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Comments on European Accomplishments

I. Europeans did not just discover the Americas — they actually discovered Africa and mapped the continent including the entire interior of this “dark” continent. Before the Portuguese rounding of this continent in 1488, no one knew its southernmost point. The Portuguese gradually mapped the west coast of Africa from the mid-1400s on. Africans had NO idea where they were. But even as late as 1868, much of the interior of Africa remained unknown. Joseph Conrad recalls (in reference to his novel “Heart of Darkness”) as a child pointing to “the region of Stanley Falls which in 1868 was the blankest of blank spaces on the earth’s figured surface”. Then the entire continent was mapped, primarily by the British: all the rivers, mountains, lakes. Here’s a map of Africa 1885 by John Bartholomew, showing the situation on the eve of the beautiful European scramble for Africa.

II. White men are responsible for mapping the entire world and inventing the sciences of geography and cartography –because their mind, from ancient times on, was the least embedded to its immediate surroundings, uniquely capable of rising above a particular context to envision the totality of things. Nonwhites have always been trapped to the immediate world of the here and now, and that’s why they never knew where their lands where relative to other lands until Europeans mapped their lands inside out. India had no cartography. Only the Chinese had a cartographic tradition, but the Chinese mind was also trapped to its context; Chinese maps were parochially local without awareness of the world at large. Although the Chinese did use relatively precise grids, they had no conception of the sphericity of the earth, no determination of the size of the earth, no coherent and systematic integration of geography and cartography; and no idea, in the words of Ptolemy, of the “known habitable earth as a unit in itself” to draw maps to scale. The Chinese, moreover, carried no systematic integration of astronomy and cartography and how important astronomical measurements of latitudes and longitudes are for finding unknown distances.

In contrast, look at Ptolemy’s world map (AD 150), it already indicates the country of “Sinae” (China) at the extreme right, beyond the island of “Taprobane” (Sri Lanka, and the “Aurea Chersonesus” (Malay Peninsula).

2. AFRICA: After the Romans defeated Carthage (located in present day Tunisia), they called their new province “Africa.” Europeans would go on to explore and discover the entire continent of Africa and name its rivers, mountains, and demarcate its national boundaries. Africans had no clue where they were, that’s why this continent was known as “terra incognita” until the Portuguese sailing down the West African coast started mapping its continental contours.

3. ASIA: The word “Asia” comes from the Ancient Greek “Ἀσία”, used as early as 440 B.C. by Herodotus in his Histories, in reference to Asia Minor, or Anatolia or to the Persian Empire, in contrast to Greece and Egypt.

4. EUROPE: Europe was likely named after Europa, the Greek goddess of earth and agriculture, or one of Zeus’ many lovers in Greek mythology.

5. The AMERICAS: Americas (North and South) were named after Amerigo Vespucci, an explorer of “the new world” in 1499-1502 who understood that this world was not part of Asia.

6. AUSTRALIA: Back in ancient Roman times the term “Terra Australis Incognita” was used to refer to “the unknown land in the south”. The earliest recorded use of the word Australia in English was in 1625. The incomparable explorer James Cook discovered Australia in 1770, landing in present day Sydney and claiming this land for England. “Australia” was popularized following the advocacy of the British explorer Matthew Flinders in his 1814 description of his circumnavigation of the continent.

IV. No nation or race can survive without a “Spartan” ruling class. The British, it looks like, are headed for extinction as a race. It may be hard for people to understand this —– but not long ago the British ruling class was raised to be tougher than any other social class, with a “stiff upper lip”. As Charles Darwin observed of this upper class: “savages weep copiously from very slight causes” while “Englishmen rarely cry, except under the pressure of the acutest grief.”

The historian Thomas Dixon recently explained it this way: “The stiff upper lip was historically an upper class, public school, university and then military concept…a brutal, spartan way of not showing your feelings and ruling the world on the basis of your superior self-control.” But, of course, Dixon’s aim in his book, Weeping Britannia Portrait of a Nation in Tears (2020), was to mock this ideal for its “oppression and cruelty” — and to show that it was not authentic by pointing to counter-examples. Dixon’s take reflects a mind-set across the Western world, that “progress and human emancipation” requires white men to become effeminate and emotional. Upper British class kids are now taught to love Jamaican men, Moslems, black rap, and to be radical feminists. This same class still loves to showcase British power — but mainly by way of airstrikes from afar, or by getting other men, Ukrainians, to fight for their goals. And they always fail.

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