I mean... really.
I mean... really.
They can't get their act together to be as disgusting as the Americans.
Europeans have a habit of reminding us that they share so much in common with so many Americans, one might suspect that they share common roots.
In this sense we can blame the student who misappropriates the reasoning of such inspired people, as Descartes.
Kant is in another category, well open to the thought that his genius was more on the side of madness.
Marx would appear to be receiving a new found interest, during the current financial markets turmoil.
Kant and Descartes and Marx (order or importance) represent the foundations of the world in which the West represents something in the international scenario, for all the retroactive interpretations or Europe being anything resembling a powerhouse before 1500-1600. Before that, Europe was a jumble of old meaningless traditions and fresh forces confusely striving to exert their full powers.
Kant in particular represents something going beyond the world as we know it, in the West or anywhere else in any past or future era.
If we have to tell all the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, this is the most corrosive element in the whole foundation of the Western world:
Scruff .....and a bit of body odor perhaps...
Greece, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine and Holy Roman who wanted to be just another Roman Empire were not "Europe" yet. You could as well have cited Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations as "Europe". In fact, they are all often cited as such, but only in the same slipshod and romantic way that the Chinese talk of their country as having "5000 years of history": in that case we are talking of a cultural area, but not of a consistent tradition. It's like when Iraqis say that "they" were building cities when Westerners still lived in caverns (my ass!). Some particular American or European can have more in common with an ancient Assyrian or Sumerian than any average Iraqi.
What is called "Renaissance" is a late medieval movement, which in part fucked up the posterior intellectual development in the continent (I mean by that the totally fucked up logics... no... the total absence of and disdain for logics in literary Humanism) but had at least the merit of breaking up the old shackles definitely.
The real "Renaissance" began right after the Leonardos and Michelangelos who were just demolishing old traditions to make room for a later development of new ones: you can take the visual example of that in Vatican St. Peter's.
Your vision of history is the typical one, established by Europe, of succesive more or less exotic rooms in a single house. Here the Greek, there is, there that... all considered diachronically in exactly the same manipulating and pseudo-scientific way the Chinese think today of their 56 ethnicities.
The real Renaissance had its genesis in Moorish Spain, before spreading to Italy.
I trust that you will consider changing your choice of wine, for it would appear to have corroded your capacity to rationalise European history.
They think they're high class and supposedly think they're more sophisticated and have a better fashion sense than us Americans.
They also have a thing called "tea time". That's right. Tea time.
Those snooty bastards. Making a time just for sipping on their organic tea whilst nibbling on their lo carb crackers and discussing current events. Just who the hell do they think they are?
The fact that they consider themselves the enlightened ones makes me sick.
USA 4 LYFE!
Further if the student becomes the master, of his teacher should we then presume that the student was always worthier of our adulation than his teacher?
You see? You are doing it again: all that ever was of any interest to the Europeans they NOW (YOU are doing it now) call "Europe".
Funniest of it all is when you seem to imply that you are talking about "facts" and "truth" when it's just a received fallacy, take the "Byzantine" for example: they called themselves "Romans" because they were the legitimate part of the Roman Empire that continued to exist after the fall of Rome.
"Byzantine" is the term coined precisely in the era (from 1500-1600 on) in which Europe needed to affirm its own identity because it was clear that they were not just something "coming" or "taking after" other nations and empires, they were getting out of the shadow of Rome and dismantling it (again a perfect example is the use of materials taken from old buildings in Rome to build the churches and palaces in modern Rome) and thus began the reelaboration and manipulation of history that you are defending with all the faith and conviction and vehemence others use when talking about the Bible.
What you call "the real Renaissance" in Moorish Spain is just a part of the Islamic Golden Age (VIIIth-XIIIth/XVIth centuries) but, of course, and like I have already said, you are talking from the European perspective that is interested in assimilating the achievements of a different civilization to its own glories. Those Islamic achievements were produced independently of anything related to the old Mediterranean world, let alone independently of the barbaric proto-Europeans: at most they were produced with them (as far as Christians were citizens) and in spite of those Christians and even in spite of the Islamic world itself, headed already back then to the sorry condition in which it is today.
