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Thread: The concept of 'western'

  1. #11
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    western, in the colloquial sense, is actually "northern" in the cartographical sense.

    western culture can more or less be equated to the culture found around and about the arctic circle.

    go to google earth, center the globe around the arctic, and realize that all of the western world is found around the arctic.

    on the other hand, focus it around the antarctic, and realize all the "non western" world is centered around that.

    it's pretty interesting.

  2. #12
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    West coast, represent.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kullervo View Post
    It is a very poor concept, which has become mixed up with America and her allies vs everyone else. This is a very, very fluid way to define "Western" which rests too much on political decisions, and not enough on something concrete.

    I would say "Western" is synonymous with "White" in this sense, and therefore all countries with a ethnic European majority group are Western. Whether a country is Western then depends on what the dominant ethnic group is, and this is practical as demography ultimately determines what cultural values are allowed to exist in a country.

    Western countries (currently) include all of Europe and North America, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile.
    I hate talking to you, but no all of Europe isn't Western, my old professor from the Soviet Union told me to associate Russia more with Asia in some regards to view it correctly, and the Eastern bloc became Westernized slowly, but I don't consider it inherently Western. Western countries were mainly colonized or settled by Western Europeans...English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and also heavy German influence in the United States.

    And typically the most Western countries are capitalist now like the U.S. and UK.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    I hate talking to you, but no all of Europe isn't Western, my old professor from the Soviet Union told me to associate Russia more with Asia in some regards to view it correctly, and the Eastern bloc became Westernized slowly, but I don't consider it inherently Western. Western countries were mainly colonized or settled by Western Europeans...English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and also heavy German influence in the United States.

    And typically the most Western countries are capitalist now like the U.S. and UK.
    Firstly, why not make up your own mind instead of listening to somebody else.

    Russia used to be very European - historically it had connections to Prussia and Sweden through the royal families, early in its history was in unison with Ukraine and Belarus. The Russian Tsars also saw themselves as heirs of the Roman Empire (the literal meaning of "Tsar" is "Caesar") and had associations with Byzantium due to common religious faith. In reality Russia only drifted towards Asia after the Communist revolution set it against the West.

    Also, I strongly dispute that capitalism, or any ideology for that matter, can define a country's "Westernness". For example, Japan and South Korea are capitalist and clearly not Western. "Western" must therefore have some other meaning. I suggest basing it on blood as that is much less fluid than ideology.

  5. #15
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    The name 'the West' comes from Western Europe. And Western Europe is based on Ancient Greek philosophy, Ancient Greek art and literature, Judaism, Christianity, and the Enlightenment.

    So we have Western civilization, Indian civilization, and Chinese civilization. And interestingly, in spite of their claims, Islam in not a civilization, Islam is still tribal, as we see on our news every night.

  6. #16
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    I always thought people defined it as

    Europe + USA + Canada + Australia + New Zealand

    I once heard it being described as any country that's condescending to poorer countries in the olympics games. lol But you're right, it's very vague.
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    For me it means somewhere with heavy Western European influences (this includes the US of course)

    You can also say that a lot of Asian cities are 'westernized', which basically means you can find Starbucks and McDonald's everywhere...
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    Quote Originally Posted by xisnotx View Post
    western, in the colloquial sense, is actually "northern" in the cartographical sense.

    western culture can more or less be equated to the culture found around and about the arctic circle.

    go to google earth, center the globe around the arctic, and realize that all of the western world is found around the arctic.

    on the other hand, focus it around the antarctic, and realize all the "non western" world is centered around that.

    it's pretty interesting.
    Well thank you Sherlock, "western" culture originates in Europe, and Europe as a whole is much nearer to the arctic circle than the antarctic, that's the reason for your "discovery".
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  9. #19
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    How can we defend Western civilization if we don't know what it is?

    And it is plain here that most have no idea of the history, the institutions, or the values of Western civilization.

    But worse, they don't know, they don't know.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    How can we defend Western civilization if we don't know what it is?

    And it is plain here that most have no idea of the history, the institutions, or the values of Western civilization.

    But worse, they don't know, they don't know.
    That's because we're busy learning about multi-culturalism as if that were a thing in and of itself.

    Here, for a brief bit, the interests of Mole and I are aligned.

    I think the west and east most clearly divide on their emphasis on reason and the material. Eastern Europe seems less western probably because of the influence of the Eastern Orthodox Church which is more mystical and never benefited from anything like the scholastic movement within the Roman Catholic Church. Likewise South America seems less western because of the syncretism of their catholic faith as it has mixed with local animistic beliefs.

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