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Why the west was the first to industrialize?

 
 
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2012 06:42 pm
Why did the west succeed in developing beyond, and industrialized in the 1750s?

English as a people are not that smart. In fact, Anglo-Saxons were never great at culture, or wit. For much of history, they were primitive brutes, look down by by their animal charateristic. So, the explanation cannot be genetics. It must be institutional. Like how smart people are promoted, and advanced in academy, and how smart people are pay high wages, and their ideas receive fundings from regional/national governments. What do you think?
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Type: Question • Score: 20 • Views: 9,525 • Replies: 138

 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2012 07:11 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
Technology and wealth basically. Technology made production cheaper but you needed a sufficient spread of wealth to ensure a a big enough market for production. Oh and urbanization helped. Technology includes communication, transport and energy as well as production techniques.

Not sure why your talking down Anglo Saxons. USA Canada Australia, India south Africa, new Zealand, are all Anglo Saxon influenced if not germinated
TuringEquivalent
 
  0  
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2012 07:22 pm
@hingehead,
hingehead wrote:

Technology and wealth basically. Technology made production cheaper but you needed a sufficient spread of wealth to ensure a a big enough market for production. Oh and urbanization helped. Technology includes communication, transport and energy as well as production techniques.

Not sure why your talking down Anglo Saxons. USA Canada Australia, India south Africa, new Zealand, are all Anglo Saxon influenced if not germinated


The Anglo Saxons are a seafaring, war-like people with origins in North Europe( Denmark etc). That stock of people are just never very smart before industrial west. What I think is institutions. Like the notion of academy, and academic tradition by Jewish religious thinking infused into academy in England, and also the whole institutional incentive that rewards intellectual ideas. This is what I am thinking...


By the way, you avator picture looks to me to be promoting drug usages..LOL
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2012 07:36 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
Starting from the end of the 100 year war and the Chinese sailing endeavors of the early Ming, there were two fundamental and new mandates which drove technology i.e. black powder weaponry, and large scale sea-faring. Stripped of their continental properties and obligations, the English were totally free to spend 100% of their productive capacities on those two things.

0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2012 07:40 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
People are all virtually identical genetically, so almost all differences in population behavior are culturally based, not biologically based.

I suspect industrialization in the west may have been boosted by the fact that the continent was, as yet, unsaturated by european culture. The US (what is now the US) was a pretty wide-open place to be, not only geographically, but also culturally and economically. People were completely free to exploit whatever they wanted and to do whatever they could think of to produce wealth for themselves. In other words, it was fertile ground for entrepreneurs.

In comparison the european continent and culture was so old and embedded that anyone wanting to try something new would have to fight to break free of the cultural and social restrictions.

0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  3  
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2012 08:36 pm
I suggest you read Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel for a partial explanation of why the so-called Western civilization (by which we mean, let's face it, Western Europe) had it all over the other people that they came into contact with. It was largely the availability of specific types of resources which led to the development of specific kinds of cultures that were uniquely suited to the development of a free-market type economy, as opposed to a feudal agricultural structure which was the standard in most developed societies elsewhere.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 01:59 am
@TuringEquivalent,
Why the Brits ? SEE WIKI...
Quote:
Great Britain provided the legal and cultural foundations that enabled entrepreneurs to pioneer the industrial revolution.[4] Key factors fostering this environment were: (1) The period of peace and stability which followed the unification of England and Scotland, (2) no trade barriers between England and Scotland, (3) the rule of law (respecting the sanctity of contracts), (4) a straightforward legal system which allowed the formation of joint-stock companies (corporations), and (5) a free market (capitalism).[5]
Starting in the later part of the 18th century, there began a transition in parts of Great Britain's previously manual labour and draft-animal–based economy towards machine-based manufacturing. It started with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal.[6] Trade expansion was enabled by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railways.[7] With the transition away from an agricultural-based economy and towards machine-based manufacturing came a great influx of population from the countryside and into the towns and cities, which swelled in population.


