Posts Tagged ‘Arabs’

CIVILIZATION ILLUSION: Shocking Arabophilia?

November 15, 2014

Who invented “Arabic” numerals? Well, actually not the Arabs. (Let me hasten to point out that if I have nothing against the Arabs, especially considering my personal history; quite the opposite, I want Arabia to be a beacon of civilization! But this starts with explaining that Arabia lost a grip on civilization, and why. But first one has to adjudicate the progress of civilization correctly.)

In truth, the Indians. Great civilizations invent great ideas, that’s why they are great. Some civilizations are great, others are small, too small to produce enough new ideas to survive. The “Pythagoras” theorem, that the square of the hypotenuse equals the sum of the squares of the side of a triangle, was known (at least in part) to Babylonians and Egyptians, a millennium earlier (and the Greeks got it from them). This means the latter two made great civilizations, and the roots of Greece.

I do believe that there is such a thing as a superior culture, incarnated by a superior society, causing superior civilization, organized as a superior state, defended with superior skills at war. All great civilizations shared in that primary certainty: the very ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Chinese, the Franks… And the Europeans, up to a recent time.

This chain of superiority is not just a belief, it has to be a requirement: when the culture fails, so, in the end, does the society, crushed by plutocracy, and then so do military defenses. That argument was made by a Mongol general to the Caliph in Baghdad, shortly before crushing him, and his family, under a carpet, with horses.

Al-Khwarizmi In Bagdad’s House Of Wisdom, Yet Not An Arab

Al-Khwarizmi In Bagdad’s House Of Wisdom, Yet Not An Arab

Here I was, enjoying the company of three superbly French fluent American girls. For some reason I forgot, the conversation veered to the French and American educational systems. I said they used to be the best, and are now going down. (See the PISA, UNESCO ratings.)

OK, as usual my conversational skills are tuned to make a good situation bad, and a bad one, worse. Something about me loving to pierce deeply the human soul with thought torpedoes. Indeed those smart and bilingual girls are enrolled in the one and only public high school in a city viewed in many places as an apex of intellect.

I added somberly that this degeneracy is particularly striking in the case of France. After all, the Franks, and then the French, were at the apex of civilization for more than 15 centuries. Education was made mandatory by the Carolingians in mid-Eight Century (before Charlemagne… whose father was strangely derelict by not teaching him how to read; but that’s another plot.)

If I expected a favorable audience. A rude surprise came my way.

I was told: ”What are you talking about?”

Well, I insisted, you know, even the USA, in more than one way, descends directly from France. After all the Franks of “Francia” not only conquered most of Europe, including Britain. They imprinted their superior Frank civilization on all of Europe. You know, Charlemagne “renovated” the “Roman empire”…

Those nice, well educated, polite girls fell on me. I had not taken the appropriate classes. They just did. Europe, the Franks, etc., were not the superior civilization. The Arabs were. The Arabs were the superior civilization, they invented all what mattered, while Europe lived in savagery.

The Arabs “invented everything, all the mathematics, the science, even the numbers and the zero. We just learned it at school.”…

“Learned it at school?” I felt like asking them if one of their professors was called Osama bin Laden Junior.

As they already looked at me as if I were an unreconstructed racist loony just emerging from a swamp somewhere in the company of a few dinosaurs, I did not try the flippant side.

Instead I asked whether they knew that, under the Arabs all women lived in slavery, and the Caliphs were obsessive about marrying Greco-Roman princesses or slaves (presumably because Arab women, having been enslaves abused and mistreated from birth were of insufficient quality; one does not imagine European lords desperate to acquire Arab slaves to marry them! Yet, that’s exactly what Arab worthies were doing; a lot of the business of Venice consisted in ferrying slaves picked-up in what is now Ukraine, and sell them to Arabs; Frankish law did not forbid that trade).

I told those students that the Greeks invented the zero, and part of the numeral system we used today. However blocked by the arrogance of Euclid, contempt for traders (who used a part modernized numeral system), and increasing fascism, the nascent numeral system was exported to India, where it was fully developed.

It’s true that Constantinople theocratic fascism had led many Roman intellectuals and their books to flee to Zoroastrian Persia. When Persia fell to the ISLAMIC STATE (no kidding!), the invading Arabs found themselves in command of many intellectuals and books (plus tens of millions of Christians, Zoroastrians, and Jews).

The Arab army conquered with unbelievable success and savagery (killing the wounded, and all military age men throughout Syria, which was very rich, and Roman Catholic). The parts of the world it had acquired possession of, Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, Persia, were, at the time, the richest (because of superior agricultural production, irrigation, and, well, civilization). Fundamentalist Islam was going to durably spoil the soup.

So did the “Arabs” invent lots of things during the Middle Ages?

