The countries I see as Western are mostly found in Europe. This means Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. (Portugal and Slovenia I know too little of.) I addition there are micro-countries squished between or surrounded by those. These are Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican. Outside Europe there are Australia, Canada, New Zeeland and the US. These are all the countries I consider unquestionably Western.
All these countries have certain things in common. They have not had any hereditary, absolute positions of power for several generations. Fear of superiors no longer prevented anyone from learning to know his or her fellow beings. Later a rising standard of living has made an enormous difference in capacities. Children have no longer been forced to work so much as to hinder their mental development. Together these give everyone the opportunity to develop basic insights in the minds of others. At least if you grew up as part of society.
This development meant an enormous improvement in how we treat each other. Sure, there are still individuals destroying for their fellow beings. However, behaviours which were once normal are now more or less rare. Many probably don’t even know they were once common. For example it was once normal for a political leader to have his or her competitors killed. This just because competitors existed! To merely suggest something like that is today seen as unacceptable.
There are many old myths which once were official doctrines. To believe such ideas today appear culturally misplaced. That is, something not belonging in the society the individual lives in. Now I happen to live in Sweden which is one of the world’s most tolerant counties. There is a reason “baroque” is used as a synonym for “preposterous” in Swedish. Yet there are centuries-old ideas which now appear preposterous to believe in. Such a “baroque” idea is that nobles would be breed to fit certain positions in society. (I find this 17th century idea outright repugnant.) On one hand mental characteristics are too unpredictable to be breed like that. On the other hand groups of humans are never that genetically isolated. Endogamy don’t matter in this context. Are there even British nobility still believing in such myths? Britain is the only Western country still having noble privileges. But believing you have right to such privileges is not believing one was breed for it.
So why can’t society continue to develop? Why can’t we get rid of the myth of different groups in society being essentially different? The science we have today gives no support for such ideas. I have already explained why human nature is the same everywhere. In the same way there is no evidence of the sexes being essentially different. Certain characteristics are just more common in women or men. The same applies to other smaller groups. Why would it not be possible for people in general to realise this? We have already made enormous progress in the understanding of our fellow beings. Why would this development stop entirely? A society’s current state are not going to last forever. This is at least one thing we can learn from history.
Uploaded on the 14th of July 2023.
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