Superpower of the Human Race: Could America losing its Western identity give it a strategic edge?

Jun 2017
2,996
Connecticut
South African diversity is not successful because of the history. The history of the last two centuries in particular is usually a stumbling block to diverse societies in the modern world but past conflict would be a stumbling block between any demographics or feuding groups. There is nothing to suggest the neutral act of being different is a negative.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,100
I didn't say South Africa was perfect, what I did say is that South Africa (post-apartheid) does still have a higher per capita income than almost all other African nations, including the homogeneous ones such as Libya and Somalia.



Libya as fewer population than the entire city of London, and they have lots of oil reserves, and the country is going downhill at the moment...Equatorial Guinea as fewer population than Gabon and plenty of oil reserves and it's a very low income country...do you really think that population size and geographical area plays a crucial factor?
Libya as you know had the highest GDP per capita in Africa before it was de facto invaded....

And of course population and geographical size are important... .Just because vastly different (population and land size) entities are generically called "countries" it does not mean that they are similar...
 
Jan 2019
62
Eastern Europe
I didn't say South Africa was perfect, what I did say is that South Africa (post-apartheid) does still have a higher per capita income than almost all other African nations, including the homogeneous ones such as Libya and Somalia.
Were there any good development post-apartheid? For me it seems it more relies on the legacy (similar to Russia who mostly relies the remains of the soviet technlogies, plants, development)
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,100
The definition of empire I am working on is "A state that conquered/subdued ethnically different people and now rules on them with a single state entity".
It is difficult to have a small empire since you need at least two ethnically different people.
Too wide a definition ... It would make the british isles (without any colonies) an empire, Belgium an empire even probably Andorra....and many more countries of course

My pragmatic "definition" would be "any entity that by both population size and land area ranks among the current top 10" (this would make the US an empire today, but not Canada or Australia as they do not have the population size although they have a huge land area) .... You may argue of course "why top 10" (and not 12 or 7 or whatever) .... Probably 10 is the max figure on earth, with current techology it may be even too much (in the past empires could "co exist" if geographic distances prevented their competition, today its no longer the case)...

But generally I would say the concept of empire is relative rather than absolute...
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,100
South African diversity is not successful because of the history. The history of the last two centuries in particular is usually a stumbling block to diverse societies in the modern world but past conflict would be a stumbling block between any demographics or feuding groups. There is nothing to suggest the neutral act of being different is a negative.
I would say there is nothing to suggest it is positive

On the other hand its human nature to look for differences (it starts in kindergarden) and gang up on people who are different.... Historically those who were "different" had a very hard time (jews and roma know very well about that).....
Even on this forum, people who come with "different" (and yes sometimes outlandish) ideas have a hard time...
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,223
Lisbon, Portugal
Libya as you know had the highest GDP per capita in Africa before it was de facto invaded....
So, there are other factors.

And of course population and geographical size are important... .Just because vastly different (population and land size) entities are generically called "countries" it does not mean that they are similar...
But I gave you examples of small African countries that are still poor and big ones that are in a better situation.
 

Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,984
Yötebory Sveriya
The United States of America. Persia, Rome, basically all the early Muslim ones. Empires in the Classical world didn't start getting large until they started getting diverse.
And, of those examples, it was when the states became more monocultural that they experienced stagnation followed by a severe decline.

Not only were the Romans, Persians, and Muslims minorities in their Empires, but small minorities. They thrived on new ideas, and expanded. In the later portions, the culture became more uniform, the vast majority assimilated into the culture, and progress slowed. Xenophobia also grew, and this led to great political divides because you had different groups claiming "We're the TRUE X culture," at the same time as attacking people living in their own Empires they deemed as alien. Why do cultures become foolishly xenophobic? Largely it's because Xenophobia is easy to spread among commoners, and xenophobic people are very easy to manipulate because the mere suggestion that someone is invading them is enough for them to submit to any leader who claims they will protect them... this stage usually occurs near a civilization's collapse, or on the verge of a catastrophic defeat - history rarely proves kind to xenophobic nations/empires, no matter how powerful they appear; they are always at a disadvantage.

In short, those Empires which manage to limit xenophobia thrive, and see golden ages occur. Those who suffer from it tend to fall into stagnation, decline, and conflict with other cultures internally.
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,100
And, of those examples, it was when the states became more monocultural that they experienced stagnation followed by a severe decline.

Not only were the Romans, Persians, and Muslims minorities in their Empires, but small minorities. They thrived on new ideas, and expanded. In the later portions, the culture became more uniform, the vast majority assimilated into the culture, and progress slowed. Xenophobia also grew, and this led to great political divides because you had different groups claiming "We're the TRUE X culture," at the same time as attacking people living in their own Empires they deemed as alien. Why do cultures become foolishly xenophobic? Largely it's because Xenophobia is easy to spread among commoners, and xenophobic people are very easy to manipulate because the mere suggestion that someone is invading them is enough for them to submit to any leader who claims they will protect them... this stage usually occurs near a civilization's collapse, or on the verge of a catastrophic defeat - history rarely proves kind to xenophobic nations/empires, no matter how powerful they appear; they are always at a disadvantage.

In short, those Empires which manage to limit xenophobia thrive, and see golden ages occur. Those who suffer from it tend to fall into stagnation, decline, and conflict with other cultures internally.
I really dont see how you come to this conclusion... the US was fiercely xenophobic and racist and it expanded and saw its golden age occur (circa ww2)

The roman empire was also able to expand by being xenophobic (initially against the hated gauls) ... it thrived by basically pillaging what it conquered... when it ran out of stuff to pillage or opposition (from the persians) was too strong it just basically stopped.... it could not conquer Germania, which at the time was not the land of plenty it is today, it made no sense to occupy the sahara, which could not pay for itself.. it could not even take Scotland....

Similar cases can be made for other empire.... so really I dont see how your point is valid
 

Theodoric

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,984
Yötebory Sveriya
I really dont see how you come to this conclusion... the US was fiercely xenophobic and racist and it expanded and saw its golden age occur (circa ww2)

The roman empire was also able to expand by being xenophobic (initially against the hated gauls) ... it thrived by basically pillaging what it conquered... when it ran out of stuff to pillage or opposition (from the persians) was too strong it just basically stopped.... it could not conquer Germania, which at the time was not the land of plenty it is today, it made no sense to occupy the sahara, which could not pay for itself.. it could not even take Scotland....

Similar cases can be made for other empire.... so really I dont see how your point is valid
You don't see how my point is valid because, to put it bluntly, you don't appear to have a great understanding of history.

The Roman expansion began against the Etruscan city states, not Gaul. In both cases, Etruscan and Gallic people were brought into all spectrums of Roman society, including the military and Senate class. The period of rapid progress in the Roman Empire was largely a result of incorporating foreign culture and technology. They were one of the most multi-cultural Empires the world had ever seen; perhaps only exceeded by the Arabic Empire I also mentioned.
I have no idea how not conquering Scotland or the Sahara are relevant to anything, you'll have to explain that one further.

The US "Golden Age" - as you call it - had nothing to do with xenophobia, and everything to do with the rise of social welfare policy under FDR to revitalize the working class. In fact, quite the opposite trends were occurring: the downfall of segregation, a rapid expansion of immigration, the incorporation of minorities into the working class, and the opening up of the US into partnerships with nations around the world; in part, to fight AGAINST the xenophobic powers in the very war you mentioned. There was temporary Xenophobia against Japanese, but this is largely explained by the fact that the US was at war with Japan, and the actions were largely seen as embarrassing and regretful - held as an example of something the US did wrong in that time period.