The Spaniards, who like to showcase an Islamic palace here and a mosque there have NEVER developed any tradtion linking them intellectually to what you called "Moorish Renaissance", very much unlike the British, French or the American, great nations that could acknowledge and use (and to some extent manipulate) those foreign achievements to develop their own.
What you are talking about is, again, of something much less concrete than stones and boundaries, but infinitely more substantial, more important to the development of a sound and healthy (as far as that is possible) civilization. It's putting elements from the past and the force in the present together and bring them in a definite direction towards the future. But since it is all so abstract, it seems easier to think and make others believe that it had "always been there".
You are talking the European Bible
Descartes' maybe, Kant's philosophy (the Kritik, in particular the first one) most certainly not, if you really ever became familiar with Kant's thinking instead of becoming one of those Kantian who would use Kant like a Mormon uses the Evangile. That Kant himself was "full" of the Bible is a different matter.
If you don't see any of that you are the typical European... what the hell... the typical "enlightened" in any country, age and credo who is an erudite in everything and doesn't really understand a shit of anything.
BTW, the obsession of Kant was the development of his philosophy, which he started developing seriously only after he abandoned the merry living he had led up to his 31st year, more or less.
As for Marx, he was against the dogmatism and obscurantism implied in ANY religion, the Christian like the Buddhist, which may have began as "philopsohies of life" blablablablah, and ended up... as Marxism itself ended up: opium and shackles (more or less golden) for the masses
What I'm saying is that you should be aware of precisely what you are saying: that "the history of today's Europe" does not equal with, does not "reflect" what happened in the geographical part of the world called Europe (which is basically a cultural term, you only need to listen American people who are reluctant to call Russia "Europe", or Europeans who won't like the Turks to be called "Europeans", but have no problem in doing so with the Icelanders who haven't even been sad footnote in European history).
Your idea of European history, the official idea of European history (like any other official history) is in fact like one of those old sagas, like the legends surrounding the foundation of Rome or like the French kings dating their ancestry back to Trojan kings.
Boys, if you know not Greek, German or Swedish, then please avoid philosophy.
As for this thread, I personally prefer the Europeans over most others except the Aussies and Kiwis, and our Canadian neighbors and Mexicano neighbors.
Touch, Arouse Me, Kiss & More!My signature picture was designed for me by Reone.
I don't know. But according to my friend from Belgium, he told me that Europe is much more conservative in some ways than America. He told me that you would never see a black leader voted in. Once Obama gets in, that may change.
Whether that is true or not, I have no idea. He spends half the year in Europe (Belgium & France) and have the year in California.
My friend has been wrong before so I take his information with a grain of salt.
Well, that would be easy because Americans simply don't have any sense of style at all.They think they're high class and supposedly think they're more sophisticated and have a better fashion sense than us Americans.
There I COMPLETELY agree with you.The fact that they consider themselves the enlightened ones makes me sick.
USA 4 LYFE!
You're talking about morals there, that's why I particularly singled out his first Kritik (the Kantian imperative is + ), but if you boil down Kant to his morals or to Christianity I doubt you ever actually read his work, even if you have perused it word by word, because it is not so much about his idealist (your reference to the concept of immanence) content as about the road he opens but wouldn't follow himself .... and, please, NOBODY apart from Nietzsche has officially ever tried to go beyond good and evil...
The only way not to believe in a judging deity is by not believing in good and evil... and who would do that when everybody aspires to get rid of a god to become another one themselves or, even worse, replace one by the same one but under a different ritual?
Most historians consider the reign of Justinian (527-565) as marking a significant break with the Roman past. This is difficult to support—Justinian not only considered himself the emperor of all of Rome, including the territories occupied by the Goths, but also spoke Latin as his primary language.
