • [-]
  • senseijason05
  • 1 Points
  • 14:13:43, 2 January

Unlike many of their other colonies (like India), America was mostly British citizens and their descendants living in an area far away from the homeland. In America, we hear all the time about our American ancestors bravely fighting the oppressive British monarchy because it sounds good.

I think a valid argument could be made that the American revolution was more of a civil war where one side had the technological and numerical advantage and the other side had the homefield advantage.

  • [-]
  • MrDrBeak
  • 1 Points
  • 15:42:44, 2 January

Off-topic: Wouldn't the colonists have the numerical advantage, since they were recruiting from local farmers who were obliged to one war effort, while Great Britain was trying to fight a war with the French at the time, as well as occupy their other colonies all over the world?

  • [-]
  • LT-Riot
  • 1 Points
  • 16:07:54, 2 January

No, not at all. About 1/3 of the colonies were rebel, 1/3 were loyalists, and 1/3 didn't give a shit. This is just sentiment mind you, far far far fewer of them were willing to actually pick up a weapon and fight. Almost every major engagement in the North American theater saw the colonists outnumbered heavily. Most American victories as we know them (Trenton, Saratoga, York town) had some sort of extraordinary circumstance such as - Surprise attack on Xmas eve, a massive strategical outflanking, and massive support both at sea and on the ground from France.

Anytime the fight was straight up, the Americans tended to be outnumbered, out gunned, and most importantly, outclassed both in terms of their weapons, discipline, and quality of officers in charge.

Also, people like r/Senseijason05 who like to sneer that those men weren't brave, in my opinion, suffer from a classic case of second opinion bias. Most of rebels did not stick around after their numerous defeats, but the ones that did were sitting at places like valley forge, freezing, undersupplied, coming off of numerous tactical defeats and STILL stayed in the army with the intent of fighting a clearly superior foe. That is bravery whatever you want to call it. NOW the moral righteousness of their cause? that is something different altogether. I wrote my thesis in college on why the American rebels were wrong to rebel. hahah. My professor of military science was not pleased.

  • [-]
  • senseijason05
  • 1 Points
  • 16:59:08, 2 January

My apologies if I came off as discounting the bravery of the colonists! I can't imagine the bravery that it took to stand up to a well-armed and trained firing line of British soldiers.

  • [-]
  • Retarded_Goyim
  • 1 Points
  • 17:36:20, 2 January

Honestly the Indians got completely owned.

They had far superior numbers and military might in the early contact years but completely dropped the ball in defending their homeland. Europeans too played tribes off each other (divide and conquer)

The Conquest of the Americas is probably the best argument for strong nationalism that exists. Europe would have never gotten a foot hold in the new world of the Indians worked in solidarity.

  • [-]
  • damn_romanians
  • 1 Points
  • 10:46:40, 2 January

> that douche bag MMA fighter in your hometown who bullies people and gets what he wants through superior knowledge of violence and the will to use it is quite the "advanced" individual.

If, in order to better bully people, that "douchebag MMA fighter" was able to invent and build a handheld rail gun, while everybody else ran around with bows and arrows, you would indeed call him a "quite advanced" individual.

  • [-]
  • Personage1
  • 1 Points
  • 16:16:23, 2 January

>If we equate military superiority and the desire to lord over other cultures (or other people in general) as "more advanced," we take a really narrow view of progress. This implies that these traits are inherently desirable.

That was already covered.

  • [-]
  • damn_romanians
  • 1 Points
  • 16:36:05, 2 January

Not really it wasn't.

>the desire to lord over other cultures/people

This is usually not brought up when talking about European civilization being more advanced, as it is a flaw, not a desirable trait. However, it is, IMO, a flaw inherent to all cultures and people. Europeans just had better weapons and technology. Which brings us to

> military superiority

You're confusing military superiority with technological superiority. Having military superiority does not necessarily mean having technological superiority. As an extreme example, you could have 100 of the latest US tanks, with laser guidance and homing missiles and all vs. 1 million native americans on horses, armed with bows, arrows, axes and molotov cocktails and other 1500's technology. The tanks would hold technological superiority, but the military superiority would be held by the Indians, as they would, eventually, encircle and destroy the tanks.

When we talk about the Europeans being more advanced, we talk about technological development. Granted, a lot of it went into the military, but much of it eventually found other uses in day-to-day life. And even if it didn't, it's still progress. Many people worked very hard, put a lot of brains and effort into finding new ways to slaughter other people. So, ignoring such progress on the basis of "it kills people, man" is just plain wrong.

  • [-]
  • Personage1
  • 1 Points
  • 16:39:17, 2 January

The point is that in your example

>If, in order to better bully people, that "douchebag MMA fighter" was able to invent and build a handheld rail gun, while everybody else ran around with bows and arrows, you would indeed call him a "quite advanced" individual.

the only thing to make this person more advanced is a weapon. This has little to do with the moral, cultural, and technological (in other ways) superiority. I personally look at someone who acts like that as a backwards piece of shit and so telling me that because they found a more destructive way to be a backwards piece of shit that they are more advanced seems amusing to me.

  • [-]
  • BenNL
  • 1 Points
  • 17:53:57, 2 January

You need to read history as Europeans didn't bully anymore than other civilizations. European culture is not inherently more violent than others it might verry well even be less violent compared to certain others. The steppe tribesmen were the most Military superior and had the most desire to lord over others yet they didn't manage to be the leading culture. You are wrong in every possible way by declaring populist statements without any evidence of Europeans being more agressive than others. You declare that the more advanced view is a narrow view while your view is even more narrow. More advanced is however a wrong view as you can't measure wich culture was/is more advanced without bias.

  • [-]
  • silent_Gnomore
  • 1 Points
  • 05:36:16, 2 January

A historian could provide a better answer, but I'll try.

  1. Following the fall of Carthage, the greatest threat to most Europeans was other Europeans largely due to insulation by natural features against external threats.

  2. Warring European clans and tribes made a science of slaughter, going to great lengths for advantage. The Vikings a bit more than a thousand years ago brought Damascus steel entirely by water to Europe and somehow had it forged into a very advanced sword (+Ulfberht) by their enemies, for example.

  3. War culture was so ingrained in Europe that few civilizations did not have compulsory military service -- for thousands of years.

  4. Eventually, religion united Europe and provided the means to repel a rising threat from the Middle East.

  5. Europeans had easier access to the Western Hemisphere by following what would become Atlantic trade routes. Meanwhile, the Far East was isolationist by that time and not interested in external exploration.

Have you ever read the story of Romulus and Remas? Follow that up by reading of the Atruscans, and then once you've done that, dig into the Spartans, the Gaelic tribes, and the Vikings. Early Europeans were brutal.

There are certainly others who can more quickly provide concrete examples (it's late here, my head is sluggish) but an abundance of food, a love for blood, lucky geographic location, and lucky timing for many events led to European military domination and the control over resources that followed. Certainly Arabic people could have accomplished the same (read up about Persia), China could have, and those are only the two big contenders I think of who could have changed everything.

  • [-]
  • magpie1234
  • 1 Points
  • 07:03:54, 2 January

> War culture was so ingrained in Europe that few civilizations did not have compulsory military service -- for thousands of years.

This isn't exceptional. Compulsory military service existed in Mongol, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Egyptian, Incan, Mayan, Aztec, and Babylonian cultures. Basically, anywhere a fairly advanced civilization existed, it had conscription of some kind.

> Warring European clans and tribes made a science of slaughter, going to great lengths for advantage. The Vikings a bit more than a thousand years ago brought Damascus steel entirely by water to Europe and somehow had it forged into a very advanced sword (+Ulfberht) by their enemies, for example.

To demonstrate that Europeans made "a science of slaughter," you note that they adapted advanced weapon-making techniques that non-Europeans had originally made. You are essentially showing that the Europeans weren't the only ones to make a science of slaughter - in fact, at that point, they were less in that mindset than other groups.

> Following the fall of Carthage, the greatest threat to most Europeans was other Europeans largely due to insulation by natural features against external threats.

That's an interesting boundary line, but it isn't correct. The invasion of Europe by Huns, Abbasids, Cordobans, and Fatimids, the Turks, and the Ottomans all showed that Europe was very much under threat of foreign invasion until and into early modern times.

