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Unread 30th January 2016   #1
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Just goes to show that not all of the world is as progressive as many European countries.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-354...me=na&ns_fee=0
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Unread 30th January 2016   #2
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Oh, yes, we're not all perfect and flawless as Europeans. As if we don't hear that enough already

Always curious to note, however, at least in these parts of the world, that most of the non-progressive traits were brought here BY European colonists. Funny how that works eh?
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Unread 30th January 2016   #3
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Europeans don't claim to be perfect and flawless (we aren't). but we are the most liberal culture, with values like personal freedom at their zenith expression here and strongly incorporated into our collective consciousness and way of life.

i don't disagree that the European civilization has exported some of its worst to other cultures (China is a prime example). Europe did have its darker period, as we all know. the difference is, we got our shit together, owned up to our mistakes, and corrected them.

it is highly ironic that the European immigrants to USA, for example, ended up establishing a more conservative society there than the one they left behind, now when all is said and done. some of the first emigrants fled Europe for religious persecution. and yet, in a prime twist of irony, religious conservatism took root in America, and not in Europe. and when Europe dug itself out of the mudhole, its progeny on the other side of the ocean failed to follow in its footsteps. it's funny how life turns out sometimes.

this said, i am very proud to be European, and the descendant of men who stayed true to Europe.

the history of Europe is in my blood.
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Unread 30th January 2016   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insertnamehere View Post
Oh, yes, we're not all perfect and flawless as Europeans. As if we don't hear that enough already

Always curious to note, however, at least in these parts of the world, that most of the non-progressive traits were brought here BY European colonists. Funny how that works eh?
It wasn't a poke at South America Insertanameher, it's just that in the last few years the majority of European countries have embraced the idea of the fact that love doesn't just exist between men and women exclusively. To deny someone's right to love another person is to deny their human rights.
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Unread 30th January 2016   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LONDONER View Post
To deny someone's right to love another person is to deny their human rights.[/FONT]
very well said.
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Unread 30th January 2016   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LONDONER View Post
It wasn't a poke at South America Insertanameher, it's just that in the last few years the majority of European countries have embraced the idea of the fact that love doesn't just exist between men and women exclusively. To deny someone's right to love another person is to deny their human rights.
Yes, I understand the story well and the intention behind the post Londoner, don't worry.

Mine wasn't some sort of afront on Europeans. I spoke rashly and failed to give a context to my comment.

If I care to explain myself a bit, it's the phrase you used "not everyone has it as well as Europe"which I get was very well intented towards generating conscience, but at the same time it brings up in my memory similar phrases used to impose Eurocentrism and concepts of superiority in extremely condescending ways, all of those used to rationalize colonization, which have left their dear mark in the colonized places.

"Europe is better in many ways" is something that we already know and acknowledge, it's no news to us that we in developing countries are heavily flawed in many ways.


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Originally Posted by meridannight View Post
Europeans don't claim to be perfect and flawless (we aren't). but we are the most liberal culture, with values like personal freedom at their zenith expression here and strongly incorporated into our collective consciousness and way of life.

i don't disagree that the European civilization has exported some of its worst to other cultures (China is a prime example). Europe did have its darker period, as we all know. the difference is, we got our shit together, owned up to our mistakes, and corrected them.

it is highly ironic that the European immigrants to USA, for example, ended up establishing a more conservative society there than the one they left behind, now when all is said and done. some of the first emigrants fled Europe for religious persecution. and yet, in a prime twist of irony, religious conservatism took root in America, and not in Europe. and when Europe dug itself out of the mudhole, its progeny on the other side of the ocean failed to follow in its footsteps. it's funny how life turns out sometimes.

this said, i am very proud to be European, and the descendant of men who stayed true to Europe.

the history of Europe is in my blood.
You have adressed quite well some things that bother me quite a bit.