After the fall of Rome, the Byzantine emperors never gave over the idea of reconquering Rome. They did, however, take a lesson from the fall of Rome and all throughout the fifth century, the Byzantine emperors wrought a series of administrative and financial reforms. They produced the single most extensive corpus of Roman law in 425 and reformed taxation dramatically. Most importantly, however, they did not entrust their military to German generals—this had been the downfall of the Latin portion of the empire. They could not, however, maintain a powerful military—the loss of territory in the west had dramatically shrunk their financial resources.
Oh please kalli, everybody knows that, that's why I talked about them being the legitimate Roman Empire, because they had been so even before the first sack of Rome.
They called themselves Romaioi for the same reason the "Holy Roman Empire" to which you yourself made a reference was called like that. They knew they were different from the Latin Roman (they believed they were better because they were Greek after all, with old traditions, more sophisticated, in fact they were very modern European in that) but, as far as their STATE and not their CULTURE was concerned, they called themselves "Roman". I quote
The term "Byzantine Empire" is an invention of historians and was never used during the Empire's lifetime. The Empire's name in Greek was Basileia Rhōmaiōn (Greek: Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων) — "The Empire of the Romans" — a translation of the Latin name of the Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Romanōrum); or just Rhōmania (Greek: Ῥωμανία).
The term "Byzantine" itself comes from "Byzantium", the name that the city of Constantinople had before it became the capital of Constantine. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts.
The designation of the Empire as "Byzantine" began in Western Europe in 1557, when German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historić By*zantinć, a collection of Byzantine sources. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre (Corpus Scriptorum Historić Byzantinć), and in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularized the use of Byzantine among French authors, such as Montesquieu. It was not until the 19th century, however, with the birth of modern Greece, that the term "Byzantine" came into general use in the Western world.
Before this, the Empire was described by Western Europeans as Imperium Graecorum (Empire of the Greeks)—Byzantine claims to Roman inheritance had been actively contested from at least the time of the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in 800. Whenever the Popes or the rulers of the West wanted to make use of the name Roman to refer to the Byzantine emperors, they preferred the term Imperator Romanić instead of Imperator Romanorum, a title that Westerners maintained applied only to Charlemagne and his successors.
It seems it was less confusing to invent a new term for them, even if it implied a manipulation of historical truth, since the fact that the "Byzantines" considered themselves proud of being Greek above all, they thought of themselves as the legitimate heirs (as it was in fact the truth, unlike the Holy Roman Empire) of the Roman Empire.
When the European began to consider more systematically the empire that had just definitively died in Constantinople, it was not so much for clarity's sake as for trying to make them make sense in relation with the Western political and cultural concepts... and prejudices. Remember that after the fall of Rome, the West was supposed to be prey of the barbarians (the proto-Europeans in action that the Romans themselves had already encountered in "Gaul", "Britannia" and elsewhere) while, for them, true civilization persisted in the Greek Roman Empire: the Romaioi.
Get it now?
Of course not, it suffices to read Descartes to realize that he's refuting himself as the fool he was
The importance of Descartes as a philosopher is more a symbolic one, as someone who broke with the despotic auhority of the past, rather than in the little sense (if any) he actually made in his theories (even if his writings may seem perfectly reasonable, just like some people may think Palin makes sense when she talks, or that you belamy doesn't make sense in his writings while the theory from which they derive does).
I know the thread has sort of spiraled out of control into humor, but here are my beefs about Europe (based on having lived in Germany for two years):
Please, note these are just general observations and say absolutely nothing about individuals!
- Racism. It's different than what we have in the US, but in many ways more appallingly transparent. I watched non-white friends be stopped by the police and asked for ID numerous times, but it never happened to me once. Moreover, because national, ethnic and cultural identities are more closely aligned, the wall between European and non-European is more substantial. It's easier to become American and feel like an American for immigrant's children. This has important implications for social cohesion and racial harmony.
