When historical historians look at history, they tend to look at the antics of history, and their heroic actors. All too much. Although the first historian, Thucydides, analyzing the Peloponnesian war, concluded that it was caused, first of all, by the anxiety that the rise of Athens brought in Sparta.
Athens rose because she was a democracy. Sparta could not rise the same, because she was not constituted that way (ironically, Sparta had created Athenian democracy, by an armed intervention).
Peter The Great was more than two meters tall, he walked very fast, he was hyper active, domineering, he fought the “Old Believers”.
The way Peter looked at it was different: he wanted to replace Russia’s old moods and systems of thoughts with one grafted from Western Europe. To accomplish that, he determined, to his dismay, and sometimes with lots of humor, that no violence was high enough.
Semiotics is also endowed with huge mental inertia, and capability to generate mental structures: the appeal of the cross preceded Christianity by millennia, in the West.
Clearly, looking at it objectively, considering the fanatical resistance of the “Old Believers”, Peter had no choice. He was actually extremely patient, waiting years before he struck all out.
Some will whine about how violent it all was. Yet, no Peter, certainly no Russia, as we know it. Peter even contributed to the conquest of the cold regions, by having the “Old Believers” fleeing there.
The big change between the Greco-Romans and the Franks was the Franks’ refusal of going on with haughty, exploitative discrimination. Both the discrimination of the Christians, or, more exactly, the Catholics, against non-believers, and the discrimination against slaves.
When one looks at the complicated history of the Americas after the Europeans landed in force (in contrast to the weak landings of the Vikings, 500 years prior), the greatest explanatory schemes comes from biological and philosophical systems.
In biology, the Europeans were simply immunologically stronger, the Eurasian-African cesspool-petri dish, being the world’s largest.
Philosophically, the exploitative philosophy of the Conquistadores was inexhaustible, until Charles Quint called off the Conquista (precisely to stop the holocaust). They collided head to head with the Portuguese, who, although just one million, were even more hyper, in the same way.
The French, who were next, were much more careful, all too careful… Too careful with their morality, not enough with their persons and that of their allies.
Thus Philippe II sent an armada to annihilate the French colonies of the Carolinas, down to Florida. France was the enemy, being too tolerant of the Protestants (who had founded said colonies). That was highly successful, down to the last baby.
Another example: the French over-civilized the Hurons. Once the Hurons were civilized and grew crops, the Iroquois, still proudly savage, and seeing in the Huron thought system the enemy, swooped in, and killed the Hurons to the last.
Voltaire was a pseudocrat, someone with pseudo power. Voltaire became immensely rich by manipulating the highest powers in France, England, Prussia and Russia. Voltaire, under the guise of the Enlightenment, unconsciously made the work of the Dark Side. How? By advising Louis XV’s and his Pompadour not to die for a “few arpents of snow in Canada.
Indeed the English colonies in the Americas had been founded by the “West Country Men”, top English plutocrats who knew no bounds to their exploitative schemes.
Thus English America was not just founded by some men, and some accidents, but by an extreme exploitative mentality. By advising the French to fold, Voltaire posed as politically correct, Buddhist, wise man of the mountain, Christian saint, whatever despondent philosophy beasts are forced to embrace when they get devoured.
However, all what the boyfriend of Frederic the Great achieved, was to give free reins to the exploitative mentality of the West Country Men, who won the World War of the Seven Year War (1756-1763; known myopically in the USA as the French and Indian Wars))
Hand in hand the French and German presidents stood today, August 3, 2014. They were on the “Man Eating Mountain”. More than half a million French and German soldiers died there, in combat.
The presidents laid the first stone of a memorial monument to World War First, financed by Germany and France.
Why not? The French and German share the same system of thought, Republican, and the same mood, Democracy. No Kaiser in sight. The Kaiser, that is, plutocracy, was the system that ruled Germany a century ago. Cornered by the rise of democratic forces all over, all the way to Siberia, and even inside the Reichstag, Prussian plutocracy gambled that it could win a world war, and all would fall its way.
Now France and Germany are ruled by the same general mood and thoughts.
That’s how to bring peace and harmony. And nothing else ever worked, but for distance. The latter being something we absolutely do not have anymore on this small planet.
Take another example. Viciousness is a human trait. Corruption is maximum, when it cannot even be evoked, or denounced. Yet, that mood has often come to rule.
How does one fight that mood? By yet another mood, a higher one. To avoid this sorry state of affairs, where viciousness, say in the leadership, intellectual or political, cannot even be evoked, the honor of the human spirit has to rise above all. Including offending all too common courtesy. Moods against moods.
History has been, first of all, about moods and systems of thoughts. They compete, they fight, and the best overwhelm the rest. You know, like the West did with the rest.
Need a proof that this happened? Watch the United Nations (whose head just spoke of “criminal” acts by Israel: “This attack, along with other breaches of international law, must be swiftly investigated and those responsible held accountable. It is a moral outrage and a criminal act,” Ban Ki Moon’s office said.).
Some fear the clash of civilizations. They are wrong. Clashes can be good. They can be a form of debate.
History is about civilization clashing, colliding and coalescing anew around better ideas, a bit like stars are formed. We should welcome such clashes as we should any effort that gives us everything we have that is good, our superior mind, the Fifth Element (found in Vedic, Celtic, and Greek mythology).
The best example of a fruitful clash of civilizations, of moods and thoughts, was the clash between Celto-Germans and Greco-Romans. It gave us. It gave us the West, for the rest.