First, the view around here is in fact that "Europe can do no wrong" it's our own view, granted, whether imposed or self-developed, but our own nevertheless. That bothers me because said notion is untruthful, obviously. It doesn't bother me in the sense that acknowledging the better traits and try to emulate them is a proper way to go (ina very sui generis manner). After all I can tell you that here education and law-making is mainly French-influenced, military is German-influenced, administration is British-influenced etc etc etc. So yeah, there's quite a bit of fondness all across South America if not Latin America for anything Western European (at least in the first century after independence).

The second bit is the lack of on-par evolution of the colonized folks with respect to the motherlands. Spain seems to have dumped on us the worst traits they had back in the XVI century: misogyny, Catholicism, classism/racism etc but those were not overcome. Many elites here, modern and all in structure, follow the same predatory behavior of the original conquistadores. That is what pisses me off royally.
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Unread 30th January 2016   #7
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Unread 31st January 2016   #8
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^^

This reminds me of what seems a popular sentiment in many parts of Texas (even in the dry counties):



So when America freaked out over the possibility of ebola (which I think was actually more of a subconscious fear of metaphoric as well as literal foreigners "destroying" their way of life), especially Texas (who was talking about extreme measures to cut the state off from the rest of the nation), I appreciated this:



There was a similar one I saw many years ago that roughly went like, "America, land of the brave, unless we think it's satanic." (Example of what America doesn't fear: men shooting guns. Example of what America fears as satanic: men holding hands.)

ETA: this is shared for humorous purposes and my own political leanings should not be deduced from it (as it's likely to be a wrong assumption).
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Unread 31st January 2016   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insertnamehere View Post
Oh, yes, we're not all perfect and flawless as Europeans. As if we don't hear that enough already

Always curious to note, however, at least in these parts of the world, that most of the non-progressive traits were brought here BY European colonists. Funny how that works eh?
As it just so happens, I chanced across this image a few hours ago:



ETA: this is shared for humorous purposes and my own political leanings should not be deduced from it (my views on immigration appear to be more complex than most).
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Unread 31st January 2016   #10
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Oh my, sounds like we're all tossing stereotypes about groups of people back and forth... I mean I'm pretty sure I came across a thread where a group of British folks who were clearly Christian extremists going around Muslin neighborhoods, carrying crosses, antagonizing them basically saying they (the Muslims) weren't welcomed and so on... Sounds like the type that would be Trump supporters

I think it is OK to be proud of one's people/country/culture/etc I think it is a human characteristic. However, the truth of the matter, being human, we're all a bit guilty of wrong doings. Just as the US, its history, current state there's plenty wrong. It is unfortunate that what makes it to the media is solely our dumbshit politicians and not everyone's values as a whole, I mean the shit in our news doesn't reflect my values. You have Denmark taking anything valuable from the Syrian refugees...I'm not sure I agree with that, sounds no different than the sentiment when the Irish came to America (I'm of Irish heritage)...

The problem with the US and it's political structure is that the people running the government are rich, Ivy league turds who are completely out of touch with its people...across both sides. I think it is clear that the republican party is waning because the generation that supports their values are also retirees...

I'm not a hardcore liberal, I guess you could say I'm a little left of center. I think most people just allow the media to push them into either direction rather than seeing the forest before the trees. I mean if you trust politicians you're a fool. They can say anything, so can I, but word are words and they don't mean anything. Also bothers me that the media, not the majority of people, start asking candidates questions that really don't matter... they're going to answer according to what the party's sentiment is... Republicans are always going to be against gay marriage...I mean if they say otherwise they might gain 1 voter but lose 3 others... I think we need political reform but that's not going to happen because people are too fat and happy with their fucking Xbox and wanking.

Ugh...next time I'll know to run the next time I meet a gay person who votes republican....
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Unread 31st January 2016   #11
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Not to derail the thread, but I think the conversation here is more interesting that the article, to be honest.