....and note also the domination of the Royal Navy after defeating the French at Trafalgar, and the subsequent consolidation of the British Empire which extended control of natural resources beyond indigenous ones like coal, minerals and water.
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  4  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 02:30 am
@TuringEquivalent,
I think your thinking is kind of odd. Partly because only citing a Jewish influence is bizarre, seeing how all of Europe had it, but mostly because england is not just Anglo Saxon, it's Celt, Norman and Viking, as well at least.

So what's your thesis again?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 02:42 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent wrote:

The Anglo Saxons are a seafaring, war-like people with origins in North Europe( Denmark etc).
Neither the Angles nor the Saxons were really known to be seafarers.
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 02:49 am
@TuringEquivalent,
I think this is a pure line of bullshit. First because "industrialization" begins well before 1750. Next, because your characterization of the Anglo-Saxons is nothing but ethnic bigotry. I defy you to provide any evidence that the English were looked down upon as brutish animals. There is no evidence that employees of industrial enterprises were paid high wages, and, in fact, trades union organization arose because of the poor wages and working conditions of the earliest industries.

The wool trade and the manufacture and sale of woolen goods was the first large scale industry in Europe, and dates back more than a thousand years. Even before the Norman invasion of England, the wool trade was the largest source of foreign exchange for England. England began to industrialize when they began to produce woolen goods themselves rather than just shipping raw wool off to be made into textiles in Flanders. That trade with Flanders continued, but as early as the end of the 13th century, England had begun producing their own woolen goods, and by the mid-14th century, they were exporting their own woolen textiles. By the end of the 15th century, they were exporting finished woolen goods. They were so successful in that area that they eventually killed the woolen textile industry in Flanders through competition.

As for you clumsy English, with your reference to "academy," Oxford University can trace it's origins back to the 12th century, to the reign of Henry I, and the university was continuously endowed beginning with the Plantagenets--Henry II and his successors--in the mid-12th century. Essentailly, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Europe industrialized in response to the necessity imposed on them by the cooling climate after about 1200. It is in that period that wool exports to Flanders from England rose dramatically (greatly enriching large land owners in England) as the demand for large quantities of woolen goods rose dramatically all across the continent, but especially in northwestern Europe, where English wool and Flemish woolen goods could successfully compete with the wool and woolen goods industry in southern France, Spain and Italy. Europe was able to industrialize precisely because of a healthy competition engendered among dozens of small polities competing for the available consumer money. In the so-called eastern despotisms, central control tended to quash independent capitalist enterprise. Nepotism and cronyism in the oriental despotic states assured market control to individuals who had no need to compete, and therfore little incentive to improve their products or their production methods.

You are woefully ignorant, quite apart from being a ludicrous bigot.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 02:51 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
TuringEquivalent wrote:
The Anglo Saxons are a seafaring, war-like people with origins in North Europe( Denmark etc).
Neither the Angles nor the Saxons were really known to be seafarers.


They weren't Danes, either.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 02:52 am
Jarad Diamond's book, alluded to above, is largely bullshit. He fails to explain why the Europeans were able to dominate African and Asian nations who had guns, germs and steel. In fact, he avoids the issue altogehter. I cannot recommend his book at all.
hingehead
 
  3  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 03:20 am
@Setanta,
I liked guns germs and steel set. Which nations in Africa and Asia had guns anything like those of europeans?

The germs thing only works where there is no immunity so much more impact in the America's. Europe, Asia and Africa being contiguous and having a much longer history of interconnection through travel.

Steel was just an analogy for technology. I'm sure youve got good reasons for dissing diamond set I'd love to hear them
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 03:35 am
The question is being begged I'm afraid.

It was Christianity. You need to take on a real book not written for the masses: Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West. (Der Untergang des Abendlandes).

