Eurocentric revisionism?

Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
#51
Actually, the argument you've just made is the demonstration of why Eurocentrism (or any ethnocentrism) is dangerous. Soon (and it is already occurring), the Middle-East and beyond may be considered 'the West'. While this may look like the rectification of past racism on the surface, it could actually just be an expansion of the problem by subversive tactics and lack of accountability. Looking at the inconsistencies in this forum from the past and knowing human nature in general, the latter case of naming the Middle-Easterners/Far Eastern Europeans 'honorary Westerners' whenever it is convenient seems more likely.

Whenever people today think that Alexander represents 'the West' and/or is the greatest leader (not just general) of the world despite never facing durable states with massive populations (if not containing the most population) further East, they are applying unaccountable standards. Whenever 'Westerners' (even scholars) continue to think that Rome had the greatest and ultimately undefeatable military in pre-modern history during its existence, they are actually ignoring the conquests made by their Germanic/Slavic/Central Asian ancestors and avoiding fair comparisons with the rest of the globe. Whenever the Middle Eastern/Far Eastern European 'Westerners' were not considered representative of 'the West' after conquests made by the Turks and Mongols, one has to wonder about the motive behind the expansion of the terms.

Is categorizing some region as 'the West' so egregious. No, 'the West' is still a useful category. However, I'm just pointing out ways to be more accountably consistent and accurate with the usage. If people want to note Roman, Macedonian, and Middle Eastern conquests Eastward, then it one should also note the far more consistent and everlasting (at a certain, long era) conquests Westward*. Doing otherwise makes it look like subversive racism from Eurocentrism.

*Please realize that I am not just talking about the lack of regards for 'setbacks'.
The only people who consider the Middle East "honorary Westerers" that I am aware of are the typiclly masochistic Western progressives who want to make the definition of the West (originally a religious and not a geographic term, but you are of course familiar with that aren't you... that Western originally refers to the Roman Church contra the Eastern Byzantine one - Turmenistan is not more Western than China. They are both equally "unwestern".) as elastic as possible for various reasons. I find it very strange, very interesting and also a bit fun that you seem to think the geographic aspect is particularily relevant here.

I don't have to use the term "West". The threadtitle is "eurocentrism". If you think the term is "egregious" don't use it, be more specific. I've never claimed the term West is not problematic - it is problematic. It only makes sense in a modern context, or if you are talking about a particular kind of cultural continuity that culminated in the modern West (i.e. Europe, North America, arguably parts of South America and probably Australia etc.). Where did this cultural continuity begin? I don't know. Maybe it's the minoans. Maybe it's the "proto-indo European". Maybe it's the Homeric Greeks. Maybe it's the Romans according to this ("Rome" - "Athens"/"Jerusalem" triad that is sometimes talked about. I suggested Charlemagne.

Your argument seems a bit incoherent otherwise I think.
 
Apr 2019
406
India
#53
Now, to the crux of the Aryan Migration being most likely correct, do you agree that the Iranians were Indo-Europeans? At around the same period, the Indo-Europeans were displacing, in a Westward fashion, the indigenous populations of Europe all the way to Britain. Now, we are not talking about utter annihilation, but the Indo-Europeans did appear to have military advantages over those they replaced. At the same time period, the Indus Valley Civilization seems to be collapsing from the environmental factors and the populace appear to be spreading Eastward into the Gangetic plains. Why wouldn't the Iranians (Indo-Europeans) move towards the Indus in this case? Why would the indigenous Indians be so different from the indigenous Europeans that populated the lands between Scandinavia, Britain, and Spain?
I think we can depend upon ancient texts to understand the seperation of these two groups.
Despite having common origin there are some glaring differences between ancient Iranian and ancient Indian religion. But we are not to discuss them here. Iranian religion or the religion of Avesta in all likelihood is younger than Indian Vedic religion. There must have been some ethical or religious or political issues between these two groups which is apparent in Avesta(and intrestingly Vedas don't care).
Avesta knows about 16 countries one of whom is Hapta-Hindu (Sapta Sindhu of Vedas) which has been described as 'violent', 'hot' and 'cruel'.
On the other hand in Vedas we find an event which is considered historic(and I think only event which can be treated as a real conflict). It's called 'Battle of Ten Kings'. According to Vedas the tribe of 'Bharats'(India takes it's name after them) won this battle and expanded their kingdom in Gangetic plane.
The kings of ten tribes called 'Alina', 'Anu', 'Bhrigu', 'Bhalana', 'Druhyu', 'Prasu', 'Matsya', 'Puru', 'Pani' and 'Dasa' formed an alliance aginst Bharats. The armies faced each-other at the bank of river Parashuni(present river Ravi) and Bharats were outnumbered by the alliance of ten tribes but then a catastrophe took place. A flash flood washed away most of enemy's army and they have to retreat. All of them moved westwards.

