Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fabius II.

This is coolbert:

Bert again responds to the comments of Fabius:

b. "superior civilization tends to win and expand at the expense of the much less so." - - [J.S. Bolton]

"So that's why Rome defeated its barbarian invaders? History is filled with instances of 'superior' civilizations falling to barbarians." - - [Fabius]

Several instances from ancient history come to mind: - - [Bert]

The Persian Empire [500 B.C.].

NOT only merely military force, BUT cultural influence as well. Benevolent dictatorship [??] bringing advancements far superior to what the "locals" had?? The Persians saw themselves as "superior" beings with a "superior" culture bringing "advancement" to lesser people. The ruling emperor ["Shah"] was deemed the King of Kings, Light of Lights, Shah of Shahs.

The Roman Empire [1 A.D.].

Rome did eventually fall to the barbarians! YES! But prior to that, for centuries, was able to conquer and rule an ever expanding Empire. NOT, again, merely military force accounts for this. Benevolent [??] dictatorship, cities, towns, laws and administration of a just nature justly applied [??], economic advancement, roads of a superlative nature, potential for advancement as a Roman citizen when citizenship available, etc.

And TOO from much more modern times:

Think here of how, two hundred years ago, 3/4 of the world's arable land came under control of Anglo-Saxon peoples. The United States, Canada, Australia, and to a lesser extent South Africa and also Argentina. "Native" peoples were conquered and dispossessed of their way of life by what can only be seen as a combination of superior military force AND culture. The latter manifesting itself as "culture" in the totality of the word. Science, technology, organizational ability, liveliness [aggressiveness?], combined with vision and POLITICAL WILLPOWER!

I think "tends to win and expand" are the crucial words here. Tends.



Blogger John S. Bolton said...

If it weren't just a tendency rather than a certainty, there would be little point in the observation. Our position would be assured, the less-civilized country would always lose. 3/4's of the world's arable land doesn't sound quite right. Maybe a better comparison is which populations own the land which produces an exportable surplus, and this is and has been close to an Anglo-Saxon monopoly for centuries. Relative to war it is those with an exportable surplus who can wage it far beyond their borders, China would have had to practice genocide aginst their own peasantry to support a global expansion, as the mongols actually did. What was the context in which the quotes came from?

4:50 PM

Blogger Albert said...

Bert says: It may that the intention was to say 3/4 of the AVAILABLE arable land NOT under cultivation. Seems more reasonble. I do the quote as being 3/4 period! That might not be right.


7:20 PM

Blogger John S. Bolton said...

A correction: I meant 'exportable surplus of staples' actually. This is or was the relevant factor in terms of predicting which people has the upper hand, in ultimately military terms. A new wrinkle has appeared, though. Brazil after centuries of floundering, seems to have come into its own in terms of the opening of the Cerrado, several hundred million acres now being converted from low-value rangeland to soybean farms. Somewhat unsurprisingly, though it is often American farm families who are doing this, and the overall process is happening with large landholdings. They're seeing the Anglo-Saxon pattern of large family holdings, extensive, capital intensive and without the hacienda situation of attendant villages of menials.

7:43 PM


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