  • [-]
  • silent_Gnomore
  • 1 Points
  • 08:10:31, 2 January

You're completely correct. I've just had Rome on the brain lately, even though I've been shifting focus to the Vikings. I seem to be getting stuck in one period.

The point about the crucible steel crossed my mind as I typed about that too. Time for sleep.

  • [-]
  • DeltaBot
  • 1 Points
  • 08:11:44, 2 January

Confirmed: 1 delta awarded to /u/magpie1234. ^[History]

^[Wiki][Code][Subreddit]

  • [-]
  • simsoy
  • 1 Points
  • 06:25:30, 2 January

Almost every culture was like that though. People shouldn't think as the Europeans as a group of murderous peoples, everyone was fighting eachother and killing eachother during that time. The Europeans just were the most technologically advanced at it.

  • [-]
  • silent_Gnomore
  • 1 Points
  • 06:38:04, 2 January

They weren't even the most advanced. China implemented gunpowder, chemical warfare, the first long range projectile weapons, decoy armies, and... Well, the list goes on. The big difference in Europe is that it remained fairly tribal until Divine Right.

The world was a brutal place for sure. I wouldn't refer to Europeans as one culture at that time though. Europe was once very many peoples all struggling for dominance.

  • [-]
  • magpie1234
  • 1 Points
  • 08:07:11, 2 January

> The big difference in Europe is that it remained fairly tribal until Divine Right.

I would like to see justification for this claim. European nations were, depending on the times, at similar stages of political development to the nations of the rest of the world.

  • [-]
  • silent_Gnomore
  • 1 Points
  • 08:08:51, 2 January

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Ages

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_peoples

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts

Europe is a big place.

  • [-]
  • magpie1234
  • 1 Points
  • 08:38:12, 2 January

I think you are saying Europe didn't have centralized nations before Divine Right - which is misleading. Divine Right is a concept, not a time, but if you mean to say that Europe was decentralized more than the rest of the world before approximately 1600 A.D., you aren't entirely correct. Rome and Byzantium, to name two nations, had centralized government before that time period. Then again, as your wiki links point out, there were deviations from this, but to characterize Europe as "fairly tribal until Divine Right" is a gross oversimplification. I worded my previous post badly. I meant to say that at different times and places there were different degrees of political centralization.

  • [-]
  • goldenticketstub
  • 1 Points
  • 05:36:14, 2 January

If the Romans were superior to barbarians, why were the conquered by the Vandals? The Romans were massively more advanced in technology, literacy, art, and military tactics. They still crumbled after centuries of decay. Hell, the fall of the empire set Europe back for nearly a millennium.

If your definition of superiority is solely about might, you're going to find that the reasons for success are often difficult to articulate. Luck plays an enormous role in much of it.

  • [-]
  • krulos
  • 1 Points
  • 06:07:31, 2 January

The Romans had internal strife, like all great empires that fall. Please take a look at The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

  • [-]
  • goldenticketstub
  • 1 Points
  • 06:10:28, 2 January

I am more than well aware, which is why I noted that they crumbed after centuries of decay. My undergrad concentration was classical history (more Greek/Macedonian, but plenty of Roman as well). That being said, boiling the Roman downfall to internal strife or any of a few dozen issues is writing with a very broad brush.

  • [-]
  • krulos
  • 1 Points
  • 06:18:42, 2 January

Your original point was the Romans were conquered by Vandals, which we both know was not the reason they collapsed. The collapse was obviously much more complicated than either Vandals walking up to the door and internal politics.

  • [-]
  • goldenticketstub
  • 1 Points
  • 06:24:20, 2 January

I don't think we are really disagreeing here.

My original point was whoever stands victorious is a poor indicator of who is a 'superior' empire and isn't even a good indicator of who was the better military power. The Vandals lucked into being in the right place at the right time.

  • [-]
  • nmhunate
  • 1 Points
  • 16:08:12, 2 January

I have a degree in the classics too!

  • [-]
  • General_Mayhem
  • 1 Points
  • 07:06:08, 2 January

>the fall of the empire set Europe back for nearly a millennium

I'm sorry, but this is really, really not true. The concept of the "Dark Ages" is something that historians have been trying to forget for a long time now. At worst, you can say that Western Europe was in disarray for a couple centuries until Charlemagne, but that still ignores the cultural achievements of Byzantium and, more importantly, the advances in agriculture and innovations in social organization in the Germanic and Slavic tribes. If the term "Dark Ages" is used now, it's in a non-pejorative sense that refers only to the relative lack of records surviving from that time.

Rome could never have become late-Middle Ages or modern Europe, and would probably never have invented heavy industry. The Roman Empire was many things, but it was an old-school empire. Nothing after it has been a new Rome; it's simply been new.

  • [-]
  • goldenticketstub
  • 1 Points
  • 07:24:46, 2 January

Eh, I'll disagree on some points. I agree that the Dark Ages does not refer to a time where there was no progress, but I feel like you're downplaying the lack of records and recorded progress. This topic is essentially about what cultural groups have made the 'biggest impact' on the globe. While the various tribal groups and powers that controlled Europe made incremental improvements to their societies, there really were a lack of the great feats. While Southwest Asia gave birth to huge advances in astronomy, mathematics, engineering, and literature, what we can find about Europe is, well, substantially less.

Your point about Rome not being a forward thinking empire is well taken, but I don't think really alters my point. Rome produced enormous advances in the arts, sciences, and military tactics. When Rome fell, it wasn't because an even more advanced empire conquered them; it fell because it was too weak to even protect itself from the growing tribal powers that surrounded it. That Rome was not going to produce great things in the future doesn't really change the lack of relative progress that was made to many other areas.

  • [-]
  • lobax
  • 1 Points
  • 15:02:13, 2 January

Or how the moors fell to the Christian kingdoms of Portugal, Aragon and Castile during the reconquista. Although far, far ahead in the sciences, mathematics and engineering (just compare Alhambra to any 12th century European fortress), the emirate of Granada eventually fell in 1492, forming the basis for the establishment of the Spanish kingdom and their conquest of the Americas, and the knowledge left behind in their vast libraries providing the foundation for the European renaissance.

  • [-]
  • insaneHoshi
  • 1 Points
  • 06:26:53, 2 January

> If the Romans were superior to barbarians

They weren't?

  • [-]
  • a12345tfd
  • 1 Points
  • 07:20:54, 2 January

They were superior to the barbarians for quite a long time. But,as with all things, it came to an end. The barbarians wouldn't have had a chance if they attacked Rome at its height

  • [-]
  • altrocks
  • 1 Points
  • 09:19:49, 2 January

This is exactly why massive North American colonization by Europeans waited almost 150 years to begin. Before most of the indigenous peoples of North America were wiped out by disease during the 1500's no one in Europe really wanted to try conquering them because of their advanced societies and sheer numbers. Between 1492 and 1620 most of the people living in N. America, and many living in Central and South America, died in an apocalyptic event not dissimilar to what you see happen in the game Pandemic. Imagine if East Asia had decided to invade Europe en masse as soon as a plague had finished wiping out most of the population. How organized or powerful would the resistance be?

It's all about being lucky.

  • [-]
  • MrDrBeak
  • 1 Points
  • 05:35:08, 2 January

Military power (and, in a related way, weapons technology) being superior doesn't necessarily mean that the nation wielding it is superior in any other way. The only thing that those types of advances suggest is that the country comes from a more hostile region, and therefore, the culture and technology became focused on conquest.

Relating back to OP's point, Europe was, for a very long time, a hostile place to live. Throughout the Dark Ages, there was so much fighting between kingdoms that when the Crusades came around, the Christian armies were simply more experienced fighters and tacticians. This superiority is reflected throughout the colonial age, in which they invaded nations with a much less warlike culture, and therefore, conquered it.

TL;DR: The only reason a country is stronger is because it's culture is more hostile than the other, which doesn't necessarily qualify it as "superior"

  • [-]
  • insaneHoshi
  • 1 Points
  • 06:30:41, 2 January

> Military power

But you can't have a strong military power exist only on its own. What /u/k5josh was saying that societies dont get conquered my a superior military, but a superior culture and society.

  • [-]
  • Panzerdrek
  • 1 Points
  • 07:01:05, 2 January

Hard to explain the Mongols. Military success is, in many ways, an accident of history.