I think there is also a lot of value in terms of understanding present situations in many parts of the world, to think about the lasting effects of European colonization around the world. Like @Insertnamehere brought up, the law against homosexuality that is mentioned in the article is a colonial law. Europe can pat itself on the back by thinking how good Western European societies treat people, but that is by no means a historical legacy.

Of course it wasn't just Western Europeans who have conquered and colonized other peoples, but the scale and influence of that specific example, as well as the wealth and power it brought to those countries is pretty clear. Its kind of crazy to try to imagine what England, for example, would be like if it had not been a colonial power, like if it were only its own resources and what came from trade that it had access to. What a different society it might be. I don't think that history of colonization only affects the modern situation of the formerly colonized countries.

But Western Europe isn't the same as it was 100 years ago. And I find that really interesting. I know there are a few users here who not only have a lot of knowledge about European history, but also a lot of passion for it. I'm thinking of @meridannight and @Alto because you two have certainly made the impression on me that you both have that knowledge and passion and that you really care about and love the histories of your countries. But my question is open to anyone that wants to answer it.

What I'm curious about is, in your opinion, what things were factors in changing Western Europe in general, or any country there specifically, into the kind of place it is today? It is pretty obvious that Western European countries have high standards of living, that they are very forward thinking in terms of how people are treated and the freedoms people have, the relative peace and stability enjoyed there.

In other words, if we were to look to Europe, or a specific country there, as an example of how a society can change for the better, what would be the most important things to do or focus on?



(if this is too far off topic let me know and I'll make a different thread)
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Unread 31st January 2016   #12
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Originally Posted by Emiliano View Post
But Western Europe isn't the same as it was 100 years ago. And I find that really interesting. I know there are a few users here who not only have a lot of knowledge about European history, but also a lot of passion for it. I'm thinking of @meridannight and @Alto because you two have certainly made the impression on me that you both have that knowledge and passion and that you really care about and love the histories of your countries. But my question is open to anyone that wants to answer it.

What I'm curious about is, in your opinion, what things were factors in changing Western Europe in general, or any country there specifically, into the kind of place it is today? It is pretty obvious that Western European countries have high standards of living, that they are very forward thinking in terms of how people are treated and the freedoms people have, the relative peace and stability enjoyed there.

In other words, if we were to look to Europe, or a specific country there, as an example of how a society can change for the better, what would be the most important things to do or focus on?
yes, i do care passionately about Europe, its past and future.

your question is very good, and it could be grounds for a very interesting discussion.

to give you the most obvious answer -- what factored to change Europe in general to what it is today -- the French Revolution, of course. that, by far, was the biggest effector of change that resulted in the progressive society we see in Europe today. the Revolution, and Napoleon who consolidated its progressive outcomes into law. most Western European constitutions still base off of the Napoleonic Code.

and, while we're on the subject, it was France of the Revolution that first decriminalized homosexuality of all European powers (in 1791). it was in 1799 in France that Cambacérès, an openly homosexual man, served as a second consul with Bonaparte, and helped put together the Napoleonic Code.

there's more to the subject than the French Revolution, of course. i would argue that with all the negative phases Europe has gone through in history (the Inquisition, Savonarola in Firenze, just to name a couple of examples), European mindset was never truly ever divorced from human nature. as a consequence, Europeans have always, to a greater or lesser degree, left people to their own devices, to make up their own minds about what to do and what not to do.

examples of progressive spirit far ahead of their time continue to flare up throughout the whole European history from ancient Rome to the Enlightenment era (e.g. there were examples of pairs of men marrying -- actually getting married in the Roman church -- in 16th century Italy; and in Firenze men stood up to Savonarola and staged a riot during his sermon).

there are these bright sparks scattered all over the European history, that i'd say the underlying current has always been there. it just needed a large-scale impetus to establish its roots, the opportunity which the French Revolution successfully provided it.

that's the most general-term answer to your question. of course, a lot needed to be done even after the Revolution, but that's where i'd start looking. Europe of today is unquestionably the result of the French Revolution.
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