Problems With Western Civilization

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10m Nov 16, 2020

People in the United States are likely to hear others talking about Western culture or "Western Civilization." What does this mean? Are we talking about the American West, with its cowboys, Native Americans and outlaws? Are we talking about the Western Hemisphere? Which West are we talking about?

Some people try to claim that it is a concept that is ancient in origin going back to the bloody battlefields of the Persian Wars in Greece. It is a fallacy.

The term is actually quite modern in origin going back to the 19th Century and has been used in many cases to create a false sense of uniformity. And it originally related to the opening of the North American Continent to white settlers. We also see its appearance in the notoriously racist festivals such as the World Fairs.

The other meaning for the term was an attempt to separate Europe from the Middle East due to racist narratives and prejudiced views relating to Orientalism. This term was also used by Europeans and Americans politically against the Ottomans and the Russian Tsars.

It will become an important viewpoint among empires and nations who practiced colonialism and imperialism in places such as Egypt, the Congo and various parts of Asia including China.

Dr. Rebecca Futo Kennedy guides us through the history of this term and how it has been used in historiography to dehumanize indigenous populations, create sense of superiority and actively shape international ideology such a term we have heard which is "From Plato to NATO."

We also explore this propagandized fiction as we see "White Civilization," "Europeanization," evolve into "Western Civilization."

We also explore how this term was used to incorporate Greek Democracies and Roman Republicanism and a "Western" stance against Communism in the East.

Western Civilization when stripped naked is merely an attempt to usurp the history of the ancient world and especially the achievements of Eastern Civilization.

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Why I teach about race and ethnicity in the classical world (article.)


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