  • [-]
  • insaneHoshi
  • 1 Points
  • 07:39:17, 2 January

How is it hard to explain the Mongols? They are simply the best of a long line of nomadic horsemen conquerors

  • [-]
  • Panzerdrek
  • 1 Points
  • 08:06:16, 2 January

Surely you would agree that they were not a superior culture or society to the Han Chinese, or any of the other innumerable societies they conquered.

  • [-]
  • magpie1234
  • 1 Points
  • 08:10:44, 2 January

Are you trying to say the Mongols were culturally or socially inferior to the nations they conquered? I think one could argue that in some ways, they were superior - adaptability, intellectual openness, and bureaucratic efficiency are some.

  • [-]
  • MrDrBeak
  • 1 Points
  • 15:50:41, 2 January

I guess it really comes down to what you define as "superior". Would you call the Third Reich culturally superior to, say, Sweden, because it's government was more organized and efficient? Or would you say that Italy is culturally superior to the United States because it's made more contributions to art and science? When you get right down to it, it's difficult to define what a "superior" culture is, since every culture has it's strengths and weaknesses.

  • [-]
  • themasterof
  • 1 Points
  • 18:25:03, 2 January

But wouldn't the hostile environment push them to become more advanced? To gain military power, you need an advanced society. Knowledge and innovation is absolutely necessary, which again will support military power. So a hostile environment pushes an increase in knowledge and innovation.

Another important aspect of military power is to have enough people. To gain more military power, more children must be born. And thus more people must be fed. This will force them to innovate and up their agricultural technology and knowledge. Again, a hostile environment pushes them to become more advanced.

Knowledge, innovation, and agriculture are both very important aspects of a superior society. To be militarily superior, you must be superior in many aspects that does qualify a societal superiority.

  • [-]
  • NakedPerson
  • 1 Points
  • 08:20:31, 2 January

There's a great book called Guns, Germs and Steel which answers this question. Highly recommend it.

  • [-]
  • Dokstrange
  • 1 Points
  • 16:14:36, 2 January

I'm not going to say it's not worth reading, but Diamond's method of ascribing everything to environmental determinism is fairly shoddy, and doesn't always hold up.

  • [-]
  • TheRedTornado
  • 1 Points
  • 16:29:34, 2 January

Where doe sit break down?

  • [-]
  • Dokstrange
  • 1 Points
  • 16:43:33, 2 January

Sorry if this is a copout, but these threads from /r/AskHistorians do a great job explaining it.

tl;dr it's good as an introduction but too often is held up as infallible. Diamond ignores everything that isn't environmental determinism, which is nuts. The history of the human race is so incredibly complex that breaking it up as "Well these people had these animals to domesticate so that's why all things happened" is a gross oversimplification. I have also seen some critiques of his actual information (such as him being unaware of some of the animals domesticated in Africa).

  • [-]
  • KarlTheGreatish
  • 1 Points
  • 16:28:32, 2 January

I came here to say this. For those too lazy to read the whole thing, you can get about 75% of the information by reading part four and the epilogue. The basic premise of the book is that food production was easier to develop in certain areas, leading to an earlier establishment of civilization. Once food production was established and had begun to spread, the cultures that were able to unify most easily (mostly a geographical function) gained another advantage.

  • [-]
  • awa64
  • 1 Points
  • 05:43:11, 2 January

You're arguing "might makes right." Military strength is only one form of advancement/superiority, and arguably doesn't correlate with technological, cultural, political, or spiritual advancement, whatever those might look like.

Or to put it another way with a thought experiment: One society has cured most major illness technologically, guaranteed an average life expectancy of 150, and allows its citizens to exist in a post-scarcity environment. The other society still has large swaths of starving and destitute, high rates of disease and low life expectancy, and power is concentrated in the hands of a few who commit abhorrent human rights abuses--but they have tens of thousands more able-bodied people simply due to sheer numbers, and they attack first. Which one is "more advanced?"

  • [-]
  • TheInternetHivemind
  • 1 Points
  • 07:16:04, 2 January

The one that still exists at the end of the conflict?

  • [-]
  • omgitsbigbear
  • 1 Points
  • 06:14:23, 2 January

It doesn't even mean that. Recall the Mongol conquest of China. The Mongols certainly had the superior military their ability to build and administer their substantial empire came from the Chinese they conquered who, at that time, where in the waning period of an 800 year empire of their own. Their might merely proved that they were good at war. They needed to bring in other cultural technologies to hold on to their empire.

Finally, we're only looking at the latest slice of human history. Seeing the current historical moment and arguing that wears superior is narrow minded and myopic. I'm sure the Reddits of Persepolis, Rome, Cuzco, Tenochtitlan, Peking, ad Baghdad would have all felt similarly about their cultural superiority up until their empires collapsed around them.

  • [-]
  • Wollace
  • 1 Points
  • 15:01:04, 2 January

Exactly. People have been conquering other people since the beginning of human history. The people white people "Conquered" im sure were conquerers of other people before they were conquered.

  • [-]
  • acctobethrownaway
  • 1 Points
  • 14:36:11, 2 January

You might enjoy "Guns, Germs and Steel"

  • [-]
  • mywan
  • 1 Points
  • 06:42:18, 2 January

Mostly germs. Everywhere we went the indigenous people got sick and dies of diseases we had adapted to many years beforehand.

  • [-]
  • Yosarian2
  • 1 Points
  • 15:05:20, 2 January

>If these groups were so superior to their white conquerors, then why were they conquered?

I would recommend reading "Guns, Germs, and Steel". It makes a convincing argument for why Europe and Asia had major geographic and biological advantages for rapid development compared to Africa, Australia, and North and South America.

One big one is that the west-east continent of Eurasia allows crops to move easily; whereas in order for a crop to spread North-South, like in the Americas, you have to breed whole new varieties capable of living in different climates over and over again as you change lattitude, which is why it took so long for corn to spread from South America to North America. Another one is animal domestication; with the exception of Llamas, which only were domesticated in small ares, the Americas just didn't have any large animals for domestication equivilent to the horse or the cow or the pig.

Anyway, it's a long book and I'm not going to summarize it here, but there are good physical reasons why Eurasia (the broad swath of land that includes Europe, the Middle East, India, China, Japan, Russia, ect) developed earlier and faster then Africa or North and South America.

(You could also ask "why did Europe conquer the world instead of China and India", but that's probably more a historical accident then anything else; China very easily could have gone into an age of exploration and then an industrial revolution before Europe did, if it had taken a different historical path from the 13th to 17th century. )

  • [-]
  • singularityJoe
  • 1 Points
  • 05:23:06, 2 January

Great point, I would like to see krulos answer this as well.

  • [-]
  • stratys3
  • 1 Points
  • 14:53:32, 2 January

How does carrying lethal infectious diseases qualify a group of people as "superior" or "more advanced"?

  • [-]
  • beauseph
  • 1 Points
  • 16:06:47, 2 January

guns, germs and steel

  • [-]
  • justintnelson
  • 1 Points
  • 17:49:38, 2 January

Charles Manson might beat Stephen Hawking in a fight, but it doesn't make him superior.

  • [-]
  • nmhunate
  • 1 Points
  • 15:57:41, 2 January

To be fair, by a loose definition of the word, Egyptians, Arabs and Persians are white.

  • [-]
  • Euruxd
  • 1 Points
  • 17:27:13, 2 January

This is wrong. All of it.

>the Euros were lucky in their geographical origin.

I'd argue the luckiest place in the world regarding geography are the Indus Valley and Ukraine. Both have the most fertile land in the world, with plains enriched by rivers, are at the crossroads between Europe and Asia and both have access to the most important seas for trade. And yet, Greece (the birthplace of Western Civilization) was just a small peninsula, its terrain was mostly hills and mountains, and landlocked in the mediterranean.

>If they had been closer to China or the Mongolians, they would have been destroyed.

Russia was devastated by the Mongols. Also, poor, little, and decentralized Greece was right next to the Achemenid Persians, the biggest and largest empire of the ancient era, and yet poor and small Greece was able to defeat them more than once, and then conquer them afterwards.

>For "white" America, it is shielded by two oceans that are difficult to cross easily.

Yet large oceans didn't stop Europeans from conquering the Americas in the first place.

>China has an ancient and grand culture that, if it had been situated in Europe, could have far exceeded the Romans.

On what are you basing this?

>The Egyptians were among the leaders in science and medicine.