Vedas describe this victory as if "A lamb has slain a lion".
Neverthless they praise Bharats for being saviour of true 'Aryans' and in return the victor king holds 'Indra' and in general 'devas' responsible for his victory.

Intrsetingly Indra is not found in the pantheon of Avestas(and 'daevas' have lost their benevolent nature) even though his equivalent is found in all of other Indo-European pantheon. They also consider th followers of their religion/culture to be only true 'Aryan'.
Although both of these group forgot this discord with lapse of time.

Surprisingly Indra makes his appearance in the pantheon of Mittanis which means they were Indic not Iranic.
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
#54
Actually, the argument you've just made is the demonstration of why Eurocentrism (or any ethnocentrism) is dangerous. Soon (and it is already occurring), the Middle-East and beyond may be considered 'the West'. While this may look like the rectification of past racism on the surface, it could actually just be an expansion of the problem by subversive tactics and lack of accountability. Looking at the inconsistencies in this forum from the past and knowing human nature in general, the latter case of naming the Middle-Easterners/Far Eastern Europeans 'honorary Westerners' whenever it is convenient seems more likely.

Whenever people today think that Alexander represents 'the West' and/or is the greatest leader (not just general) of the world despite never facing durable states with massive populations (if not containing the most population) further East, they are applying unaccountable standards. Whenever 'Westerners' (even scholars) continue to think that Rome had the greatest and ultimately undefeatable military in pre-modern history during its existence, they are actually ignoring the conquests made by their Germanic/Slavic/Central Asian ancestors and avoiding fair comparisons with the rest of the globe. Whenever the Middle Eastern/Far Eastern European 'Westerners' were not considered representative of 'the West' after conquests made by the Turks and Mongols, one has to wonder about the motive behind the expansion of the terms.

Is categorizing some region as 'the West' so egregious. No, 'the West' is still a useful category. However, I'm just pointing out ways to be more accountably consistent and accurate with the usage. If people want to note Roman, Macedonian, and Middle Eastern conquests Eastward, then it one should also note the far more consistent and everlasting (at a certain, long era) conquests Westward*. Doing otherwise makes it look like subversive racism from Eurocentrism.

*Please realize that I am not just talking about the lack of regards for 'setbacks'.
I reread your post and it does not seem incoeherent now, just strange and mildly sophistic. Also, it turns out you apparently did not write that the term "West" was egregious, so sorry for that.

The problem I have with your reasoning is that you seem to conflate geography with cultural belonging. The West, if the term means anything at all is a cultural or religious term. When modern Europeans or Americans are awed by Alexander or the Romans they are not thinking "Ah yes, this is in my blood, I am natural conqueror for being born in WESTERN Eurasia". It is rather that one associates with a culture, a set of social characteristics that one percieves oneself to have inherited. Either that, or One does not percieve oneself to have much in common with such civilisations, but just finds them awesome (you seem to assume a much higher historical literacy and cultural self awareness in the modern West then is really the case).

You wrote:
If people want to note Roman, Macedonian, and Middle Eastern conquests Eastward, then it one should also note the far more consistent and everlasting (at a certain, long era) conquests Westward*. Doing otherwise makes it look like subversive racism from Eurocentrism.

There is no series "Long and everlasting conquests westward". Or if there is, that trend seems to stop somewhere around Vienna. The reality is that European Civilization, the West, "Modern Day White people country", call it what you want, has never been entirely conquered by a nonwestern power. Sure, there have been individual incursions, and partial conquests (like Byzantium), but you talking about all sorts of absurd things and calling glorification of The Roman Empire somehow "a minimziation of the deeds of Slavic/ Germanic/ Central Asian ancestors" (which central Asian ancestors? Are you talking about the Hungarians?) is just... Absurd.

Have you been to Europe? Have you been to the US? Have you ever studied at a Western university? Do you seriously not understand that most Westerners, even most Western academics are not sitting around looking to find "the longest chain of causality" to prove how naturally superior some kind of common European ancestorculture has been since prehistory?

