[LMB] Dark Ages [not], was, What makes ...

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Fri Aug 23 21:59:12 BST 2019

On Fri, Aug 23, 2019 at 4:31 PM Howard Brazee <howard at brazee.net> wrote:

> There are advantages to stability.   Water-Rights societies can last a
> long time.

Ancient Egypt wasn't quite as static as people originally thought.  But the
basic form of their society, and their technological level, didn't change
much over centuries.  What change took place often involved reverting back
to previous models after an imposed model was rejected.  When the kingdom
of Ch'in formed, it wasn't quite the end of all change, or even of all
development, but its cyclic stability resulted in remarkable stagnation
over the long run.  It's been remarked that they failed to conquer the
world - I view that as a good thing - but they failed to explore or learn
anything about the rest of the world, because as far as they were concerned
it was filled only with worthless barbarians.  That attitude makes the
grotesque exploitation of the Age of Exploration and Sail look almost
enlightened in contrast.  What's worse - viewing natives as worthy only of
being slaves and sources of spices and gold, or considered them so
worthless as to not be worth the trouble of enslaving?

The Renaissance was possible because it took place in a setting with many
small nations competing against each other - a condition the Roman Empire
made impossible.

Matt G.

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