Some of it was directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included terrorism , worker strikes, peasant unrests, and military mutinies. It led to the establishment of the limited constitutional monarchy,  the establishment of State Duma of the Russian Empire , and the multi-party system. The primary parties to the conflict were the Imperial forces of the Qing dynasty — , and the revolutionary forces of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance Tongmenghui. In the early years of the period, the Second Boer War in South Africa split the country into anti- and pro-war factions.
The imperial policies of the Conservatives eventually proved unpopular and in the general election of the Liberals won a huge landslide. The Liberal government was unable to proceed with all of its radical programme without the support of the House of Lords , which was largely Conservative.
Conflict between the two Houses of Parliament over the People's Budget led to a reduction in the power of the peers in The general election in January that year returned a hung parliament with the balance of power held by Labour and Irish Nationalist members. The causes of World War I included many factors, including the conflicts and antagonisms of the four decades leading up to the war. The alignment of the three powers, supplemented by various agreements with Japan , the United States, and Spain , constituted a powerful counterweight to the Triple Alliance of Germany , Austria-Hungary , and Italy , the third having concluded an additional secret agreement with France effectively nullifying her Alliance commitments.
Militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism played major roles in the conflict. The immediate origins of the war lay in the decisions taken by statesmen and generals during the July Crisis of , the spark or casus belli for which was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. However, the crisis did not exist in a void; it came after a long series of diplomatic clashes between the Great Powers over European and colonial issues in the decade prior to which had left tensions high.
The diplomatic clashes can be traced to changes in the balance of power in Europe since The railway became a source of international disputes during the years immediately preceding World War I. Although it has been argued that they were resolved in before the war began, it has also been argued that the railroad was a cause of the First World War. Austria-Hungary competed with Serbia and Russia for territory and influence in the region and they pulled the rest of the great powers into the conflict through their various alliances and treaties.
The Balkan Wars were two wars in South-eastern Europe in — in the course of which the Balkan League Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, and Serbia first captured Ottoman-held remaining part of Thessaly, Macedonia, Epirus, Albania and most of Thrace and then fell out over the division of the spoils, with incorporation of Romania this time. The First World War began in and lasted to the final Armistice in The war caused the disintegration of four empires—the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian ones—as well as radical change in the European and West Asian maps.
Much of the fighting in World War I took place along the Western Front , within a system of opposing manned trenches and fortifications separated by a " No man's land " running from the North Sea to the border of Switzerland. On the Eastern Front , the vast eastern plains and limited rail network prevented a trench warfare stalemate from developing, although the scale of the conflict was just as large. Hostilities also occurred on and under the sea and—for the first time—from the air. More than 9 million soldiers died on the various battlefields, and nearly that many more in the participating countries' home fronts on account of food shortages and genocide committed under the cover of various civil wars and internal conflicts.
Notably, more people died of the worldwide influenza outbreak at the end of the war and shortly after than died in the hostilities. The unsanitary conditions engendered by the war, severe overcrowding in barracks, wartime propaganda interfering with public health warnings, and migration of so many soldiers around the world helped the outbreak become a pandemic. Ultimately, World War I created a decisive break with the old world order that had emerged after the Napoleonic Wars , which was modified by the midth century's nationalistic revolutions. More immediate to the time, the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire was a political event that redrew the political boundaries of West Asia.
The huge conglomeration of territories and peoples formerly ruled by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire was divided into several new nations. The League of Nations granted France mandates over Syria and Lebanon and granted the United Kingdom mandates over Mesopotamia and Palestine which was later divided into two regions: Palestine and Transjordan. The Russian Revolution is the series of revolutions in Russia in , which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. In October , a red faction revolution occurred in which the Red Guard , armed groups of workers and deserting soldiers directed by the Bolshevik Party, seized control of Saint Petersburg then known as Petrograd and began an immediate armed takeover of cities and villages throughout the former Russian Empire.
Another action in that is of note was the armistice signed between Russia and the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk. The Bolsheviks made peace with the German Empire and the Central Powers , as they had promised the Russian people prior to the Revolution. Vladimir Lenin's decision has been attributed to his sponsorship by the foreign office of Wilhelm II, German Emperor , offered by the latter in hopes that with a revolution, Russia would withdraw from World War I.
This suspicion was bolstered by the German Foreign Ministry's sponsorship of Lenin's return to Petrograd. The Western Allies expressed their dismay at the Bolsheviks, upset at:. In addition, there was a concern, shared by many Central Powers as well, that the socialist revolutionary ideas would spread to the West. Hence, many of these countries expressed their support for the Whites, including the provision of troops and supplies.