Western identity is split, fluid and complex, more so than Chinese identity for example. Most reasonably educated Westerners are quite aware of this and respond in one of two ways 1) they either do not care very much about these things or 2) find more limited forms and clearly defined forms of self-identification.

To take a fun example from my country: during the 1600s we had this guy called Olof Rudbeck. He tried to sell the idea that Sweden was Atlantis, and also that we could take credit for taking down the Roman Empire (Goths --> Gothia/ Gotland --> SWEDEN CONQUERED ROME OMGOMOMG WE ARE SO AWESOME :eek: ). It was mildly popular during the 1600s but obviously today we laugh at him, because nobody really thinks or self-identifies this way outside of extremely limited circles. It is unserious.

I'm sorry if you find this rude, but I am getting "Rudbeckian" vibes from your kind of reading. It is so far removed from my lived reality as a history student in a western country that I just feel I have to point this out to you.
 
Jan 2019
53
Norway
#55
What about a theory about Aryan race, particularly its Nazi's interpretation? I find it somehow comparable with "Black Egyptians" concept.
Maybe... but the difference is that extensive Indo-European migrations did happen, now some people might reach weird conclusions from this fact, but it's not as far-reaching as thinking that the Egyptians were Black.

Maybe if the Bantu expanded as far as Egypt before antiquity, it would have been comparable.
 
Feb 2013
4,324
Coastal Florida
#56
Your concept of “white” is probably different from mine.
I'm supposedly white but covered in brown polka dots so it doesn't really matter to me. To be honest, it's difficult to tell where the line of division should be between white and black. It's easy to point out the extremes in skin shade but everyone in between is some shade of brown, with people getting browner as you move southward. For me, it seems like a useful tool if one wishes to pit people against each other but not very good for much else.

No. What I wrote doesn’t have much (I could almost say nothing or almost nothing) to do with self-identification today. The question of self-identification is mostly a question raised in America by the minorities and by former European colonies around the world. It is essentially a post-colonial phenomenon.
I could add that the Portuguese considered themselves “white” in their history and they also don’t self-identify with the paler Norse or even with the English.
To the extent the "Portuguese considered themselves" anything, they're self-identifying. It's not an example of the "other" identifying anything when a group of people "consider themselves" something. And if they agree that Swedes and Norwegians are also white, they're self-identifying with the Norse as well.

Meaning here, as it seemed to me, that for you a single drop of African (meaning here darker skin/Egyptian or even Nubian) blood is sufficient to define Cleopatra as non-white, while for me it isn’t necessarily the case.
My goal wasn't to assign a race to Cleopatra. Rather, it was to point out that Cleopatra wasn't what she was made out to be in the example of racist propaganda I cited. And, really, Cleopatra wasn't a shining example of Egyptian achievement in the first place. She's one of the most famous personages from Ancient Egypt that people commonly know and that's why they claimed her as part of their race.

To be shorter, after all this too long post (sorry!), while Eurocentrism (and even Mediterraneocentrism) and Racism have relations they aren’t exactly the same thing. Declaring that a certain people/tribe is “white” in a chronicle is not necessarily a question of “Eurocentrism” or “Racism” even if it can be used as tool by both Eurocentrists and Racists.
No, eurocentrism and racism aren't the same thing. However, I seriously doubt eurocentrism would even exist if it wasn't for racism. Early archaeologists and anthropologists struggled with this and it caused some bit of controversy, to the point that it became necessary for them to "prove" the Ancient Egyptians were white. The only reason they asked this question is because of their generally negative views toward black people and their abhorrence at the idea that a large black population could have been woven into the fabric of what was clearly one of the greatest ancient civilizations known to man. Otherwise, it wouldn't have mattered.
 
