Republican assumptions in PBS show

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Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by Metacrock » Wed May 23, 2012 11:15 am

I saw a thing On PBS about China and Europe in the mIng dynasty it seemed real republican. they assumed competition was what spurred Europe that happened becuase Europe was broken up into hundreds of little warring states all competing with each other.

They argue that China had vast amazing impressive empire becuase because government was so big it weighed it down and turned "inward" whatever that means.

what do you think?
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Re: Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by mdsimpson92 » Wed May 23, 2012 4:59 pm

Metacrock wrote: I saw a thing On PBS about China and Europe in the mIng dynasty it seemed real republican. they assumed competition was what spurred Europe that happened becuase Europe was broken up into hundreds of little warring states all competing with each other.They argue that China had vast amazing impressive empire becuase because government was so big it weighed it down and turned "inward" whatever that means.what do you think?
China has always had an impressive bureaucracy, the emperors during the early Ming had incredible power. While it is true that it was during the Ming that China did in fact turn inward. But during the Tang dynasty the area was even larger in size and was one of the more open societies at the time, the government was fairly large but it was considered the golden age among the golden ages of China. Also, the early Ming was actually very active on the foreign policy. In part fighting the Mongols, and then there was Zheng He's fleet that projected Chinese power across southern Asia and made the Spanish Armada look tiny by comparison.

The general reason was in part a part of the expense of maintaining the fleets. The other one was the constant battles with the Mongols that made them build the final version of the Great Wall. These factors I think were the starting point. I can see how constant competition can spur some aspects like the inability of any faction to form a true continental empire forced those nations to look abroad for trade and colonies. China was not so much weighed down by government so much as the mongols were badasses keeping them in check. Also, I would probably imagine the Mongol occupation during the Yuan Dynasty did not encourage a good view on foreigners.

Now, the reason I think China stayed isolationist might be because of their size. Or to be more accurate they had no real competitor for 300 years (especially during the Qing). By 1800 China's GDP was larger than the sum total of Europe's economies. China was of the opinion that culture comes from them and spreads across, and thus didn't feel the European need to prostelitize their "civilization." I think the reason they thought that was due to the fact that they really never faced an equal. Persia and Rome were a long ways away, and India was often divided into multiple states, so they had long periods of cultural dominance. About 80% of my Eastern civilization class basically just covered Chinese history and thought.
Last edited by mdsimpson92 on Wed May 23, 2012 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by mdsimpson92 » Wed May 23, 2012 5:03 pm

To compare the Tang and Ming Dynasties.

Ming Dynasty at it's height
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%E6%B ... %BC%89.png
(Note) Ming had sometimes real sometimes nominal suzerainty over Tibet.

Tang Dynasty:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%E5%9 ... %BC%89.png

Qing Dynasty
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Empir ... ction).svg
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Re: Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by Metacrock » Sat May 26, 2012 4:29 am

Latter in that same show they talk about Frederic the Great and the rise of Austria as a power. the show down with the Muslims in the siege of Vienna. The lesson there the show put over was "he who hesitates has lost." That's why the Turks lost. What hapepned by hesitating was the Poles had time to ally with the Austrians and came to their aid.

The thing is if competition was all anyone cared about the Poles would not have come to the aid of Austria. Their mutual Christianity out weighed their competition. Moreover one could spin the Fred the great stuff as a commercial for liberal government. In fact that show spun it as an on going conflict between east and west such as we have today with the Arabs. OF course they attributed Western victory to scinece. The presented Islamic fundamentalism as the down fall of the Turks. I see that as an attempt to parallel modern interests.

Fred the great's gov was big and bureaucratic but the real parallel to modern liberalism was the toleration, the attention to public good, and the use of the arts as a means of uniting the culture. There's also a theme of religious liberalism. Allow religious but cultivate the liberal aspects not the fundies.

I see this as themes maybe they weren't meant to be theme but that's what stood out for me.
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Re: Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by Metacrock » Sat May 26, 2012 4:32 am

China stuff damned interesting. I'm less well versed in the history of China. Even less well than that in the history of the Ottoman empire, which was important in that show as well. They sort of made Turks and Chinese both "the east." I don't seem them as "lumpable." I don't lump them in as "the east," in my thinking.
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Re: Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by mdsimpson92 » Sat May 26, 2012 11:03 am

Metacrock wrote:Latter in that same show they talk about Frederic the Great and the rise of Austria as a power. the show down with the Muslims in the siege of Vienna. The lesson there the show put over was "he who hesitates has lost." That's why the Turks lost. What hapepned by hesitating was the Poles had time to ally with the Austrians and came to their aid.