Winston Churchill declared that Bolshevism must be "strangled in its cradle". The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed and the Soviets under the domination of the Bolshevik party assumed power, first in Petrograd St.
Petersburg and then in other places. In the wake of the October Revolution , the old Russian Imperial Army had been demobilized; the volunteer-based Red Guard was the Bolsheviks' main military force, augmented by an armed military component of the Cheka , the Bolshevik state security apparatus. There was an instituted mandatory conscription of the rural peasantry into the Red Army. Many foreign armies warred against the Red Army, notably the Allied Forces , yet many volunteer foreigners fought in both sides of the Russian Civil War.
Other nationalist and regional political groups also participated in the war, including the Ukrainian nationalist Green Army , the Ukrainian anarchist Black Army and Black Guards , and warlords such as Ungern von Sternberg. The most intense fighting took place from to Major military operations ended on 25 October when the Red Army occupied Vladivostok , previously held by the Provisional Priamur Government.
The majority of the fighting ended in with the defeat of General Pyotr Wrangel in the Crimea , but a notable resistance in certain areas continued until e. While the early s was a time of flux for revolutionary Russia and Central Asia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was proclaimed in as the successor state to the fallen Russian Empire. Revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin died of natural causes and was succeeded by Joseph Stalin. In , China declared war on Germany in the hope of recovering its lost province, then under Japanese control.
The New Culture Movement occupied the period from to Chinese representatives refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles , due to intense pressure from the student protesters and public opinion alike. The May Fourth Movement helped to rekindle the then-fading cause of republican revolution. In Sun Yat-sen had become commander-in-chief of a rival military government in Guangzhou in collaboration with southern warlords. Sun's efforts to obtain aid from the Western democracies were ignored, however, and in he turned to the Soviet Union, which had recently achieved its own revolution.
The Soviets sought to befriend the Chinese revolutionists by offering scathing attacks on Western imperialism. But for political expediency, the Soviet leadership initiated a dual policy of support for both Sun and the newly established Chinese Communist Party CCP. In early , the Kuomintang-CCP rivalry led to a split in the revolutionary ranks. The "Nanjing Decade" of —37 was one of consolidation and accomplishment under the leadership of the Nationalists, with a mixed but generally positive record in the economy, social progress, development of democracy , and cultural creativity.
Some of the harsh aspects of foreign concessions and privileges in China were moderated through diplomacy. This period was marked by turmoil in much of the world, as Europe struggled to recover from the devastation of the First World War. In North America, especially the first half of this period, people experienced considerable prosperity in the Roaring Twenties.
The Roaring Twenties , often called " The Jazz Age ", saw an exposition of social, artistic, and cultural dynamism. The spirit of the Roaring Twenties was marked by a general feeling of discontinuity associated with modernity, a break with traditions. Everything seemed to be feasible through modern technology. New technologies, especially automobiles, movies and radio proliferated 'modernity' to a large part of the population.
The s saw the general favor of practicality, in architecture as well as in daily life. The s was further distinguished by several inventions and discoveries, extensive industrial growth and the rise in consumer demand and aspirations, and significant changes in lifestyle. Europe spent these years rebuilding and coming to terms with the vast human cost of the conflict. The economy of the United States became increasingly intertwined with that of Europe.
In Germany, the Weimar Republic gave way to episodes of political and economic turmoil, which culminated with the German hyperinflation of and the failed Beer Hall Putsch of that same year. When Germany could no longer afford war payments, Wall Street invested heavily in European debts to keep the European economy afloat as a large consumer market for American mass-produced goods. By the middle of the decade, economic development soared in Europe, and the Roaring Twenties broke out in Germany, Britain and France, the second half of the decade becoming known as the " Golden Twenties ".
German Nazis created large public performances to earn public support. Worldwide prosperity changed dramatically with the onset of the Great Depression in The Great Depression was a worldwide economic downturn starting in most places in and ending at different times in the s or early s for different countries.
The depression had devastating effects in virtually every country, rich or poor. International trade plunged by half to two-thirds, as did personal income, tax revenue, prices and profits. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by roughly 60 percent.
The Great Depression ended at different times in different countries with the effect lasting into the next era. In some world states, the desperate citizens turned toward nationalist demagogues —the most infamous being Adolf Hitler —setting the stage for the next era of war. The convulsion brought on by the worldwide depression resulted in the rise of Nazism. In Asia, Japan became an ever more assertive power, especially with regards to China. The interwar period was also marked by a radical change in the international order, away from the balance of power that had dominated pre—World War I Europe.
One main institution that was meant to bring stability was the League of Nations , which was created after the First World War with the intention of maintaining world security and peace and encouraging economic growth between member countries. However the League failed to resolve any major crises and by it was no longer a major player. The League tried to enforce economic sanctions upon Italy, but to no avail. The incident highlighted French and British weakness, exemplified by their reluctance to alienate Italy and lose her as their ally.
The limited actions taken by the Western powers pushed Mussolini's Italy towards alliance with Hitler's Germany anyway. The Abyssinian war showed Hitler how weak the League was and encouraged the remilitarization of the Rhineland in flagrant disregard of the Treaty of Versailles. This was the first in a series of provocative acts culminating in the invasion of Poland in September and the beginning of the Second World War. Few Chinese had any illusions about Japanese designs on China. Hungry for raw materials and pressed by a growing population, Japan initiated the seizure of Manchuria in September and established ex-Qing emperor Puyi as head of the puppet state of Manchukuo in During the Sino-Japanese War — , the loss of Manchuria, and its vast potential for industrial development and war industries, was a blow to the Kuomintang economy.
The League of Nations , established at the end of World War I, was unable to act in the face of the Japanese defiance. After , conflicts between the Kuomintang and Communists became more frequent in the areas not under Japanese control. The Communists expanded their influence wherever opportunities presented themselves through mass organizations, administrative reforms, and the land- and tax-reform measures favoring the peasants—while the Kuomintang attempted to neutralize the spread of Communist influence.
With the occupation of French Indochina in the years of —41, and with the continuing war in China, the United States placed embargoes on Japan of strategic materials such as scrap metal and oil, which were vitally needed for the war effort. The Japanese were faced with the option of either withdrawing from China and losing face or seizing and securing new sources of raw materials in the resource-rich, European-controlled colonies of South East Asia —specifically British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies modern-day Indonesia.
The Second World War was a global military conflict that took place in — It was the largest and deadliest war in history, culminating in the Holocaust and ending with the dropping of the atom bomb. Even though Japan had been invading in China since , the conventional view is that the war began on September 1, , when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, the Drang nach Osten. Within two days the United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany, even though the fighting was confined to Poland.
Pursuant to a then-secret provision of its non-aggression Molotov—Ribbentrop Pact , the Soviet Union joined with Germany on September 17, , to conquer Poland and to divide Eastern Europe. All of these countries declared war on Germany in September Following the lull in fighting, known as the " Phoney War ", Germany invaded western Europe in May Six weeks later, France, in the mean time attacked by Italy as well, surrendered to Germany, which then tried unsuccessfully to conquer Britain.
Nine months later, on June 22, , Germany launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union, which promptly joined the Allies. Germany was now engaged in fighting a war on two fronts. This proved to be a mistake by Germany — Germany had not successfully carried out the invasion of Britain and the war turned against the Axis. China also joined the Allies, as eventually did most of the rest of the world.
China was in turmoil at the time, and attacked Japanese armies through guerilla-type warfare. Italy surrendered in September and was split into a northern Germany-occupied puppet state and an Allies-friendly state in the South; Germany surrendered in May Following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki , Japan surrendered , marking the end of the war on September 2, It is possible that around 62 million people died in the war ; estimates vary greatly.
The former Soviet Union and China suffered the most casualties. Estimates place deaths in the Soviet Union at around 23 million, while China suffered about 10 million. No country lost a greater portion of its population than Poland: approximately 5. The Holocaust which roughly means "burnt whole" was the deliberate and systematic murder of millions of Jews and other "unwanted" during World War II by the Nazi regime in Germany. Several differing views exist regarding whether it was intended to occur from the war's beginning, or if the plans for it came about later.
Regardless, persecution of Jews extended well before the war even started, such as in the Kristallnacht Night of Broken Glass. The Nazis used propaganda to great effect to stir up anti-Semitic feelings within ordinary Germans.
These two rivals would later face off in the Cold War. In Asia, the defeat of Japan led to its democratization. China's civil war continued through and after the war, resulting eventually in the establishment of the People's Republic of China. The former colonies of the European powers began their road to independence. The midth century is distinguished from most of human history in that its most significant changes were directly or indirectly economic and technological in nature. Economic development was the force behind vast changes in everyday life, to a degree which was unprecedented in human history.
Over the course of the 20th century, the world's per-capita gross domestic product grew by a factor of five,  much more than all earlier centuries combined including the 19th with its Industrial Revolution. Many economists make the case that this understates the magnitude of growth, as many of the goods and services consumed at the end of the 20th century, such as improved medicine causing world life expectancy to increase by more than two decades and communications technologies, were not available at any price at its beginning.
However, the gulf between the world's rich and poor grew wider,  and the majority of the global population remained in the poor side of the divide. Still, advancing technology and medicine has had a great impact even in the Global South. Large-scale industry and more centralized media made brutal dictatorships possible on an unprecedented scale in the middle of the century, leading to wars that were also unprecedented.
However, the increased communications contributed to democratization. Technological developments included the development of airplanes and space exploration , nuclear technology , advancement in genetics , and the dawning of the Information Age. Pax Americana is an appellation applied to the historical concept of relative liberal peace in the Western world, resulting from the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States of America starting around the start of the 20th century.
Although the term finds its primary utility in the latter half of the 20th century, it has been used in various places and eras. Its modern connotations concern the peace established after the end of World War II in The Cold War began in the mids and lasted into the early s. Throughout this period, the conflict was expressed through military coalitions, espionage, weapons development, invasions, propaganda, and competitive technological development.
The conflict included costly defense spending, a massive conventional and nuclear arms race , and numerous proxy wars ; the two superpowers never fought one another directly. The Soviet Union created the Eastern Bloc of countries that it occupied, annexing some as Soviet Socialist Republics and maintaining others as satellite states that would later form the Warsaw Pact.
The United States and various western European countries began a policy of " containment " of communism and forged myriad alliances to this end, including NATO. Several of these western countries also coordinated efforts regarding the rebuilding of western Europe, including western Germany, which the Soviets opposed. In other regions of the world, such as Latin America and Southeast Asia , the Soviet Union fostered communist revolutionary movements, which the United States and many of its allies opposed and, in some cases, attempted to " roll back ".
Many countries were prompted to align themselves with the nations that would later form either NATO or the Warsaw Pact, the Non-Aligned Movement emerged from nations who desired neutrality. When the Communist Party of China assumed power in , previous schools of Chinese thought, excepting notably Legalism , were denounced as backward. Many parts of China's past were even purged during the Cultural Revolution. Though initially friendly with the Soviet Union the Chinese and Soviet communists diverged in the Sino-Soviet split of Through the end of the Cold-War, China would continue on its own path from other communist countries, building better relations with the United States after China's economy would recover from the Cultural Revolution due to market-oriented reforms led by Deng Xiaoping.
The Cold War saw periods of both heightened tension and relative calm. Direct military attacks on adversaries were deterred by the potential for mutual assured destruction using deliverable nuclear weapons. The Cold War drew to a close in the late s and the early s. The United States under President Ronald Reagan increased diplomatic, military, and economic pressure on the Soviet Union, which was already suffering from severe economic stagnation. In the second half of the s, newly appointed Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the perestroika and glasnost reforms.
The Soviet Union collapsed in , leaving the United States as the dominant military power, though Russia retained much of the massive Soviet nuclear arsenal. This was further fueled by Cuban and United States intervention which led to a political polarization.
Most South American countries were in some periods ruled by military dictatorships that were supported by the United States of America. In the s, the regimes of the Southern Cone collaborated in Operation Condor killing many leftist dissidents, including some urban guerrillas. The Space Age is a period encompassing the activities related to the Space Race , space exploration , space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events. The Space Age began with the development of several technologies that culminated with the launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in October This was the world's first artificial satellite, orbiting the Earth in The launch of Sputnik 1 ushered a new era of political, scientific and technological achievements that became known as the Space Age.
The Space Age was characterized by rapid development of new technology in a close race mostly between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Space Age brought the first human spaceflight during the Vostok programme and reached its peak with the Apollo program which captured the imagination of much of the world's population. The landing of Apollo 11 on the Moon was an event watched by over million people around the world and is widely recognized as one of the defining moments of the 20th century.
Since then, and with the end of the space race due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union , public attention has largely moved to other areas. The humanities are academic disciplines which study the human condition , using methods that are primarily analytic , critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural and social sciences.
Although many of the subjects of modern history coincide with that of standard history, the subject is taught independently by various systems of education in the world. Students can choose the subject at university. The material covered includes from the midth century, to analysis of the present day. Virtually all colleges and sixth forms that do teach modern history do it alongside standard history; very few teach the subject exclusively. At the University of Oxford 'Modern History' has a somewhat different meaning. The contrast is not with the Middle Ages but with Antiquity. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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The Old Quantum Theory. Pergamon Press. The Atlantic Monthly , Volume Philip Gengembre Hubert. By Jonathan I. By James C. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. See also: D. By Graeme Garrard. Routledge, HarperCollins published The rejection of religion in favour of a belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts. In , the prehistory of society, the social organization existing previous to recorded history, was all but unknown. Since then Haxthausen discovered common ownership of land In Russia, Maurer concluded it to be the social foundation from which all Teutonic races started in history, and by and by village communities were found to be, or to have been, the primitive form of society everywhere from India to Ireland.
The Inner organization of this primitive Communistic society was laid bare, In its typical form, by Morgan's work on the true nature of the gens and Its relation to the tribe. With the dissolution of these primaeval communities society begins to be differentiated into separate and finally antagonistic classes. Chippendale, N. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Historical materialism is not "an historico-philosophic theory of the marche generale imposed by fate upon every people, whatever the historic circumstances in which it finds itself".
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Namespaces Article Talk. When crisis occur, these visions of nationalism collide with economic realities of the world. Starting a trade war with China, with Turkey is not really going to help any Trump voter in Pennsylvania or Ohio. You joined a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and you mentioned noticing his entourage constantly pampering him but not offering any real advice. That is a sultan. Usually people are afraid to give advice to a sultan.
They want to tell him what he wants to hear and it can be dangerous to tell the truth. Why do they prefer to be around this type of advisers instead of ones who could provide feedback? Is this power poisoning or a tactical, deliberate decision? How does this mechanism work?
It is as old as history. You know there is a slogan that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is an extremely difficult position to be in to lead a country. Especially if it is not New Zealand, but a country as complicated as Turkey, or Israel. So many problems, pressures, so much information… It is incredibly complicated to get all these conflicting messages.
In a situation of such great chaos, you develop some theory about the world: This is how the world works and this is what we should do This happens to every person, it is human nature. If we have a theory about the world and something confirms it, we immediately notice it. When you are in a position of power, in terms of your confirmation bias, you have many tools. If my advisor has fallen victim to this distorted view of the world, I will fire him.
Then other advisors see what happens to someone who speaks like that. Then you get more and more confirmation for your theory and develop a stronger belief in it. For an ordinary person, the confirmation bias is not so strong because your ability to control your immediate reality is limited. You have no impact on newspapers for instance. You will see main headlines in the newspaper that contradict you. But if you are a prime minister in Israel -and also in Turkey I think- you have a lot of influence on what the papers write. Then you read the newspaper… A vicious circle.
There are leaders who are completely corrupt, who only want to make themselves rich. But I think generally this is not the case. I think that Netanyahu is deeply convinced that he is doing the best for Israel, that he is the best servant of Israel. Even if they say he gave money to this person, took money from that person…. He wants to keep journalists by his side.
I think that Putin completely identifies himself with Russia. It is not true. But psychologically he has a very deep conviction. It seems to me that deception used to be a more subtle, sophisticated endeavor. I do not agree that we are living in a unique age of post truth and fake news. In the past, things were much worse, people just forgot. Stalin was able to hide the murder of millions of people successfully. When Stalin died in , many people in Israel went into mourning.
Not only in the Soviet Union, but people all over the world thought that accusations were fake news against Stalin and that he was actually the savior of the working class in the world. Also, the kind of things people believed in in the Middle Ages…. So rumors, shaming, etc. Despite the Technological Revolution, Information Revolution, contradictions, religions proved to be extremely resistant.
You have a whole chapter in the book on this issue. Is God back? Religion addresses ethical, policy and identity problems. For much of history religion was the authority in all three. When sick, you would go to the priest, the shaman or the guru. In a drought you would go to the church, the mosque or the temple. In ancient or medieval times religion was so important due to this technical authority.
If you look at the life of Jesus, half of the time, he was a doctor. Bringing sight to the blind, making lame people walk Today even when religious people get sick they go to the doctor. Religion completely lost its technical power. In the past, much of the authority about policy was in the hands of religious authorities. Now, when you compare economic policies of say Jewish Israel, Sunni Turkey, Shiite Iran and the United States… They all follow the same economic models developed by the same economists.