- Negativity. As ignorant and uninformed as Americans are on average, we seem to be more optimistic about society and the future than Europeans. I had several Europeans tell me the reason they didn't want children was because they thought it would be cruel to bring them into such a damaged world. I've never heard an American give that rationale. There are other examples of this, but I won't go into them for brevity. Hope and optimism are important components of striving to improve the world and the culture. Without them, it's easier to get stuck in a malaise.
- Smoking. France has finally banned smoking in most public places, but there's still a long way to go in most other places. This is really just a personal gripe, but social and public health attitudes toward smoking are very much behind those in North America.
- The disabled. You very rarely see disabled people anywhere. Wheelchair ramps and other accommodations are almost unheard of compared the US. I get the impression that disabled people are hidden away more in Europe because it's not culturally acceptable for them to be visible. In the US, laws like the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and accompanying cultural change have made it possible for many disabled people to find jobs, attend normal schools and otherwise contribute more directly to society.
Some (many in fact) Europeans may argue that your appreciation is rather superficial, especially in relation to the disabled, but I would say that in fact you took a far deeper peek at the real situation than the Euros would ever dare to acknowledge themselves, particularly with respect to racism.
You may find a case in which a Sub-Saharan guy commuting in a train is the only one to get asked for his transport ticket and the rest of the passengers would revolt against the ticket collector (there are hardly ever necessary any more but you may still find them occasionally) but it's true that in Europe immigrants are ultimately seen as a threat to the "traditional" culture (their acceptance of foreign culture is a very folkloric one, based particularly in their appreciation of their food ), and while in the USA you can be black, or Jewish, or a wasp, or a Nazi, or a KKK member and still consider all of them part of the same country, however you hate each other, the Europeans, for all their talk on freedom and tolerance and diversity, would lecture the rest of the world on the only and true way of being a citizen: no Nazis, no religious people, no racist pride (unless you are black), etc, etc, etc.
I think all this national identity/pride and stuff is a load of bollocks, though maybe thats just because I'm from N.I.
Every nation has good stuff and bad stuff in it, some have more publicity for the bad stuff than others, thats all.
Apart from the french, everyone hates those fuckers. (irony)
It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing?
The European are basically like the old Greeks (yeah, sexual decadence included ), and they will have the same political fate.
OK, I'll bite.
Mostly Europeans are arrogant snobs. Woefully ignorant of American ways (i.e., tipping, saying "please" and "thank you", using deodorant, etc.) and all too happy to tell us why they're better than us....
^I've never been anywhere, in the USA, where one paid a "tip" before sitting down.
Well, Nine's appreciation is superficial but totally right (I mean superficial because he barely scratched the surface ), but as far as tipping policies so, the differences are derived from the two different economic systems.
In the USA you can be employed but earn exclusively the money of the tipping, that is, you have no salary given to you by the employer but directly by the client (most usual case is found is cruises), and it can make an important part of waiter's salary in any restaurant. In socialist ("socialdemocrat") Europe that's quite shocking and unthinkable unless you are a Middle East immigrant carrying butane gas cylinders.
If you feel like tipping a taxi driver or a waiter in Barcelona you are doing something weird, shocking or even stupid.
And tommy is right about certain tourist-oriented businesses, in the USA or, like I said, American-operated cruises in Europe. When you buy one of those packages you must be prepared to pay almost literally for every step you take, and get ridiculous charges like $5-$10 for a souvenir pic of your holiday.
Maybe I understand.
We often add a tip for large groups in this country. Usually 18%. Because they're notorious for "skipping".
When I was in The Bahamas a "tip" was always added to the bill. It was about 15% or so, and it was called a "service charge". Maybe the Florida place you frequented did the same thing, probably because they'd dealt with so many "ignorant" foreigners before.
Like I said, in Europe you basically receive your fixed earn from a big daddy-boss: it can be the state, your head of staff or simply a client; in the USA everything is extremely more dynamic and network-oriented: everybody depends much more directly on everybody else.
^belamy, I think you've nailed it. That's what it's all about. It's just "us".