ACE: No Conflict, No Change

Intensely Conflicting Debates, Thus Change: Why the Superiority of ACE, the Area Of Cultural Europe:

First, let me remind the reader that here by “Europe” is meant the European Cultural Area. This is vastly larger than “Europe” in the ridiculous sense given to this term usually. “Europa” was a Phoenician princess for an excellent reason: the Greeks knew very well how much they culturally owed to the Middle Earth. Let me rephrase this “European Cultural Area” as the AREA OF CULTURAL EUROPE (ACE)… for obvious acronymic reasons.

(The Mongols, back in their Mongolian capital of Karakorum, in the 13th Century, felt that they belonged to ACE; they had the concept; thus they recruited many Parisian artisans, including one who built the world’s fanciest fountain, flowing with precious liquids… Earlier, Genghis Khan top generals, pondering the situation from Hungary, remembering what had happened to their ancestors, the Huns, eight centuries prior, decided to not attack France, although their spearheads were on the Adriatic sea, and all European forces had been defeated, but for the French…)

ACE is a huge expanse of the world where physical geography was friendly to fast, secure, intense communications (through the steppe, the desert, the Sahel, the oceans, the seas, and the rivers; this maybe a factor explaining the less great genetic variability in Eurasia than in Africa, let me point out in passing).

The Area of Cultural Europe (ACE) is a gigantic crescent from Korea, to Ireland, back down to the Sahara, and all the way back to India. ACE is why the Koreans, the Mongols, and the Vietnamese use an alphabet.

No Suffering, No Meaning?

No Suffering, No Meaning?

Now even the Chinese have to use an alphabet (something they have to do when typing, because one cannot have a keyboard with 2,500 common characters!). ACE got to the alphabet first. But it took 3,000 years, and the cooperation of many locations, from egypt to Phoenicia, to Sumer. For numeration, it took even longer, and the location of the invention spreads from Egypt to India, to Central Asia to Greece. 

China is adopting the alphabet, not because China is a European political colony, but because the alphabet was the best solution for a writing system. ACE is all about the best solutions. Finding best solutions is what the gigantic ACE produced, better than any other place in the world.

Pondering “How Did EUROPE Become So SUPERIOR?” Picard578 on February 23, 2017, said:

One important aspect in Europe’s domination was its fragmentation. Combination of cultural diversity and political fragmentation enabled it rapid advancement, which placed it into position to culturally and politically dominate the world. It did lead to conflicts, but without conflicts there is no change.

Patrice Ayme’: Greece was already fragmented, and the same argument, that fragmentation is good, was used to explain Greek superiority. Moreover, there are different types of fragmentation. It can be political, military, intellectual, economic.

Greek intellectual superiority was pretty much confined to Athens and Ionian cities. Sparta was an intellectual Black Hole, except in two ways: gender equality, and equality among “Equals” (top Spartans were called “Equals”).

Sparta went to all the way to destroy Athens, even allying itself with Persia to do so. In the end, Athens came close to destruction, Sparta collapsed into nothingness. However, the spirit of mental innovation of Greece got mangled in the process, and discouraged by the powers that be, all the more as the Macedonians established a sort of world dictatorship.

When one considers the peak mental periods of Athens and Ionian cities, one finds the same: great commercial energy, military power, extreme democracy, and enormous existential threats over the horizon. The great enemy of Greece was fascism from a giant plutocratic empire, Persia, and Greek innovation was first outlawed and then discouraged by even greater fascist imperial plutocrats: first from Macedonia, then from Rome, and finally from Arabia.

Extreme democracy caused an overabundance of mental productivity (any Athenian citizen, drawn by lot, could find himself at the head of the state, politically or judicially; thus Athenians paid a lot of attention to knowledge and wisdom, lest they be ridiculous when nominated).

Athenian total democracy was at her most mentally productive when she was an empire who got her wheat from the Black Sea, a 1,000 miles away.

Greece was rendered possible by the fact all Greeks spoke Greek (although Spartans’ Dorian accent was hard to understand; hard-to-communicate-with Spartans were too weird by half!)

