Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 8 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 11/10/19

"Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay"

By       (Page 1 of 6 pages)     (# of views)   4 comments
Author 4096
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Iftekhar Sayeed
Tennyson, white and superior
Tennyson, white and superior
(Image by Wikipedia)
  Details   DMCA

"Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay."

S. E. Finer, historian of government, quoted this line by Tennyson, noting that "It is fashionable to mock" (S.E. Finer, The History of Government from the Earliest Times, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), p 1303).

As a seemingly objective historian, he needs to keep his preferences well-nigh invisible: but the tenor is clear.

Europe was a civilization of mutability (his word) while the rest of us suffered stagnation - Muslims, Chinese, Japanese, Hindus... the oriental list. The usual suspects.

While in the despotic east (he never uses the adjective, but, again, the tenor is clear) the individual was a "mere" subject, already in 16th-century Europe he/she was a citizen with rights to "life, liberty, and above all, property". He/she could even sue the state, something inconceivable among Orientals.

Finer is fond of the word "nomocracy" - rule of law versus the capricious will of a monarch.

The Catholic Church is credited with having effectively created a buffer against despotic monarchy in Europe - an institution unique in history.

What are we to make of all this?

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Iftekhar Sayeed Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Iftekhar Sayeed teaches English and economics. He was born and lives in Dhaka, "ŽBangladesh. He has contributed to AXIS OF LOGIC, ENTER TEXT, POSTCOLONIAL "ŽTEXT, LEFT CURVE, MOBIUS, ERBACCE, THE JOURNAL, and other publications. "ŽHe is also a (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Body of William Jay

Cap'n Blimey

On Being a Philosopher

The Logos of Bangladesh

The Seven Dimensions

Democracy: The Historical Accident

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   


You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 

Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

3 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments  Post Comment


Iftekhar Sayeed

Become a Fan
Author 4096
(Member since Dec 19, 2006), 1 fan, 72 articles, 31 quicklinks, 70 comments, 7 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

"Born taxpayers."

The withholding of tax from the government is a leitmotif of western political development.

In Asia. no king or emperor was ever brought to his knees for want of revenue.

Consequently, foreigners were treated no differently from natives - the former had as much, or as little, sway over government.

In Europe, outsiders had no rights whatsoever: they've been fair game for Western governments from the indigenes of America to the sanction-killed children of Iraq recently.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 10, 2019 at 2:39:46 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help

Stan Crawford

Become a Fan
Author 511938
(Member since Aug 15, 2018), 2 fans, 286 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

A good read is the "Genius of China," for its inventions. Another that is rather wordy about why Europe needed to be "competitive" among themselves is "Guns, Germs & Steel."


Though China's Treasure Fleet collected tribute for the Emperor willingly, the sheer size of its ships/men sent subliminal signs that to resist was futile.


At least China's merchants didn't contrive to smuggle narcotics and addict populations to its nefarious intents, like the British did with its Opium Wars. IMO the Fentnyal scrounge is KARMA western countries are enduring from participating in the "Century of Humiliation."


The BRI is going to change world economics, if humanity has this long.



Submitted on Sunday, Nov 10, 2019 at 11:21:10 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help

Derryl Hermanutz

Become a Fan
Author 64335
(Member since Apr 27, 2011), 50 fans, 24 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1527 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

People hear the slogan, Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others, and believe it states a universal truth of human political reality. The reality is that democracy in almost every country is a sham that disguises rule by a neofeudal aristocracy of transnational bankers and corporations; and voting has become the new opiate of the masses. Democratic populations argue over what gender they are, and irresolvable hot button moral issues like abortion. They never discuss the virtues of being ruled by an aristocracy of owners.

A century before Plato designed his ideal form of government - autocratic rule by self-appointed philosopher-kings possessing the intelligence to manipulate the behavior of the governed - Chinese political philosophers like Confucius were perfecting their Daoist ideals of government. Government was the highest art, to be performed by a morally and technically trained professional civil service whose purpose was to serve the Mandate of Heaven: the fostering of harmonious society.

Confucians would have considered democracy absurd. How can the winners of a propaganda-driven popularity contest hope to actually govern a nation, when they are totally unschooled in the arts of governing, and when their interest in being elected is gaining the power to enrich and empower their friends and steal from the public purse? Aristotle called democracy, Rule by the unqualified. When the Greek Senators could not agree on the solution to a crisis, they appointed a dictator to choose one course of action and reject all others. 2000 years later Thomas Hobbes advocated rule by an all-powerful sovereign "to keep them all in awe".

Democracy depends on keeping the masses sufficiently brainwashed and distracted to prevent them from noticing that their elected governments do not control their national money-issuing systems (private commercial banks exercise that power) and possess virtually no power to govern their economies that are owned by bankers and gigantic corporations. Democracy - which in practice is rule by a neo-feudal aristocracy of plutocratic owners - is the most delusory form of government.

The best form of government is rule by a wise and benevolent dictator providing macro-scale guidance to a professional civil service who implement the government programs that are designed to serve the interests of the people and the nation as a whole. China is more or less doing this today. Political philosophers throughout history have recognized that good government is only as good as the moral quality of the rulers. Good shepherds lead their flocks to still waters and green pastures, to serve the needs of the sheep. Wolves in shepherd's clothing lead their flocks to the fleecing floors and the killing chambers, to enrich and empower the wolves at the expense of the sheep.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 11, 2019 at 1:23:26 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
Indent

Stan Crawford

Become a Fan
Author 511938
(Member since Aug 15, 2018), 2 fans, 286 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Reply to Derryl Hermanutz:   New Content

Why is it most CCP upper members and their progeny all billionaires? Grandpa Wen's niece was making $70,000 a month just handing out Chase business cards at social events a few years ago...Sound familiar?


Those who bloviate on opednews supporting the PRC/CCP obviously have never spent much time there, or witnessed first hand its "guangxi" to smooth operations for whatever one seeks to gain favor.


Most Emperors were self-centered narcissists, who wasted funds on indulgence. The corrupt Civil Servant able to bribe their way through the Examinations, exploited their positions like those in the west. Nothing benevolent about China's dynastic reigns or its current mob of opportunists.


Don't assume I support "Free Markets" that receive bailouts, Republics that ignore their tenants and the myth of Freedom under the "Patriot Act. But I do know the surveillance system western companies are eager to develop for the CCP will be installed in the west, soon. That China's system of controlling its citizens will be implemented world-wide, so enjoy it while you can.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 11, 2019 at 2:50:03 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment