Re: 'European miracle' as variable

Thu, 06 Mar 1997 11:23:34 -0500 (EST)

replies below;
On Thu, 6 Mar 1997, Nikolai S. Rozov wrote:

> dear Tom,
> i am really impressed by your sketch of w-history, only two points seem to
> me doubtful.
Thanks for the bouquet!

> First, there were many 'edges' and semiperipheral parts of the
> 'World Island' (a classic geopolitical term for AfroEurasia). In any case we
> need for real explanation of 'Europ'miracle' to take into account some
> interior specifics of Europe (f.e.installation of various factors, that i
> listed some weeks ago here in wsn), from this point your systemic factors
> have role of encompassing options for realizing by Europeans all
> possibilities opened by this installation of factors (in any version).
Absolutely, there were many edges, and we need to study all of them more
to sort out why and how they articulated and the interplay of their local
characteristics with those of the system, and how each shaped the other.
Indeed, if we had good knowlege of these interactions for all the 'edges'
we would all be better placed to address which of the ways in which W
Eurasia was different shaped its rise to dominance.

> Second, you write:
> > From: "Thomas D. [Tom] Hall, THALL@DEPAUW.EDU" <thall@DEPAUW.EDU>
> > To use a positivist metaphor, I
> > think it would be useful to look at the so-called European
> > miracle as a 'dependent variable' built by a large system, rather
> > than the 'independent variable' which rebuilt the world.
> but why not both? maybe everything really new in world history (cities, state,
> script, armies, civilization, money, etc, etc, up to NATO, UN, computer and
> Internet) first had genesis as a 'dependant variable' but then sooner or
> later began to play a formidable role in rebuilding the world, already as
> 'independant variable'
Of course both! But in line with Jim's (Blaut) and Gunder's (Frank)
critiques too much of social science has been derived from the European
looking outward vantage. So reversing field is useful both for building
good theory, and correcting past imbalances in vantages or points of
perception. To refer to a cliched metaphor, we need to look at the
elephant from many perspectives. So my suggestion is tactical, not a
universal proscription.
Thomas D. [tom] Hall
Department of Sociology
DePauw University
Greencastle, IN 46135