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Civilization: Is the West History?

History|07 Nov, 2012|19 Comments |
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Rating: 3.9/5 (42 votes cast)

In ‘Civilization: Is the West History?’, filmmaker Niall Ferguson asks how the Western civilization, from exhibiting an unpromising outlook in the 15th century, came to dominate the rest of the world; and if the West is about to be overtaken by the rest. This film comprises of a series of six parts and each of the six parts elucidates the main strengths of the West that made it so successful:

Competition: The first part in the series begins in 1420 when England on the eve of the Wars of the Roses seemed quite primitive by contrast to Ming China that had a credible claim to be the most advanced civilization in the world.

Science: The domination of West by East was an alarmingly plausible scenario in 1683, when the Ottoman army laid siege to Vienna, the capital of Europe’s most powerful empire; but Islam was defeated by the help of tact and Science.

Property: This part looks into the reasons as to why North America succeeded while South America for so many centuries lagged behind. It shows how the two had much in common but they differed profoundly on individual property rights, the rule of law and representative government, which eventually made all the difference.

Medicine: The fourth part shows how the French Empire consciously set out to civilize West Africa by improving public health as well as building a modern infrastructure. Yet in other European empires – notably Germany’s in southwest Africa – colonial rule led to genocide.

Consumerism: This part illustrates how the world today is becoming more homogenous and, with increasingly few exceptions, big-name brands dominate main streets, high streets and shopping malls all over the globe.

Work: The sixth element that enabled the West to dominate the rest was the work ethic, which extolled the spirit of Capitalism by working hard, saving, and accumulating capital.

Civilization: Is the West History?, 3.9 out of 5 based on 42 ratings
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  1. hardeep says:

    Goog piece of Bullshit. Eurpoean civilization word is a big joke. Europeans commited crimes against humanity on innocent people in th periods of colonialism and imperialism and built up their Nations. There story is the story of murderers , plunderer and looters. these bastards are worth shit. I spit on their face. Fithy scum.

    • Mohammed says:

      And still you use and enjoy all the technology and systems that is developed as a result of this “filthy scums” culture and development.

  2. randolph says:

    This is really good, actually!

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  5. benedito says:

    this documentary is flawed. another missrepresentation of Africans. West Africa had their own civilisations and so did many other parts of Africa. The French sought to “civilise”! what kind of civilisation is it being talked about. extortion, rape, murder, slavery, racism? African civilisation was burned down to ashes – so that today we are branded “hunter gatherers”, and people with no writen culture whatsoever. our history does not begin in 1500 with Vasco da Gama, and God did not come to Africa in books which unti today serve as a reference reminder in so called “sacred” places that preach the word of God to “senseless savages”. there was nothig good about colonialism, and still there is not.

    • unnqommon says:

      While what you say is true Africa has not produced (to my admittedly limited knowledge) a “world super-power. The closest I can think of was the classic Egyptians, but when they reached their height of power global conditions were not conducive to the type of expansion typical of Europe and China.

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