The thing is if competition was all anyone cared about the Poles would not have come to the aid of Austria. Their mutual Christianity out weighed their competition. Moreover one could spin the Fred the great stuff as a commercial for liberal government. In fact that show spun it as an on going conflict between east and west such as we have today with the Arabs. OF course they attributed Western victory to scinece. The presented Islamic fundamentalism as the down fall of the Turks. I see that as an attempt to parallel modern interests.

Fred the great's gov was big and bureaucratic but the real parallel to modern liberalism was the toleration, the attention to public good, and the use of the arts as a means of uniting the culture. There's also a theme of religious liberalism. Allow religious but cultivate the liberal aspects not the fundies.

I see this as themes maybe they weren't meant to be theme but that's what stood out for me.
Actually, I am tending to agree with the show this time around. While yes they would have allied against an opposing muslim force, the ottomans had one of the larger and more powerful empires at the time. Had the Austrians been defeated at Vienna, the Hapsburgs would have lost their position in Eastern Europe and the Ottomans would have been able to project their power into Poland and Germany.
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Re: Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by mdsimpson92 » Sat May 26, 2012 11:13 am

Metacrock wrote:China stuff damned interesting. I'm less well versed in the history of China. Even less well than that in the history of the Ottoman empire, which was important in that show as well. They sort of made Turks and Chinese both "the east." I don't seem them as "lumpable." I don't lump them in as "the east," in my thinking.

Yeah, really no comparing the two at all. If you have any questions on China I am more than happy to help. For a more modern look I would recommend Henry Kissenger's On China
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Re: Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by Metacrock » Sun May 27, 2012 6:06 am

mdsimpson92 wrote:
Metacrock wrote:Latter in that same show they talk about Frederic the Great and the rise of Austria as a power. the show down with the Muslims in the siege of Vienna. The lesson there the show put over was "he who hesitates has lost." That's why the Turks lost. What hapepned by hesitating was the Poles had time to ally with the Austrians and came to their aid.

The thing is if competition was all anyone cared about the Poles would not have come to the aid of Austria. Their mutual Christianity out weighed their competition. Moreover one could spin the Fred the great stuff as a commercial for liberal government. In fact that show spun it as an on going conflict between east and west such as we have today with the Arabs. OF course they attributed Western victory to scinece. The presented Islamic fundamentalism as the down fall of the Turks. I see that as an attempt to parallel modern interests.

Fred the great's gov was big and bureaucratic but the real parallel to modern liberalism was the toleration, the attention to public good, and the use of the arts as a means of uniting the culture. There's also a theme of religious liberalism. Allow religious but cultivate the liberal aspects not the fundies.

I see this as themes maybe they weren't meant to be theme but that's what stood out for me.
Actually, I am tending to agree with the show this time around. While yes they would have allied against an opposing muslim force, the ottomans had one of the larger and more powerful empires at the time. Had the Austrians been defeated at Vienna, the Hapsburgs would have lost their position in Eastern Europe and the Ottomans would have been able to project their power into Poland and Germany.

how do you agree with the show? competition didn't bring together. mutual interest brought them together.
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Re: Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by mdsimpson92 » Sun May 27, 2012 9:18 am

Metacrock wrote:how do you agree with the show? competition didn't bring together. mutual interest brought them together.
If you take a realist (foreign policy view) view, all nations technically compete to survive. Law of the Jungle and Whatnot. . . . . wait they how were they saying that competition brought them together?

However, you are right, If the Ottomans had taken Vienna, the Turks would have secured their hold over Hungary and would be within striking distance of Poland. However, I do see your point about how that doesn't really qualify as competition. Again that only counts if you take a realist view on foreign relations.
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Re: Republican assumptions in PBS show

Post by Metacrock » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:36 pm

I see those right wing economic assumptions in a bunch of PBS stuff now. It's real disconcerting.
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