Author Topic: Is it wrong to refer to "Western Civilization" as the "Protagonist" of History?  (Read 97 times)

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Offline Samtemdo8

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Western Civilization meaning from Ancient Greece, then Rome, then all of Europe Christianized, then Medieval Europe, then the Major European Empires, then the United States.

Because I feel there is indeed a bias in favor of "Western Civilization" being seen as the "Protagonist" in World History, because who cares about what was going on in China, India, Japan, Pre-Columbian Americas, Africa, Mesopotamia, and the Arabian peninsula (even though the Middle East/Mesopotamia is seen as the cradle of civilization in general)

Who cares about the rest of the world, its Europe and its bastard son the United States of America that matters in the development of Human history.

What do you guys think?

Offline Signa

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Morally wrong, or factually wrong? 

I think if we think of civilizations as characters, then yes, Western Culture is certainly the super star in the story of human history.  He's had his faults throughout the years, but he's overcome them, as any good protagonist will do. 

It also helps that we have very strong cultural force that has been recognized over the world.  You can blame Hollywood, Silicon Valley, any any other location where a strong output of culture occurs (is there a Hollywood of Music?). A lot of Asia likes to emulate our western ideals, and while I doubt we're doing anything to erase their past, the fact everyone is so focused on our past means there's something to be learned from it.

So yeah, it's probably factually right.

As for Morally?  Everyone is going to have something to learn from, so since I don't know much about other culture's history, that's probably a bad thing.  I have an unreasonable tendency to engage in cultural relativism, so take what I said with a grain of salt. 
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Offline bluegate

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Just pull an Obi-wan; what you say is right, from a certain point of view.

I'm sure that every culture / country on the globe likes to be seen as a protagonist, and a lot of them have contributed to the current world climate, but I suppose we can't ignore the significant influence that "the west" has had on the world over the past few hundred years.

I'd just say that "the west" is one of the bigger protagonists at the moment.

Offline Arnox

What exactly is it that's being asked here? Are we giving too much focus to the US/Western Europe? Are the achievements of the US/Western Europe actually not nearly as important as we think? Are their failures irrelevant?

Maybe we should step back and ask a different objective question. What have the other countries offered that contributed to our global state of things, both good and bad?

Offline juicebox

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Twice now I have typed out a long and detailed response to this thread showing why the West (or, honestly, just the US mostly) are closer to the antagonists than protagonists on the world stage, but I've accidentally deleted it both times, so I'll summarize it:

The US never/has never done anything for anyone else that didn't turn out to be a Trojan Horse or led by ulterior motives, and they are likely orchestrating a false-flag attack in a certain Middle Eastern country that will (a) be blamed on the administration of that country with no evidence, but because said administration has used chemical weapons against its citizens in the past, everybody will believe the UN instead of them, and (b) could very well result in the end of the world as we know it