No they weren't. The Greeks were the leaders in science and medicine.

>The Arabs merchants built the beginning of our modern accounting and business practices

No, it was the Dutch. However, our current numeric system we did borrow it from the Arabs.

>Discoveries attributed to Europeans had been found out by other cultures many years, decades, and even centuries prior, but those were wiped out by the invaders.

Yes, but Europe didn't conquer the world until after the 18th century. The difference is that in Western culture, these discoveries could reach the population, in contrast to Arabs, Chinese and Indians, where all the knowledge was only kept by an aristocratic minority. For example, the Chinese invented gunpowder, yet they didn't apply this knowledge to any useful or practical means, it was in Europe where gunpowder was used for weapons and dynamite.

And your opinions that China, India, the Arabs, etc. had a great culture, superior to the West; while Europe only got powerful because of geography, is contradictory, wrong, and falacious.

  • [-]
  • JillyPolla
  • 1 Points
  • 07:52:07, 2 January

This is pretty much it. OP think white people are better because at the current point in time, white people are more "advanced".

Had he gone back 300 years in time, people would've said Chinese were clearly the most advanced race because the places they administered had the best economic growth.

Just because "white" countries are on top right now do not mean they will always be.

  • [-]
  • BuckCherries
  • 1 Points
  • 15:05:01, 2 January

Agreed. OPs stance is very short sighted and only takes very modern history into account.

Hell, the biggest empire in history was the (non-white) Mongol Empire (ruling over a quarter of the entire world's population. A quarter.) This without the advances in weaponry, military strategy and transportation the British had several centuries later. That's hugely impressive ~~once you overlook the horrific means most empires used to become so powerful in the first place~~.

And it was the (non-white) Han Chinese Ming Dynasty who eventually overthrew the Mongol Empire.

The same mistake was made by the eugenicists* of the early-mid 20th century, who believed that the Nordic/Aryans (or as it was seen - the "whitest" race) were the fittest and most superior race - only taking in their own historical context into consideration when, historically, it was South America, Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe that packed the biggest cultural punches - not Northern and Western Europe.

**Not saying, by any means, that OP is a white supremacist - just that it's a pretty common misconception to not look at the bigger historical picture and it's easy to forget just how primitive much of Europe was compared to many of the other ancient civilisations!*

And maybe a few centuries from now, another race will be the current superpower and conveniently think they are naturally superior, forgetting the civilizations and advances that came before them (and allowed them to become superpowers in the first place).

TL;DR: What have the Romans/Chinese/Mongols/Egyptians/Incas ever done for us!?

  • [-]
  • magpie1234
  • 1 Points
  • 09:30:18, 2 January

Good point. If OP lived in China in the 1700s, he would think the Chinese were superior. The Chinese did, and not without reason: their population was huge, their economic output rivaled that of industrializing European states, and the neighboring kings all got on the ground to pay respect when the emperor said so. Now, 300 years later, we laugh at this, without realizing the irony.

  • [-]
  • Euruxd
  • 1 Points
  • 14:52:17, 2 January

But you are wrong. The 18th century was precicely the time when European powers began stablishing dominance over the asian states: the colonization of India by the British and French had just began, and the Portuguese and Dutch already had a few colonies in India.

>their economic output rivaled that of industrializing European states

I don't know from where are you getting this; as industrialization had not started in Europe yet by the 18th century. Also, the priority of many Chinese rulers has been to industrialize China to be able to keep up with the Europeans.; and they initially failed to do so, leading to distaster; meanwhile, their smaller neighbor Japan, did industrialize and westernize effectively, and Japan was able not only to match China, but to subdue it with smaller numbers.

  • [-]
  • Nafetsg
  • 1 Points
  • 05:52:20, 2 January

Concerning sub-Saharan Africa. Is there much to wreck from people who lived in accordance to a simple hunter-gatherer mode of living?

Resource extraction technology and methodology from colonial times wasn't that effective; and self-evidently it didn't reach much depletion.

You're leaving out the introduction of medicine, education and civilized life in general.

You're leaving out attempts to end human sacrifice and even slavery(look it up) which were commonplace.

Other parts of the world have endured similar hardships and recovered. There are more recent examples than the end of the colonial era, such as the second world war.

At least try to acknowledge both sides of the story.

  • [-]
  • bottiglie
  • 1 Points
  • 06:46:42, 2 January

But do people in sub-saharan africa have a higher quality of life now? There's still rampant violence, disease, famine, etc. People are still living in ridiculous poverty. People are still enslaved. But Europeans brought demographic devastation, more disease, more slavery, ecological devastation, etc.

  • [-]
  • Nafetsg
  • 1 Points
  • 07:03:46, 2 January

Are you implying that those things persist because of colonialism? Two words: Correlation =/= Causation. Prove it with specific examples, I can easily just point to Singapore and say: "look, these folks do well because of them meddling Europeans"

>demographic devastation

Which eventually resulted in balkanization. There were migrations and animosity within Africa before the European annexation btw.

>more slavery

What do you mean? The issue of slavery in Africa is long, episodic and complex. It started long before Europeans even laid foot in Africa, it was the norm among conflicting tribes to enslave defeated peoples. Moreover, the Arab slave trade of Africa lasted from approximately 650s until around the 1960s.

The Europeans bought their slaves mainly for economic reasons. However, they also believed in slave rights, they objected to the inhumane Arab treatment of the enslaved; such as male castration and working slaves to death. The European powers(Mostly Britain) eventually put an end to that.

Why isn't anyone complaining about how the Arabs deviated Africa?

  • [-]
  • AzureRathian
  • 1 Points
  • 13:11:23, 2 January

There is a problem with the 'Europe ruined it for everyone else' arguements. In the Middle East there was thriving culture and advancements in science and mathematics, but that is the only region (aside from China and Asia) in which any advancements benifical to all of mankind were made. If we look at Africa, and the Americas, until around the 1400s they were completely left alone by Europe or Asia. And yet in the thousands of years they were left alone, they failed to forge a decent civilisation (remember when the British took slaves from Africa the competing tribes often would fight to hand over captives of the others, instead of combatting the British forces. In South and Central America cultures were formed, but they didn't achieve anything in the hundreds of years they existed. Obviously Europe was luckily spared from Persian force and a Mongol one which allowed it to move ahead of Asia, but remember Europe did enter a 'dark ages' but still emerged from this time of lack of advancement faster than any other civilisation (given the opportunity to catch up with Europe at this point) and with the most success. Think of all of black or Native American inventors you've heard of. Any spring to mind?

TDLR- If all peoples are equally intelligent, why does Europe grow faster than any other despite setbacks when other races were left alone for hundreds of years?

  • [-]
  • athombomb
  • 1 Points
  • 15:27:34, 2 January

> If we look at Africa, and the Americas, until around the 1400s they were completely left alone by Europe or Asia. And yet in the thousands of years they were left alone, they failed to forge a decent civilisation (remember when the British took slaves from Africa the competing tribes often would fight to hand over captives of the others, instead of combatting the British forces. In South and Central America cultures were formed, but they didn't achieve anything in the hundreds of years they existed.

yeah that's definitely incorrect, and using a measure of 'civilization' as defined by imperialists to nullify or to imply that these civilizations had no achievements of their own. you don't hear anything because they were wiped out and their histories written over by their conquerors.

>but that is the only region (aside from China and Asia) in which any advancements benifical to all of mankind were made.

yeah you're some kind of authority

  • [-]
  • DaveyGee16
  • 1 Points
  • 14:22:51, 2 January

I disagree with the OP but this is bullshit. You could say the thing about China being lucky not to have been next to the Romans. These debates have a tendency to be viewed by people like they were playing Civilization when it is plainly not that simple. The Indians, Arabs and Chinese were more advanced in some areas while the Europeans, and up to the modern age I would dispute grouping them that tightly, we're more advanced on others. Including in some areas of mathematics, medicine and the others sciences you named. No one civilization had a mastery of any of those on its own just as we haven't mastered any of those sciences even today.

  • [-]
  • kkjdroid
  • 1 Points
  • 15:36:37, 2 January

Now, to be absolutely fair, that ancient and grand Chinese society would have done just as much conquering if it had been situated just a little differently.