But these discussions are done according to the science of economics. So policy is also out of the hands of religion. It is unfortunate. What the world needs above anything else today is better global cooperation. In Israel you can maybe justify it since Judaism was always a tribal religion. This is very unfortunate. You say humans can have their doubts and see contradictions yet will continue believing. Human mind is an extremely complicated system. It can believe and not believe at the same time. You can believe in many contradictory things simultaneously.
This is what makes humans and religions so adaptable. If it was between a percent or a zero percent belief, it could quickly collide with reality and crumble. But it is much more complicated than that. The world is in turmoil, everything is changing and this is stressful and frightening. They want a stable story that explains everything.
The unique character of religion is that it changes all the time, but every time it changes, it claims to be eternal truth. Their brand of Islam is completely new but they claim going back to original purity. Every religious revolution is the same. They never admit that they are doing something new. In Israel, religious people suddenly started having a huge problem with women. They claim that recent generations have become corrupt, allowing women to be in all places, mixing with men etc.
Today in a synagogue, there is a very strict division between men and women. There was a famous incident in a neighborhood nearby. They were advertising new flats with happy families on billboards. But these families consisted only of men and boys to preserve the purity of Judaism! Then you excavate the first synagogues built almost years ago and discover no indication of separation of men and women.
They also discovered that synagogues were in part decorated with mosaics of women. You do not mention the issue of women in the book so much. The metoo movement is part of a much larger movement. The larger feminist revolution of the last century all over the world has been one of the most important and successful social revolutions in human history. Feminist revolution changed this in an unprecedented way. Things that were thought to be eternal and natural have changed in a profound way.
And it happened with extremely little violence. In Russian, French, Chinese, Iranian revolutions, there was a lot of violence involved.
When you look at these narratives, do you find any of them appealing? These are stories invented by humans. Stories are tools. The yardstick to evaluate a story is the amount of suffering that it prevents or causes. The World Cup for instance… In order to watch football, first you need to convince people about the laws of the football game, a human invention. There is nothing wrong with this. But if a hooligan beats up or kills a fan of the rival team, then you have lost it. Now, it is a bad story.
You should remember it is an invented story and not kill anybody for it. Same goes for the big stories like liberalism, fascism, communism When you look at the historical record, I would say without any doubt that the liberal story has been the best. It has its problems, it has its flaws, it is not without atrocities and terrible things were done in its name such as the invasion of Iraq to establish democracy, which was such a stupid thing to do. But when you look at the big picture, liberalism has been the best story for humanity in the last two or three centuries.
It has an alliance with capitalism, an alliance of convenience They meet in the free market. It believes in the highest value of freedom, allows people to think for themselves, to make their own decisions, to follow their heart and so forth. Liberalism needs capitalism in the free market. The idea is that the highest authority in the economy is the desire of the customer.
The customer is always right and we should allow free movement of goods and money services; people should make their own decisions, so we also need free movement of information etc. All this made liberalism and capitalism natural allies. They are still very different one from another. Capitalism has a much more narrow perspective. One of the biggest dangers now is that they will part company; this brings me back to where we started. If you look at the spread of liberal values in the last few decades in countries like China and Turkey, governments allowed more freedom to citizens not because of their liberal values, but they believed in the capitalist ideal.
They thought: Unless you give people more freedom to make choices about what they buy, what they wear, what they invent, the economy is going to stagnate. The real reason many governments liberalize their countries is capitalism, not liberalism. These two worked together in the 20th century but now they diverge.
As more and more people are irrelevant to the economy with the emergence of the useless class, the alliance between liberalism and capitalism might collapse. You could have very successful economies without much freedom. When you look at socialism and communism, do you think that these narratives were never a realistic alternative for humanity?
Do you think a more egalitarian, humane system is impossible? The impact of communism and socialism on the world has been immense. In the late 19th century, countries like Britain and the United States had almost no social welfare services. No pensions, no social security, very little investment in education or help for the masses. The robber-baron era of capitalism Capitalism constantly pressured people to forget about regulation and ethical standards. It was largely the influence of communism and socialism. One influence was intellectual. The ideas of socialism did not make people establish a communist dictatorship but did convince them to build a more equal and just society for everybody.
The other important influence was fear. It is not that socialism completely failed; the extreme socialist experiments in the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, they failed. But many of the socialist ideals and practices were incorporated in liberal democratic capitalist societies. Even the United States -the most extreme capitalist society- is a completely different place now than what it was in the late 19th century.
In the book, you define Homo sapiens as a xenophobic creature.