Europe returned to greatness when the Franks established the Imperium Francorum whose Lingua Franca was Latin. (the franks were smart enough to speak Latin).

When the Imperium Francorum progressed quickly in all ways (from abrogation of slavery, nationalization of the church, mandatory education) it was indeed pretty much in continual strife. So the assertion that without conflicts there is no change, is indeed correct, and central to my own philosophy.

However, conflict has to be kept within bounds.

In 800 CE, the Franks officially proclaimed the “Renovation of the Roman Empire” (in the Tenth Century, the Parisians and Western Francia went their own way; but the empire can be viewed as ongoing to this day: all of the present European states, led by Francia which is still around, descend from the “Renovatio Imperium Romanorum, including Great Britain, which was reconquered in 1066 CE).

Charlemagne himself saw the first raids of the Viking. (Ironically, six centuries earlier, the Franks themselves had appeared in history as raiders of Roman rivers, all the way down to Spain!) Soon, Vikings, Saracens and Mongols (Avars) would attack the empire from three sides. And they attacked for centuries, because Europe was so rich, while the defense budget was low.  

European defense was weak from lack of will: for centuries the Franks had been hyper aggressive, hell-bent as they were to succeed where the Romans had failed earlier, and conquer Eastern Europe.

After 800 CE, with the Roman empire officially reconstituted, the Franks got, correctly, worried about the main reason for the Romans’ failure: political fascism.

In theory leaders of the Franks (= kings) were elected (differently from the Roman emperors, where a formal election system did not exist). Another factor was that Frankish law insured equality of inheritance (even women could inherit if full, if they had no brother). Thus the Frankish/Renovated Roman empire found it hard to stay in one piece, politically.

The result was a politico-military mess which lasted until the European Union.

In Greece, political fragmentation was deadly to democracy: Athens was occupied by anti-democratic forces for more than 21 centuries: the Muslims got ejected from Athens only in 1834 CE.

Intellectual diversity and debate are crucial. That can be insured only within an empire of manners which are good enough. Debate should not turn to hatred and war (we see some of this in the US now).   

The lessons of ACE, the Area of Cultural Europe, are many. The first one is a meta-lesson: we should try to reproduce deliberately, worldwide, the ways which made ACE so innovative.

Patrice Ayme’

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8 Responses to “ACE: No Conflict, No Change”

  1. picard578 Says:

    To expand on the conflict and change, it is entirely correct that conflict has to be kept within bounds. And that too is an area where fragmentation helps. China had far fewer wars than Europe did, but because Chinese political entities were far larger, said wars were far more devastating than Europe’s frequent – but smaller – wars. So instead of a continuous progress seen in Europe, each war would set China back by a huge margin.

    Debate is all and nice, but history has shown that significant changes only happen through conflict. Typically open warfare. And there is no avoiding it.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Caroligian empire suffered enormously at the battle of Fontenay in 844 CE (? I think…) between the greedy emperor Lothar, grandson of Charlemagne, and the coalition of his brother Louis the German and his half brother Charles the Bald. That day of butchery brought 40,000 DEAD (and much more wounded; in the worst day of World War One, the French army suffered 27,000 dead, around 21 August 1914…).

      Around noon a cavalry charge from Charles-Louis side broke Lothar’s lines, and the latter was put to flight, resorting thereafter to methods akin to terrorism.

      Following this, the Magyars, Vikings and Saracens (Islamists) swooped in in an industrial fashion: Islamists camped by Swiss passes, capturing even a cleric grandson of Charlemagne (he was ransomed for a colossal amount). Vikings roamed nearly all over France. Magyars pretty much the sdame in the East (until they were defeated much later by Frankish “Roman” emperor Otto 1 next to Ausburg, Austria. The Magyars came from the Urals…

      The general problem is that the Franks did not have a common, admitted system for succession of the ultimate authority (same problem as Rome). The last common emperor was Charles the Fat (expired in January 888, after a coup; he had been very sick for years, and was even trepaned: surgical hole in the skull…). Charles had been elected by the “Magnates” (a hefty dosage of plutocrats therein).