  • [-]
  • che_mek
  • 1 Points
  • 06:00:21, 2 January

This is spot on. The Western Way has really fucked over a large portion of the world. One example, over and over again, white politicians drew country borders with no regard to which racial/ethnic/religious group was living inside those boundaries. Happened in Eastern Europe and Africa to my knowledge... Probably a bunch of other times but I have no source on that.

  • [-]
  • canyoufeelme
  • 1 Points
  • 07:41:39, 2 January

Middle East

  • [-]
  • youdidntreddit
  • 1 Points
  • 13:33:23, 2 January

The middle east doesn't have neat ethnic blocks that make it easy to divide.

  • [-]
  • youdidntreddit
  • 1 Points
  • 13:30:54, 2 January

By the 18th century the scientific revolution had pushed europe ahead of the rest of the world, by the 19th century industrialization took hold. Technological and economic superiority is what allowed Europe to conquer the world, though racial explanations are a load of crap.

  • [-]
  • lokomoko99764
  • 1 Points
  • 14:27:52, 2 January

>The "white" populations have pillaged and now control a large portion of the world's resources. This isn't because they are white, but because the Euros were lucky in their geographical origin. If they had been closer to China or the Mongolians, they would have been destroyed. For "white" America, it is shielded by two oceans that are difficult to cross easily.

Why does Europe itself give such a huge advantage? What is there in Europe that East Asia doesn't have for example?

  • [-]
  • curiousduck905
  • 1 Points
  • 04:40:57, 2 January

Thanks for all your thoughtful responses so far! Many have noted the importance of early colonization/using or interacting with other "groups" of people to achieve economic/political/social success.

To this end, why didn't other "groups of people" do this? Why aren't/weren't other groups of people privy to the notion that "we should use others to our advantage" (to be clear, I am not saying this is a good or bad thing for the sake of argument)? Was it just chance/coincidence that so many of the "same" type of people navigated history this way?

Also, to make "white" more defined, I would classify any person who has largely a European origin as white. I hope that clears it up more.

North America may have originated with Native Americans, but I would argue that the colonists were more advanced in many ways to sustain the type of living we would most associate with happiness today.

  • [-]
  • hacksoncode
  • 1 Points
  • 05:43:38, 2 January

The thing is, you've changed your view already from being members of the "white race" being superior (actually, just more ruthless, and I'd even debate that), to "people descended from Europeans" being superior.

Given that Europe is just a place (a big place, with lots of ethnic groups, really), what could be the source of this superiority? Clearly not genetic, as genetically they are not different from the rest of the "races" (the overlap between races is far larger than any difference in the means).

I would also argue that all of Europe is pretty much a Balkanization of the Roman Empire, so in effect it's really all descended from one "country", and counting it as "17 out of 20" is rather disingenuous. Certainly, for example, the Scandinavian countries are culturally and ethnically very similar to each other... there's a lot of "double counting" going on here.

Should the 50 states of the U.S. count as 50 out of the top 69 economic entities? Why is the European Union intrinsically any different just because they're called separate "countries"?

The answer? They were "lucky". The technological conquest game is an exponential one. If you happen to the be the first to get there, you win, because you always stay ahead of the next group of barbarians you run across, steal their resources, and get more powerful.

Only once there are no more colonies to conquest do you run into serious competition, which is what is happening in the world right now.

In any event, the simple example of Japan should be enough to change your view. It's every bit as happy, technologically advanced, and economically successful as any European descendant country, and more so than most. It is also in no way genetically, culturally, or economically related to any of them. This should put paid to any idea that any "group" or "race" is "superior".

  • [-]
  • typesoshee
  • 1 Points
  • 14:24:04, 2 January

You're probably inundated with replies, but this point:

> Also, to make "white" more defined, I would classify any person who has largely a European origin as white. I hope that clears it up more.

Note that this does include Eastern Europe and Russia. Eastern Europe's HDI is lower than developed East Asia and is arguably "a tier lower" than Western Europe AND that is after improving massively in the last 20-30 years thanks to the fall of communism. Communism gives you a clear way of telling you why there is a clear difference in wealth between current west and east Germany as well as West and Eastern Europe as well as between North and South Korea and China and Taiwan/Hong Kong.

Note also that biologically, white Europeans are very close to middle eastern people. Light-skinned middle eastern or even South Asian people look just like Mediterranean Europeans for the most part. But middle eastern countries aren't... in "2nd place" in terms of wealth/happiness after Europeans or anything like that. They were in fact way richer a 1000 years ago.

Finally, anatomically modern humans entered Europe around 40,000 years ago. So say that Europeans have been genetically distinct from the rest of the world's humans for 30,000 years. Why would Europeans show dominance in civilization only in short spurts of the last few hundred years and then a few hundred years during the Roman Empire, and a few hundred during the Greek ages when they've had distinctly European genes for 30,000 years? The Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia all have equal claim to having "good genes" if you go by the proportion of time that their civilization was "top tier" out of the time that they had distinct genes from the rest of the world.

  • [-]
  • SwampJieux
  • 1 Points
  • 14:44:39, 2 January

Many races have used slaves / indentures servants.

  • [-]
  • lobax
  • 1 Points
  • 15:19:40, 2 January

They did. The western world (Western Europe + North America) has really only dominated the political landscape during the last 300 years. Or have you forgotten about the about the mongols, the various Chinese dynasties, the Mayans and Inca, the moors in Europe during the middle ages? Or the Ottoman Empire, that lasted well into WW1?

Although you do find dominating cultures in the Romans and Greeks, pretty much most of the dominating civilisations in human history have been middle eastern, from the Indian subcontinent or from China. Even in the Americas you find developed civilisations comparable to their contemporaries on the other side of the pond in both brutality and scientific development throughout history.

It's all just a game of luck and momentum.

  • [-]
  • staringispolite
  • 1 Points
  • 17:06:32, 2 January

Another aspect I haven't seen touched on: I would challenge your view simply from a scientific point of view. The data on which you're basing your belief is flawed.

You can think of our Earth and human history as an experiment that tests your hypothesis. If white people, in fact, "form better societies for human living". Then you should be able to run human history 1,000 times and see how often white people come out on top.

So let's imagine doing that. Get an Earth, start people off in the Africa/Middle East areas as archeologists suggest happened, watch as they branch off across the world. Some of them will become white people. See if the white people "win". Repeat.

Problem 1: We have only done this experiment one time. You cannot draw any conclusions from this one experiment. Imagine a simpler experiment where you flip a coin one time. What conclusions can you draw? How would people react if you changed the World Series from a Best of 7 to a Best of 1? One team could "get lucky" and win any one game, then still lose the series.

You're attempting to draw conclusions from a sample of 1. You need more Earths to get an average or see a trend.

Problem 2: Color of skin may confuse cause-and-effect. People touch on this in other answers so I'll keep this short. As humans migrated, some of them ended up in places that had advantageous natural resources. On average, and over many many generations, Eurasia's resources gave its inhabitants a significant advantage, but its weather also gave them lighter skin.

So skin color isn't even controlled for in this experiment.

Problem 3: The experiment isn't done yet. ;)

  • [-]
  • imu96
  • 1 Points
  • 08:05:01, 2 January

While I agree with you that currently "white" groups are doing better. This has not always been the case. In fact, if you were to look at the middle ages, you would find that there are (in my opinion) strong indicators that non-white people were better off.

For example. If you take a look at the dark ages (aprox 6th-13th) where Western European countries ("white" countries) weren't doing so well after the decline of the Roman Empire, Arab countries seemed to be thriving. Since there was no HDI or "happiest countries" thing back then, so instead look at technological advancements because those seemed to go hand in hand with more developed countries (to some extent at least).

So while the dark ages were going on in Europe, empires such as the Fatimid, Abbasid, and Umayyad were thriving. In the 11th century, the law of sines was discovered by Muslim mathematicians, Ibn Sinna (Avicenna) published his "The Book of Healing" (a scientific encyclopedia) and "The Canon of Medicine" which was one of the most influential medical texts over the next 6 centuries.

During those times Chinese civilizations were also thriving but I don't know a lot about those. But they also published some important works of science if I'm not mistaken.

Basically what I'm trying to get at is that every dog has its day. Right now it's the "white" countries turn. Because they are currently dominant, it will be their history that is dominant as they have the loudest voice. You will mostly here about their scientific achievements and stuff. But truth be told, there was a time when they weren't the dominant force that they are today. So it's just kind of a cycle. Later on, some other general race of people might take over, trumpet their history, and everyone will think they have been dominant all along.