It's a very difficult book as might be expected for such a difficult subject.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 03:39 am
@spendius,
You might not know if someone has read Spengler but it is easy to identify those who haven't.
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 03:55 am
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

You might not know if someone has read Spengler but it is easy to identify those who haven't.
Those who aren't "Prussian Socialists"? Wink
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 04:10 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Most books on this fiendishly complex subject are written and marketed to flatter the buyers that they are more intelligent than they actually are. Spengler is a salutary reminder of the real position.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 04:36 am
@hingehead,
OK . . . gunpowder, of course, comes from China originally. In the 11th century, there books being written in Arabic telling how to make and use gunpowder. There is a book surviving in Arabic from the 12th century which lists more than two dozen "recipes" for gunpowder, and explaining the use of each one. In the 13th century, two Englishmen who were in Spain (Andalusia) as observers saw artillery being used by the Muslim combatants. They reported back to King Edward, and, as was happening all over Europe at the time, an interest in the uses of gunpowder was "set off" (so to speak--all puns are intentional).

There are several principles in operation, as well as accidents of history which explain the dominance of Europeans. The most important is enterprise, both individual and corporate. (Don't believe for a moment in some silly story about "free" enterprise--there's no such beast, and never has been.) The first artillerists came from northern Italy (Milan primarily) or Holland. Someone who wanted to use artillery would hire Italian or Dutch gunners, and away they'd go. It was the enterprise of the Italians and the Dutch (whether individual or corporate) which lead to the early development of artillery, which nevertheless had been introduced into Europe in Andalusia (southern Spain) from North Africa, via the Arabian peninsula, from the ultimate source, China. However, in Spain, there was the competition of Muslim Andalusia with the neighboring Christian kingdoms. No such competition existed in North Africa, nor in the Arabian peninsula. There was little to no incentive to develop artillery, because hardly anyone was using it in those places, and nobody was profiting from it.

The grandson of King Edward, King Edward III, began the quarrel which became the Hundred Years War. Without going into the arcane details, he claimed the throne of France, and the House of Valois, uneasily sitting on that throne, told him to piss off. Although he had made the claim much earlier, in 1346 he invaded France in earnest. His first serious military effort was to seize Caen, in lower Normandy, both because it otherwise threatened his communications with England, and because he could use it as a base. He had with him a train of artillery--i believe his gunners were Italians, but don't quote me. At that time, although they were largely unknown in continental Europe, the backbone of the English armies were the archers. We call their weapon the long bow, although the term was unknown then--they just called it the war bow. When he arrived at Caen, he had spread out all his archers and men at arms, and even the camp followers, in an arc around the city, to make his army look more impressive. Caen was the city of William the Conqueror, and many of the English, especially the archers (the men at arms were still largely Norman), wanted to capture Caen in revenge, and because so much of the wealth of England had been poured into Caen after the conquest.

However, in the intervening three centuries, the wealth of Caen had ended up on the Île St. Jean, south of the old city, surrounded by the River Orne and the Odons, several samll rivers feeding the Orne. As was common in those days, the gentry and their men at arms were in the citadel, the castle in the town, and the city walls were garrisoned by the townspeople and the men at arms of the local gentry. These people began to pull their banners off the city walls, and were streaming out of the south gate, headed for the Île St. Jean where their fine houses were located, and where all the money was. The archers had walked up to the city walls to get an idea of what they faced (many of them were already veterans of wars and skirmishes with the Welsh and the Scots, and knew what they might face.) Surprised to see the city abandoned, they broke into the city, and found it deserted, except for the citiadel, and so they followed the townspeople out of the south gate.

Even though Edward`s marshalls attempted to stop them, without any orders, the archers, at a great intital cost to themselves, fought their way onto the Île St. Jean. Those who survived (the great majority) were amply rewarded by the plunder they found there. The city of Caen, until that time the second largest city in France (after Paris) and one of the richest in Europe, fell to an unorganized mob of archers in a summer`s afternoon, men motivated by the spirit of revenge (on William the Conqueror), anger (at their heavy casualties) and the lust for plunder.