Well, if you are ready to call Spaniards, North Africans, Persians, Kurds, Turks and Jews “Arabs”, they sure did.

Now, of course, if one goes to North Africa, many people call themselves “Arabs”. So it is, for example, in Algeria. However, genetic studies show that Algerians are European with 1% of Arab genes (one probably would get similar results in France… As France was partly occupied for decades in the Eight Century by the main armies from Arabia… Amusingly, because these armies were busy getting killed in France, they were NOT in North Africa…).

The girls objected that the Church killed all intellectuals in Europe. Was not Copernic killed? Was not Galileo killed, or put in jail, or something?

The truth is horrifying: Copernic was not only not killed by the Church, but he was an Abbot. He died in his bed, clutching his book, dedicated to… the Pope (that the book was plagiarized from Buridan, and that Copernic removed the thanks to Aristarchus of Samos for having invented the idea, were probably subtle maneuvers of Abbot Copernic to circumvent the crusade of the Church against the hyper genius Buridanus… Who had proven Aristotle wrong, thus was an enemy of the Church!)

Galileo Galilei was best friend to the Pope (from when they were kids). Yet they got into a tiff about the tides. Galileo was wrong, but he pulled rank, as a university professor, on the Pope, telling him he did not know what he was talking about. This goes a long way to explain why Galileo ended his life confined by law to his mansion.

Make no mistake: the Church assassinated a number of thinkers.

However, overall, intellectuals fared much worse under Islam.

You see, Muhammad was a bandit, a raider, a war chief, the head of state, a prophet, and the head of Islam all at the same time. His “successors” (“Caliphs”) were supposed to be the same: head of state, and head of the state at the same time.

The relationship of the Christian Church with the state was different in the West. First, for nearly three centuries, it was viewed as an enemy of the state (as Christian officers refused to take the military oath of obedience, and Christians had made the Church into secretive, paramilitary organization). Then Roman emperors, from Constantine to Theodosius saw they could use it to their advantage, and made “Orthodox Catholicism” into the official religion.

This led to disaster.

Basically, the problem of the Late Empire was barbarity, and plutocracy running out of control. Christianity, with its insistence on non-violence, and that this city was not worth saving, made the problem worse, and the plutocrats loved it.

In the end, after two centuries of this increasing mess, the Franks took control, and remade Christianity, and an armada of saints they invented, to reflect their own secular humanism, cynically founded as the shock part of the Roman army, ever since Constantine.

Yet Church and State became completely separated.

The Frankish state principles, freedom, tolerance, secularism, mitigated plutocracy, outlawing of slavery, became the founding principles of Western civilization.

How come none of this is taught?

And if the “Arabs” invented something, then, what is it?

Arabic numbers? Well not really. The first work in the West (meaning west of India) on the modern number system is Al-Khwarizmi‘s On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals (ca. 825).

The author, a famous thinker and mathematician was born in Eastern Greater Iran, now called Uzbekistan.

As I projected my flow of knowledge their way, far from being awed the little girls started to look at me as if they had met the Devil incarnate. One brandished Sumer.

Yes, Sumer. Sumerian cities (partly) invented many ideas at the root of civilization, including the bicameral system, and the alphabet (in collaboration with mathematically refined, inventive Egypt).

Yet, Sumerian cities have little to do with the nefarious ideology which has oppressed the Middle East for most of the last 14 centuries. Quite the opposite.

Meanwhile, in Canada, a university professor is in jail. French justice is after him for taking part in an act of terrorism which killed 4 people in Paris… 34 (thirty-four) years ago. Those people did not just happen to be Jewish, they were targeted, because they were Jewish (there is no prescription for Crimes Against Humanity; killing people because of whom they are, instead of what they did, is a Crime Against Humanity).

Canada agreed to extradite him to France. Canada, and the rest of the Anglosphere is becoming more aware of the vicious thought and mood system emanating from the (literally interpreted) Qur’an.

If no one is here to fight for civilization, it will die. It starts by calling the Barbarians barbarian, as the Greeks pointed out.

Teaching little girls that Francia was nothing and Arabia everything in the way of thinking, is uprooting their roots. It’s even uprooting the roots of civilization.

One can teach parrots French. One cannot teach parrots civilization. Time to treat young human beings with the dignity of truth, to help raise them above the status of parrots. It starts with the reality of history.

Great civilizations invent great ideas, that’s why they are great. It matters who invented what, and how deep: because it enables to find which civilizations were great. Great thinking doesn’t arise ex-nihilo. Egypt, Babylon, Sumer, Greece, were great because they were more open, smarter societies than their more close minded and brutish competitors. Open to new ideas, open to common sense, always beat brutes with their heads in the sand.

Patrice Ayme’

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner


Defending Scientism

EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן

Thoughts about Global Economy and Existence