      Methinks we are not far from something similar… Actually, instead of answering the rest of your interesting comment, I may just write first a short essay: “Is Islam Destroying Europe?”

      • picard578 Says:

        Islam destroys anything it touches… much like modern liberalism (“political correctness”), Islam is a form of intellectual fascism. Fact is, a heresy is oftentimes necessary for advancement, but listening to it takes a spine. But today’s educational system does not teach people how to think but what to think, children – and even grown-ups – often cannot take any criticism, no matter how valid, well-argued and well-meaning it may be. This intolerance and rigidity is what Western progressives have in common with Islamists. Islam has in fact codified that pattern of thinking, making it into a religion, a “Word of God” that nobody is to question. Any religion is like that to an extent, but few are as intrusive as Islam… So yes, Islam is destroying Europe, but it is not alone in doing so. Europe has forgotten – intentionally, it seems – its very identity, and is busy destroying itself.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I have a massive essay incoming on this… My basic scheme is worth remembering:
          1) USA wants to control the world (Monroe doctrine the start of that).
          1b): Racist Prewsident Wilson go excite the Kaiser against the “racially inferior” French, proposes world empire, suggests attack,
          1c) Kaiser attacks. Sarajevo both a pretext and a capability. USA provides Kaiser with means to pursue war.
          1d): Wilson goes 180, stabs Kaiser in the back, flies to the resacue of victory.
          2): US steals Germany blind, prevents France to lock-up Germany military for decades to come.
          2b): US government, to the service of its plutocrats, re-organize Germany as the New (American) Frontier.
          2c): US government blocks an anxious and infuriated France, helps to establish Nazism in Germany, a logical extewnsion of US racism a la Wilson. Churchill threatens to bomb France in 1929, if France attacks Germany for re-arming massively, and not so secretly, using Portugal, the USSR, etc….
          2d): Great Britain helps Hitler be all he wants with a “Naval Treaty” in 1935, abrogating the Versailles Treaty.

          … And so on…. At some point the genial idea of using Islam as a weapon of European mass destruction surfaced (it certainly surfaced in Hitler’s mind by the 1930s, we have his words… Simultaneously, US oil men in Arabia found Abulaziz Ibn Saud to be their best friend… Now US oil men were also BFF with Hitler….)

          So this all a plot… The “Grweat Scheme”… More later….

  2. kevishaw Says:

    Bravo PA. Really appreciate the concept for Area of Cultural Europe. I do not march with the group that attempts to say Brexit and JM Le Pen will lead to the same moods in Europe as in USA (Trumpism), and that we should just accept the inevitable results. Instead I believe the ACE contains a higher ratio of peoples with an historical self-awareness and cultural responsibility to the human kind. Therefore, the recent populist fevers of Europe should be short and temporary; as opposed to America where the (racism) fever is over 200 years and hides behind the color of authority (blue lives). I suppose this is my long way of saying, there is hope for the future for all of us, thanks to existence of ACE.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well, I would like to share that optimism, but I am writing an essay against it, just now. The problem is tactical: NEXIT could well happen (Marine Le Pen will NOT be elected in France, but Wilders will make it).

  3. kevishaw Says:

    Speaking of Tumpism. PA a question for you: from past articles, it appears you can remember those times when Trump deep-down acknowledges that he does align with plutocrats. In this way, he may eventually want to pivot, and go against their Pluto ways. This is something I am looking forward to. What is your opinion on how the interests and proximity of Mr Bannon will help or hinder this potential pivot?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Trump said, when he was running against several Republican rivals, I heard him, that he was part of the establishment, but now no more. It’s the traditional case of a Pluto against plutocracy (history is full of them. For example, the Czar Peter the Great).

      I don’t know Bannon at all. So many people accused me to be Breithart News permeated (or whatever it’s spelled, I went on that site for the first time this week; did not look too deep…).

      We will see what happen. Trump has a cabinet and advisers who are all over the place. That’s good.

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