This may seem like a digression, but it`s not really. Edward was, militarily apeaking, all dressed up with no place to go. He still had thousands of men at arms, in addition to about 6000 surviving archers, and he had this artillery train. So, he went into the city and emanded the surrender of the citadel. They told him to piss off. So they brought up the guns, which started firing at the gate. But their execution was poor, as was their technology. They used stone cannon balls, which simply broke on the stone of the castle, or bounced off the gates doing little damage. They had iron bars they could have used, but Edward quickly grew disgusted, and finally just marched away. Had they been using cast iron cannon balls, they could have knocked the gates to splinters in a few days--he had about a dozen large guns and several dozen smaller ones. But the first great use of artillery outside of Spain appeared to be a dismal failure. Artillery would not come into its own until the end of the Hundred Years War, when Bureau, the French artillerist, organixzed the artillery and used it to great effect against the English.

So, keep in mind that when, after 1500, the Europeans went out into the wide, wide world, they had almost three hundred years of artillery experience under their belt. The Muslim world was snoozing, and the Chinese just used black powder for rockets to scare the barbarians, who eventually were no longer impresed. But the Europeans developed it both because it was a source of profit (knock down the city walls, and plunder awaits within), and because the very political fragmentation which seemed to argue against Euroean domanance meant that the spirit of competition thrived. That meant that there was a continuing incentive to improve technology which simply didn' t exist in Africa and Asia.

I won't go into the details, but the same thing happened with hand-held firearms. Just because Europe was divided into petty, jealous and avaricious states, the spirit of individual and coporate enterprise fostered the competiton that assured continual improvement in technology. It had another effect, too. When Euroepans went out to conquer the world, those were individual and corporate enterprises, too. You would promise the king a cut of your polunder, he'd give you his authority and the archbishop would bless you (a fat lot of good that did anyone), and away you'd go. Corté and Pizarro were on their own once they landed, they knew that, and they knew it was do or die. There was no bureaucratic lassitude, no hierarchy of officials ("I don't know . . . you say you want to conquer Mexido? Let me get back to you next month."), there was just you and the Indians and your life literally in the balance, Conquer or die.

You' ve already realized that disease was not a factor, but it was less of a factor in the "new world" than you realize. Smallpox (probably) had already swept through the army of the Inca before Pizarro arrived. He has fewer than 300 men, and Atahualpa still had more than 10,000. But PIzarro seized the Inca, and after he murdered Atahualpa, the Inca empire, already destabilized by the civil war, collapsed from a lack of leadership. Conquer or die. By the time Manco reorganized the people and rebelled against the Spaniard a generation later, it was too late.

Diamond uses steel to represent metallurgy, not technology. He says exactly that in his book. But the nations and empires of Africa and Asia had all gone through a bronze age and an iron age. The bronzes of China were superior to anything anyone else ever produced, and the Japanese were using a higher quality of steel than Europe would see until the 19th century. (The Japanese, by the way, used firearms extensively in the Sengoku or "warring states" period in the latter half of the 16th century, thanks to Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu. They were, however, infected with the same xenophobia as most of the rest of east Asia, and after Tokugawa took over, foreign trade was restricted, and Europeans forbidden to enter Japan, except at Nagasaki. This was in large part because of the obnoxious Spanish and Portuguese priests who kept trying to convert everyone. Christianity is the worst disease which the Europeans spread.)

I'm not dissing Diamond so much as pointing out that his narrative is flawed and fails on its own terms. Diamond completely failed to see the reasons for the success of the Europeans. I'm afraid he, through his ignorance and careless "scholarship," misled his friend in PNG.

(EDIT: sorry for all the typos, i've tried to correct them by editing. I'm trying to do three things at once here.)
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 04:47 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Christianity is the worst disease which the Europeans spread.)


There is a case for that proposition. It rests on the the final outcome being the wrecking of the planet by improperly supervised industrialisation.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 05:40 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Christianity is the worst disease which the Europeans spread.


There are two sets of personal antecedent reinforcing contingencies at work in that extremely silly assertion.

One set is that of personally rewarding conditioners which lead to such a conclusion regarding Christianity. One might speculate, as Setanta often does, that it derives from "never mind what the priests say sweetie-get your kit off"

The other set is that of personally rewarding conditioners which lead to the general use of unsupported assertions. The former being contained in the latter. This set derives, according to Freud and many others, from infancy.

 

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