The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation by Professor John M. Hobson

By Professor John M. Hobson

John Hobson demanding situations the ethnocentric bias of mainstream debts of the "Rise of the West" that suppose that Europeans have pioneered their very own improvement, and that the East has been a passive by-stander. Describing the increase of what he calls the "Oriental West", Hobson argues that Europe first assimilated many jap innovations, after which appropriated japanese assets via imperialism. Hobson's ebook hence propels the hitherto marginalized japanese peoples to the leading edge of the tale of revolutionary international historical past.

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8). Then, during the eighteenth century, European identity reconstruction led to the creation of what I refer to as ‘implicit racism’ which led on to the idea of the moral necessity of the imperial ‘civilising mission’ (ch. 10). Imagining the East to be backward, passive and childlike in contrast to the West as advanced, proactive and paternal was vital in prompting the Europeans to engage in imperialism. For the European elites sincerely believed that they were civilising the East through imperialism (even if many of their actions belied this noble conception).

Moreover, the Eastern bourgeoisie was thoroughly repressed by the despotic or patrimonial state and was confined to ‘administrative camps’ as opposed to the ‘free cities’ that were allegedly found only in the West. In addition, European rulers were also balanced against the power of the Holy Roman empire as well as the papacy, which contrasted with Eastern caesaropapism (where religious and political institutions were fused). Finally, while Western man became imbued with a ‘rational restlessness’ and a transformative ‘ethic of world mastery’, in part because of the energising impulse of Protestantism, Eastern man was choked by 18 e a s t e r n o r i g i n s regressive religions and was thereby marked by a long-term fatalism and passive conformity to the world.

16 After 610, the Middle East began its rise to global power with the ‘revelation’ of Muhammad. Before i s l a m i c a n d a f r i c a n p i o n e e r s 37 then the Middle East was highly fragmented and subject to various colonising efforts by Persia, Syria and Byzantine Egypt. One of Muhammad’s greatest contributions was to forge a unity through the power of Islam. And one of the most significant aspects of Islam was its penchant for trade and rational capitalist activity. It deserves emphasis that this immediately stands at odds with the Eurocentric assumption that Islam was a regressive religion that blocked the possibility of capitalist, let alone rational capitalist, activity.

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