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Mar 2019
52
Belgium
#57
No, eurocentrism and racism aren't the same thing. However, I seriously doubt eurocentrism would even exist if it wasn't for racism. Early archaeologists and anthropologists struggled with this and it caused some bit of controversy, to the point that it became necessary for them to "prove" the Ancient Egyptians were white. The only reason they asked this question is because of their generally negative views toward black people and their abhorrence at the idea that a large black population could have been woven into the fabric of what was clearly one of the greatest ancient civilizations known to man. Otherwise, it wouldn't have mattered.
First, eurocentrism quickly lost it's support from European scholars. Never heard europeans claiming ancient Egypt on the contrary of black people (who like also claiming majority of greatest civilisation of this planet)

Secondly, Ancient Egyptians looked like the modern Egyptians. Are modern Egyptians black? No, so ancient Egyptians were surely not. But they invaded Nubia and other cities from the kushite area whose population was black

Thirdly, Ancient Egypt was not one of the greatest civilisation of human history. It was for the largest part of it's history an absolute monarchy with theocratic tendencies which didn't really evolved during all it's existence. Ancient Greeks made more innovations in one century than Egyptian in 2000 years. Middle eastern civilisation (old Assyrian, city of ur, ...) were far far more advanced than Egypt.

The romantic vision of old Egypt began with the napoleonic expedition in the ME and take it's base from the ptolemy area, Egypt didn't exist anymore at this time. In fact Egypt didn't exist anymore as an independent state since the XII BC
 
Feb 2013
4,324
Coastal Florida
#58
First, eurocentrism quickly lost it's support from European scholars. Never heard europeans claiming ancient Egypt on the contrary of black people (who like also claiming majority of greatest civilisation of this planet)
Really?

Secondly, Ancient Egyptians looked like the modern Egyptians.
I agree with you lol

Are modern Egyptians black?
Yes, many are. I was actually quite surprised by it when I visited the country as I was not expecting that. As far as I could tell, Egyptians collectively exhibit every skin shade there is, everything from very fair to very dark, much like here in the U.S.

Thirdly, Ancient Egypt was not one of the greatest civilisation of human history.
Well, I think that depends on the scale one uses to measure. ;)
 
Jan 2017
1,298
Durham
#59
You may be the first person I have seen on the internet that wasn't an American to say that. Succinct, but entirely accurate.

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It's not accurate.

The allies weren't losing the war, they had all fought themselves to a standstill. And, Germany was running out of resources. What is certain is that the allies were more than pleased the United States was about to intervene.
 
Aug 2018
182
America
#60
I was talking to a friend about the modern phenomenon of Afrocentrism, and how a lot of people of African descent feel the need to steal the history of other people in order to feel-good about their racial identity. Which is why you see things like the Black Egyptian propaganda, the Hebrew Israelite, the Black Olmecs, the Black Xia dynasty, and other very vicious and demonic lies...

I was telling him that no other people on this planet ever did this
Europeans since at least the 18th century have been claiming that all historical civilisations have been "White". They're the biggest appropriators of history ever. Even the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas, even Polynesians, were turned "Aryan" and thus European due to the complete inability of Europeans to accept that non-Europeans had civilisations, much less those capable of rivalling them. The Indo-European language family in particular was the greatest boon that Europeans got since they could prove, through linguistics, that there were "Aryan" or "Caucasoid" populations in virtually every corner of the planet. Of course, the language family was expanded, first with "Hamitic" and then finally with "Nostratic" so that all major civilisations could be turned White. Then we get to the kooky part of Aryanism that talks about the continents of Mu, Lemuria and Atlantis and about how Aryans were originally aliens with completely ethereal "intellectual" bodies that arrived on Earth and then degraded when they started intermixing with hermaphroditic apes. No, I'm not making this up. Look up the writings of Helena Blavatsky who claimed to have contacted some of these original ethereal Aryans she called "Ascended Masters".

And it's not as if this is really unknown. You really have to be wilfully ignorant or dishonest because appropriation of other civilisations as being "White" or "Aryan" was one of the main things done by the Nazis, the most well-known racial ideologues. The Nazis declared every single major civilisation the product of Nordic Aryans, to the point they sponsored trips to parts of the world like Latin America and Tibet to prove that the civilisations there were indeed White. Heck, there's a movie with Brad Pitt called Seven Years in Tibet that deals with one of these trips, though that movie admittedly whitewashes the whole thing.

So really, talking as if Afrocentrism is unique requires you to ignore European Aryanism, and even before Aryanism, we had Europeans declaring Egyptians to be White and Egypt to be the source of all civilisations of Earth. In fact, going back to Atlantis, the Swedish nationalist chauvinist Olof Rudbeck would declare the Swedes to be the origin of all civilisation because he literally thought Sweden was Atlantis, and being Atlantis, it was the origin of Egyptian and Greek civilisation. That was in the 17th century.

Afrocentrics ain't got anything on European Aryanists and European racist historical kooks, really.
 

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