  • [-]
  • Euruxd
  • 1 Points
  • 15:19:45, 2 January

The Dark Ages were the result of the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, which led to:

a) A Western Europe ruled by Germanic kings

b) Depopulation of Western Europe

c) Deurbanization of Western Europe

d) Constant warfare between the newly formed Germanic kingdoms

But notice that during this time, the Eastern Roman Empire was thriving and in fact, they managed to conquer some territory lost of the Western Empire. They might have been able to keep up expanding had the Muslims not invaded them in the first place. And in case you don't know, the Muslims were responsible for the following:

a) Egypt, North Africa and Mesopotamia were arguably the most fertile lands in the world, and were "the breadbasket of the empire" because most of the wheat consumed on the Roman Empire was produced there. However, the Arabs were herders, not farmers, and so these lands were used for pastures instead of farming, leading to depopulation.

  • [-]
  • A_Soporific
  • 1 Points
  • 04:27:01, 2 January

"White" is a bad designation. I mean in the 1920's residents of Poland and the Sorbs in Germany were not classified as "white". It's an absurd designation that doesn't actually mean anything, mostly because it's constantly being rubber banded to exclude and include groups that don't have anything meaningful in common based on arbitrary rules that constantly change.

Without a tight, clearly defined definition then there's no value in even talking about what is and is not "white".

Once you get beyond that, you have to look at other factors. Are those countries benefiting because they are governed by "white" people or were they beneficiaries of global trade, Columbian exchange, and on the winning side of wars of empire that put them in a preferable situation. I would argue that North America, Europe, and Australia are the way they are because of the way that history played out, not because of any inherent superiority of the current residents of those places. Once people have an advantage for a significant period of time it becomes institutionalized and hard to lose.

  • [-]
  • starfirex
  • 1 Points
  • 06:26:13, 2 January

It's how the chips have fallen, but correlation does not equal causation.

It's like saying you believe rich people, as a group, are more successful than poor people and are therefore superior in some way. Sure, but the instant you take their wealth away they're no better than anyone else. Same concept applies here, except with skin pigmentation.

  • [-]
  • PixelSplitter
  • 1 Points
  • 10:30:52, 2 January

I don't think that's a very good example, maybe change it to ones who inherited their wealth. The people I know who earn triple what I do and are now wealthy were either extremely clever or much more driven than me. You take away everything we both have and they would end up doing better than me all over again.

  • [-]
  • SSTUPNC
  • 1 Points
  • 06:43:12, 2 January

By being more genocidal and evil than any other race in the history of this planet. The levels of tyranny and general depravity had never really been witnessed or enacted by any other group before whites began colonization.

Firstly, how do you quantify "better" living in a concrete box where every human interaction and action is made into a commodity? What is troubling is this prevailing idea by many an implicit privileging and overvaluation of bourgeois values and culture. Your particular focus that, clerical and managerial skills of the sterile upper-middle-class white person is presented as the highest desideratum, the ultimate evolutionary point of humanity.

For a less "PC" perspective.

Whites are the most parasitic group. They have committed unspeakable crimes against entire other groups due to their phenotypical differences, stolen everyone's land and resources, got rich of off the abuse and exploitation of others and all they have given back is pollution, devastation, and netflix.

Stating post colonial progress and modifications on existing technology, since there are very few things that have been invented in the post colonial world only modifications of existing technologies. Thus, bragging about their pool of stolen resources and lack of hardship that could create an atmosphere to produce such modifications as markers of their superiority.

Don't get me wrong though I love haole I couldn't live without my House of Cards.

  • [-]
  • Jdf121
  • 1 Points
  • 08:09:14, 2 January

This may not be enough for a post, but read Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. It shows how countries with more resources among other factors contribute to their status.

You gotta play the game with what you have

  • [-]
  • BuckCherries
  • 1 Points
  • 15:54:19, 2 January

>You gotta play the game with what you have

It's kind of amazing how much "luck" factors into a lot of the growth of various superpowers and civilisations.

Pick a century - any century - say, the 14th: the Ottoman Empire and Ming Dynasty were flourishing much better than the dropping-like-flies, dark ages-ridden, Europeans. While much of Europe was being killed off with famine and black death, China was making amazing advances - working out how to make cannons, land/naval mines and even rocket launchers and Osman I was just tearing shit up!

Is it because the Europeans were just stupid and inferior to their neighbours in the east - especially since the Black Death is thought to have originated in rats from central Asia but despite this it was the far east that flourished in the 14th century while as much as 60% of the European population died from disease?

Stupid, inferior Europe, smart, superior Asia - right?

Probably not, since Yersinia pestis (the most likely caused the Black Death) caused an epidemic plague in the late 20th century in China, causing 100,00 deaths within just two months with the Chinese having of the cause or how to contain it. It was a Swiss-French physician who discovered the bacillus and was named in his honour.

So.... stupid, inferior Asia, smart, superior Europe - right?

Or maybe shitty luck is just shitty luck...

  • [-]
  • resonanteye
  • 1 Points
  • 15:58:37, 2 January

You and one other person have referred to this, and it's really the best reasoning. Starting out in the right location made the difference.

  • [-]
  • nomad005
  • 1 Points
  • 15:42:04, 2 January

Read Guns Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond, it'll give you some insight. Whites are superior not because of being white but because of our history and environment, which happens to purely coincidental as well. Genetically we are not very different from one ethnicity to the next, but socially we've incorporated beneficial fundamentals. Look at Asia social systems, they are screwed. Another one thing I don't think we're as territorial in the traditional sense, thus we have high density cities. We're identical thus why its relatively easy for other ethnicity to blend in with us, socially and generically. We'll never really know the why to be honest, most of this is pure speculation. Cautionary tale let's not forget the cradle of civilized life started in Middle East, but for some reason withered out (I suspect resources ran dry, given its current state). My point is in the end ethnicity has very little to do with it, a tribe in Europe that happens to be white, reaped many advantages and came out on top. Simple as that.

  • [-]
  • svalbard5
  • 1 Points
  • 15:56:26, 2 January

What you are failing to consider is that the reason this "white societies" are "better" is that they have, often through acts of absolute barbarism, damaged the competition.

Frankly, if you take a historic look at "evil" there simply isn't any group nearly as good at evil as white people. We are soulless, exploitation and murder machines.

Tribal conflict in Africa? Please. Child's play compared to the Nazis, American Expansionism, Slavery, British Imperialism, etc.

Further, you should read "Guns, Germs and Steel". It's a book explaining the inherent differences in resources between various locations.

If you live in an equatorial country, you have dark skin and malaria to contend with. You also have a harder time accessing various metal resources and your lack of available domesticated animal species means that you are going to lag behind in aggriculture and therefore population density and disease immunity. So, when your culture comes into contact with a culture from someplace that has these things, they are going to infect you and you are going to die.

Then add the factor that technologies tend to be viable horizontally, but not vertically. That is to say, you can trade snow shoe technology with your neighbors to the east and west, but not to your neighbors to the south. This means that where land masses are oriented E/W (Europe and Asia) tech developed in one place is viable across the entire land mass. But in places N/W (Americas, Africa) the adaptation for desert living doesn't mean anything to your neighbors, and their technology for tracking deer means nothing to you.

Basically, the summation of the argument is this: If you took all the white people and all the black people and swapped their starting points but changed nothing about their genetics, you would end up with similar end results because of the resources, not because of any particular attribute of the society

  • [-]
  • Sahil17
  • 1 Points
  • 16:20:22, 2 January

Guns Germs and Steel is an excellent book. The documentary is also very cool. Recommended to anyone who has this type of misconception. Whites aren't biologically superior or anything, they just were allowed to advance in a much faster pace because of their excellent starting point in the Fertile Crescent.

  • [-]
  • Astrokiwi
  • 1 Points
  • 16:42:42, 2 January

As a sort of side point, I think it's good to distinguish "white people" from "European civilization". We can talk about European dominance in the world, but it's dangerous and incorrect to equate this with "white people" dominance.

For example, we can look at "white culture", perhaps by looking at famous 19th century novels. Something like "The Three Musketeers" might be considered a major classic in "white culture". However, the author (Alexandre Dumas) was a black man. He was thoroughly European in culture however, and you could definitely call this "European literature", but it would be totally wrong to call it "white literature".

The key is that we're talking about an culture, a shared identity, not genetics and the colour of someone's skin. It's important that this isn't about different races, but about different "civilizations", as hard as that may be to define.

  • [-]
  • petrus4
  • 1 Points
  • 17:19:51, 2 January

When I see people advocate the superiority of white societies, I tend to notice that there are only really two metrics used, to define what "better," means.

a} Individual life expectancy, or longevity.

b} Industrialisation, which is believed to be the cause of a}.

Some white supremacists will try and claim inherently superior intelligence as well, but that tends to fall apart for two reasons.

a} IQ is generally only a measure of those skills which are likely to be of value within industrial (as opposed to pre-industrial or indigenous) societies; and usually focuses primarily on mathematics.

b} As far as IQ is concerned, in terms of ethnic groups, the Jews are usually shown to have the highest concentration, statistically speaking.

The single main reason why I personally reject the "Whitey should be king of the world forever because of industrialisation," argument, is because industrialisation has existed at this point for less than 300 years, and already it is showing indications that it will eventually render the planet incapable of supporting life, if it is maintained. Unfortunately, the contemporary response to this, usually manifests as various depraved, transhumanist notions about either leaving Earth, so that we can find yet another planet which we can then proceed to trash as well, or rebuilding ourselves as machines, so that the collapse of the environment will not affect us.

At this point, I truthfully consider any claim of ethnic superiority by any single group, to be garbage. The fact of the matter is that all human beings have an equal capacity for desirable or undesirable behaviour; and attempting to focus on isolated elements such as IQ or the industrial argument, is basically grasping at straws.

Transhumanists and other such types, who consider industrialisation to be an exclusively positive thing, irrespective of its' consequences, are profoundly sick people, as far as I am concerned. The main thing that bothers me about transhumanism in particular, more than anything else, is its' hubris and arrogance. Being philosophically misguided and mentally ill, by itself, is not a crime; the real problem is lack of repentance. Ray Kurzweil is unreservedly insane, in my opinion; but the only reason why I really resent his insanity, is because of his refusal to acknowledge it.

  • [-]
  • JonWood007
  • 1 Points
  • 17:33:51, 2 January

I suggest you read Ibn Khaldun's work. He lived during the 800s I believe? This was a time where the center of the world was the muslim world. He had this strange theory that because his people were brown skinned, they were the best, most civilized people for society. He considered both whites and blacks to be inferior races, because in his time, both Europe and Africa were pretty undeveloped at the time.

The point of bringing this up? Don't conflate race with societal success, it all varies on the time.

Here's a little secret you might not be aware of. But until right after WWII, the white European powers of the world controlled the world. They carved up Africa, enslaved blacks and often shipped them over here to America. South America, same thing. Native peoples were used for slave labor. Asia was also controlled a bit by the British, etc.

So after WWII, colonialism becomes too expensive, and in light of becoming more enlightened due to the holocaust, colonial powers cut their colonies loose. But wait, they were oppressed for hundreds of years, the boundaries are all arbitrarily put together so groups that hate each other end up in the same countries, the people learned brutality from the colonists (belgians used to cut off Africans' hands, for example, now Africans cut off other Africans' hands), etc.

What you're seeing today, is the aftermath of a highly racist (favoring whites) colonial world, and then you wonder why all the rich societies are white. Because they weren't oppressed for the last 5 centuries or so, for starters.

Point is, it could've easily gone another way. If Muslims, for example, had conquered the world like Europeans did centuries later, people would still accept Ibn Khaldun's philosophy of brown skinned people being superior. Don't confuse race, skin color, with the real factors at work. They play a role, but nowhere near in the capacity you suggest. Being white doesn't automatically make you smarter or magically make you more apt to rule. However, being in a world that once gave whites privilege while oppressing and stunting the growth of everyone else does. Privilege does. Not having your country oppressed and ravaged does. Being educated does. Look at Barack Obama, president of the United States, leader of the free world. Agree or disagree with his politics all you want, but I'd argue he's as good as a president as anyone else. Better than some, worse than others.

  • [-]
  • BenNL
  • 1 Points
  • 17:40:36, 2 January

Op if you want a fair and good answer to your questions, I suggest reading "guns germs and steel" by Jared Diamond. It answers your question perfectly by explaining why the euro civilizations expanded and thrived like they did. He does this by stating that all races are the same and that thus the civilizations that are the "best" today must have had advantages over the others. These advantages are the fact that we western civillaztions had a mix of good grain, cattle/horses and steel. It is not a racist question of yours but a good question to ask. When you look at the statistics you can come to the conclusion that Western civilizations are the best and what do all these have in common oh yeah they are white. Well this conlcusion is based on the fact that you don't know of the historical advantages that the civilizations had.

Now the top reply sais bluntly that western civilization were inferior to others. This you don't have to believe there is no way to measure one civilazation to another. Neither did the western civilation bomb other civilizations to the stone age as the reply implies. However it is populair to say bad things about our history or government but this is certainly populist reasoning. Please read Jared Diamond Guns, Germs and steel as it is a good book.

I also want to say that your question is wrong. You can't state that our society is better than that of another. This is because you pick arguments that fit your view. So your answer is always biased. If you decide to say that American society is better than that of a Amazon tribe you will say well our society is better because my values of the Western society are better represented in the American society than that of the Amazon tribe. See the problem because the Amazon tribesman might say well my society is better because it promotes my values. You can see this in your post because you pick arguments that favor a Western society more than that of a nomadic tribe.

Most of your doubts and thoughts will be changed by reading or listening to some historians. Why because you will learn that our current world was formed by events in the past that could have gone one way or the other. An example would be the Persian Greek war. What would have happend if the Persians had won. There would have been no Alexander the Great who spread the greek culture to the middle east. There would have been no renesaince in Europe. We would not have had our Alphabet. We might have had a Persian culture. This is not one event these happend manny manny times. It is just luck that the Western civiliazations are what they are today. Not because of race as really what would that mean. That white people are stronger and better than other people while forgetting that a white person does not exist, as your blood will contain African, Mongolian etc. blood.

Lets have a little thought experiment. 1 Group of early humans is white the other is Green. They settle within one hundered miles of each other. both have the exact same geogrhapic advantage. The earth is vitile and the both contain metals. Wich one will in a thousand years be better. They are both the exact same except for the colour of their skin. Can you explain with arguments why the Green group could be better than the white one or vice versa? If you can please say so. But I don't think you can whitout saying well one had 5 imbicile leaders while the other only had 1, or one group had earlier acces to horses than the other, or one decided that they don't trade with outsiders and the other traded with every group of travellers that passed by. Colour has nothing to do with your question as there are to many variables to narrow it down to colour.

  • [-]
  • GodBlessAdolfHitler
  • 1 Points
  • 18:08:06, 2 January

Because whites are Ubermenschen

  • [-]
  • kabbotta
  • 1 Points
  • 18:09:20, 2 January

I think you should listen to this interview with Thomas Sowell. It really helped me put some similar thoughts into perspective. I think that he would say that you are partially right, but the important thing to notice is that none of this is set in stone. It is not that white people are superior. It is that the current culture amongst whites, chinese, and jews is better in some significant ways than the current culture amongst other groups. But this can change drastically. And it doesn't stop an individual person from adopting the more succesful culture. There seems to be some evidence that married black couples actually out earn married white couples on average in some areas now. They've adopted some of the benefits of a different culture. Sowell points out that the increase in black literacy since the end of slavery is almost unprecedented in human history.

"You know what they say? That blacks haven't caught up to whites." - Tony Brown

"Whites haven't stood still!" - Thomas Sowell

  • [-]
  • lollerkeet
  • 1 Points
  • 04:33:54, 2 January

It has nothing to do with genetics. Anglophone and Nordic countries have a culture and values that lead to less corrupt governments and a better welfare system than most.

  • [-]
  • simsoy
  • 1 Points
  • 06:33:23, 2 January

1.) The Roman Empire was pretty advanced, and was the root of European civilization. When they fell, Europe fell back far in technology. 2.) The Renaissance spurred scientific and military technology, and during this time the Middle East was already in decline after their golden age so Europe became the most advanced place on the Earth. 3.) Colonization. Many in the Americas died due to disease, and Europe was able to conqueror Africa because Africa was mainly tribal peoples. Spears don't do well against organized armies of musketmen. 4.) Industrialize. America and Europe became the first places to industrialize, giving them a boost in technology over Asia. 5.) The Cold War. Communism pretty much fucked up the advancement of the countries that had it. Look at North Korea in comparison to South Korea. So many parts of Asia are poor because they had dictators and communist rule. But now Asia is booming due to western trade.

Most of the reasons why non-white cultures are not as advanced is because we fucked them over. But that was in the past. The world is starting to recover, China and Asia are in a boom, Africa is expected to hit a China level boom within the next few decades and South America is gradually improving. By the end of our life times poverty will be tiny, and most people wont be starving. After all, poverty was cut in half during the last twenty years.

  • [-]
  • ddxxdd
  • 1 Points
  • 07:42:07, 2 January

My hypothesis:

  1. Resources. [1][2]. African countries have fewer metal ore deposits than other countries, and their main exports are diamond and uranium (not really conducive to building a society from scratch).

  2. Climate. When there are so many wild animals ready to attack nearby, and people live under an unbearably hot sun with barely any water available, technological progress such as irrigation and a sewer system would be hard to come by.

While I don't buy the "colonization" argument that others are making (if anything, colonization should actually benefit the colonized country), there is a real argument to make that access to food, water, and a suitable climate has a strong impact on a society's ability to function properly.

  • [-]
  • Second_Foundationeer
  • 1 Points
  • 11:22:02, 2 January

If you go back further in history, "white" people were among the barbarous territories of the world. The situation now merely reflects the barbarous actions of those countries in the past (ie. forcing the opium trade, splitting Africa, etc.). I'm not sure a fifty-year period is good enough to claim this when we have thousands of years of much shittier societies built by their ancestors.

  • [-]
  • demonlicious
  • 1 Points
  • 11:27:35, 2 January

What you perceive to be better societies for human living, and it wasn't something all white nations build themselves. It was mostly exported by the dominant power who treated people that looked like them (other white nations) better than people that didn't look like them. Without Great Britain, things would be a lot less nicer for white nations, and probably a lot better for the none white nations.

There's no good or bad, just history.

  • [-]
  • MrMercurial
  • 1 Points
  • 13:33:27, 2 January

How many of these top 25 countries are led by men with majority male governments? I suspect quite a few. Would it follow from this that men are somehow better at running governments than women, for instance? If you think not, then I think a similar reason as to why would explain why the successful countries seem to be mostly white.

  • [-]
  • guinearider
  • 1 Points
  • 06:52:03, 2 January

Heh, you have to be pretty ignorant of history to really think this way. If you look at European history for several centuries (before 21st century), Europeans were pretty barbaric in terms of endless religious wars, brutal colonialism and wiping out of native cultures (just like in America). England invented the slave trade (sugar -> booze -> slaves etc...). Asian cultures considered Europeans barbarians for good reason, because if we applied our modern moral standards to what previous generations have done, then almost all the European countries made a living enslaving, dominating, and conquering other unfortunate countries / societies using more modern weapons to boss others around.

TLDR: You are believing the myth, "might makes right, therefore white = right". Just because Europeans had an advantage in weapons doesn't make their societies superior. I would argue collectivist cultures are superior due to greater equality and better moral standards and being more environmentally sustainable.

  • [-]
  • ncoma
  • 1 Points
  • 06:52:24, 2 January

Perhaps this has been said, but. Guns, Germs, and Steel. It just so happens that areas that dont have enough sun to make dark skinned people evolve also have all the domesticatable animals. Domesticatable animals are why Europe conquered the world. I don't think the Mayans were dumber than the Spanish-I think the Spanish weren't hunting all of their meals and therefore had more time to be innovative and play around with fire and shit and make steel. Extra time on your hands when you can move past a hunter gatherer society = Ships, armor, guns. Areas that are cloudy enough to make white people got lucky. It isn't about intelligence, it's about environment.

  • [-]
  • tbeau1
  • 1 Points
  • 09:27:00, 2 January

Throughout history, new Republic governments have tended to lead to great technological advancements... and with each new series of advancements leads to more. I believe because Europe was the first to do this, they got a huge head start.

  • [-]
  • looking2doit
  • 1 Points
  • 15:54:08, 2 January

Alas, another of the CMV questions that cannot be possibly answered in this cute little forum. It might take say... A book to understand this, maybe two books, maybe an undergraduate degree. First, let me say it's good that the OP had this original thought. It just means that he/she is a critical thinker probably. Second, it has nothing to do with race ie, the preposterous notion that white people are so much better genetically than their Asian, say, counterparts. That's just ridiculous thinking. If you find yourself thinking that you might not be a racist, but you need to look harder for evidence that you're not a racist :) So if it's not a genetic thing, then it's obviously a history thing. This is proved further by the fact that throughout history the basic premise of this question wasn't always true. There were times before globalization when China, and the kingdoms of Egypt might have been considered the best ordered and most lawful etc. Lastly, I think there is something left unsaid by Forbes and the surveys that the OP used in his source which is interesting. That is that in the US,for example, there are pockets of ghettos and rural slums that where life can be very cruel and poverty levels are atrocious. These feifdoms can't be left out just because the people in them probably weren't queried by the Forbes people as to how they perceived their lives.
So recommend to you (if you are interested enough to get a complete answer) "Guns, germs and steel" by Jared Diamond, which deals with this very question and is a must read for basically everyone. Also, and history of WWI, WWII or the Napoleonic wars as a counterpoint to why living within an all white country isn't all that fun anymore. Or if you like audio how about Dan Carlins Hardcore History podcast, "globalization unto death". Anyway hope I gave you something to think about!

  • [-]
  • justinzoinks
  • 1 Points
  • 16:25:37, 2 January

correlation is not causation.

I would recommend, instead of giving into the innate (and insidious) human desire to label things that are visible to the human eye, to take an interest in history of western civilization.

As t turns out, your view was the prominent one about 70-80 years ago. Since then there have discovered that there are many common root causes. Gun Germs and steel, as mentioned, is a good place to look for information.

In addition to this, advanced civilizations have participated in many unethical behaviors to get ahead, mostly to do with literal or economic slavery; it's easy to live well and be civilized when crowds of 'lesser races' live in poverty for you. We enjoy this, today, in the most civilized places like Canada.

Lastly, if you are really interested in the group mind as formed by our "good" or "evil" founding fathers, and why one group may be made to behave "better" than another, I would look toward Edward Bernays, Walter Lippman, Noam Chomsky (to start). You might learn some things about mass psychology and the world at large that makes race seem like a secondary issue.

Source: black masters candidate in aerospace robotics. I also write and read political philosophy and science fiction, with a not-small audience as well.

  • [-]
  • craggle_shaman
  • 1 Points
  • 18:14:39, 2 January

I think that "whites", "asians" and to a lesser extent "whitish" groups have formed better societies because of evolutionary pressures which have made them more successful for the following reasons:

1) Moving into a cold environment put massive NEW selection pressures on the early european man which accelerated their development and gave them new traits which promote civilization.

*the selection pressure to live peacefully in a group which is the same as non-violence and cooperation was in place because if you have done something to get you excluded from your tribe, once winter comes you're probably going to die, this is not the case in Africa

*surviving in winter requires what is called "tempo-realization" which is the ability to not only imagine the future, but to view that future as real enough to take action on it, those with little "tempo-realization" would not make extensive preparations for the coming winter and would not survive in the environment. The strengthening of this "tempo-realization" also leads to developing other society baring abilities such as having the foresight to plant crops in spring while not reaping the rewards until fall.

*cold environments necessitate working in groups, sharing and cooperating, this is extremely clear and evident today!

2) Those that formed civilization first accelerated their own evolution even more by doing so.

I'm surprised this is overlooked so much. Have you seen how human's have shaped the modern domesticated dog from a wolf over several tens of thousands of years? By living in civilization, the humans in it essentially DOMESTICATED THEMSELVES, they turned from the human equivalent of wolves, to the human equivalent of modern dogs. They became more docile, the were shaped by the factors which make you more successful in a civilization (intelligence, non-violence, cooperation, planning). On the other hand civilization saw the end of those that work against it. For thousands of years thieves, murderers and others were simply put to death thus creating a selection pressure for non-violence, honesty and cooperation.