The West is Difficult
Western civilization is the most difficult to identify geographically for two reasons: i) the West has been the most dynamic territorially, developing across many lands, while advancing to higher stages of knowledge and power in the course of which it experienced “rises” and “declines” in different territories, ii) the West is the only civilization with a developmental pattern characterized by dramatic alternations in its philosophical outlooks and institutions. All in all, the West has displayed far more territorial movements, cultural novelties, and revolutions in the sciences and arts; and, for this reason, answering “where is the West?” requires one to ask “what is the West?” with an awareness of the fact that both the “what” and the “where” have changed over time.
This civilization, for example, is not simply “Christian” in the way others are “Confucian” or “Hindu” in a more stable, less varying way. Its Christian character alone has been infused with a theological and institutional dynamic (flowing from its synthesis with classical reason and Indo-European aristocratic expansionism) stimulating a multiplicity of monastic movements, Cluniacs and Cistercians, Franciscans and Dominicans, heterodox movements (Pelagians, Waldensians, Cathars), not to mention Crusades and numerous Protestant denominations lacking elsewhere. The West—depending on locality, time, and groups— has been Platonic, Aristotelian, Epicurean, Stoic, Cynic, Augustinian, Monarchist, Newtonian, Gothic, Anglican, Humanist, Republican, Machiavellian, Hegelian, Fascist, Marxist, Darwinian, Surrealist, Cubist, Romantic, Socialist, Liberal, and much more. By contrast, the intellectual traditions set down in ancient/medieval times in China, the Near East, India, and Japan would persist in their essentials until the impact of the West brought some novelties.
We must have a sense of the changing cultural character of the West as we ask where it is. The West in Roman times is not the same West in classical Greece, and the West in Elizabethan England is not the same in Renaissance Italy. Parts of the Roman Empire ceased to be Western, and huge parts of the world previously not Western became Western, i.e., Australia and North America. Much of the Hellenistic world never became Western, and classical Greece fell out of the West in Ottoman times. What I will do first is locate the West by way of a rough outline of the major epochs that shaped the West.
This civilization originated with, and expanded territorially: i) through the spreading out of the aristocratic warlike cultures of the pre-historic Indo-Europeans out of the Pontic Steppes into Europe after the fourth millennium BC; ii) through the successful establishment in the Greek mainland of the Mycenaean civilization, starting in the second millennium until its eclipsed in the 1100s; iii) through the flourishing of Hellenic classical culture in the period between 800 and 300 BC; iv) through the Macedonian conquests of Alexander the Great and the creation of the Hellenistic World from 323 BC onwards; v) through the rise of Rome to its greatest extent in the third century AD until its end around 500 AD; vi) through the Germanic invasions and the revival of the aristocratic Indo-European spirit; vii) through the rise of Christianity in fusion with Greco-Roman culture and its dynamic spread through the Mediterranean world and Europe; vii) through the medieval enlargement of Christendom’s frontiers and the stretching of the West’s boundaries into north and eastern Europe, solidifying the Catholic High Middle Ages; viii) through the rise of cities, the Renaissance, and the Discovery of the World in the 16th century; ix) through the rise of Modern Science and the spread of Industrialization; x) through the spread of Bourgeois Institutions and the Enlightenment, and xi) through the pioneering migration of Whites into North America and Australia leading to the creation of three massive new countries.
The links I offered here call for many questions in need of immediate answers. First question: who are the Indo-Europeans and why is their culture/geographical movements the first to be classified as Western? By “Indo-Europeans” I understand a pastoral people from the Pontic-Caspian steppes who initiated the most mobile way of life in prehistoric times, starting with the riding of horses and the invention of wheeled vehicles in the fourth millennium BC, together with the efficient exploitation of the “secondary products” of domestic animals (dairy products, textiles, harnessing of animals), large-scale herding, and the invention of chariots in the second millennium. By the end of the second millennium they had “Indo-Europeanized” the Occident, but the IEs who came into Anatolia, Syria, Mesopotamia were eventually absorbed into the far more advanced and populated non-White civilizations of this region.
Indo-Europeans were uniquely ruled by a class of free aristocrats grouped into war-bands. These bands were contractual associations of men operating outside strictly blood ties, initiated by any powerful individual on the merits of his martial abilities. The relation between the chief and his followers was personal and based on mutual agreement: the followers would volunteer to be bound to the leader by oaths of loyalty wherein they would promise to assist him while the leader would promise to reward them from successful raids. This aristocratic culture was the primordial source of Western heroic individualism, originality, and Faustian expansion.
The Indo-Europeans, a Caucasian people, colonized Europe; starting from their homelands in present-day Ukraine, the Sredni Stog culture (4200-3400BC) was followed and displaced by the Yamna culture (3400-2300), which spread across the Caspian region and moved into the Danube region; to be followed by the Corded Ware or Battle Axe culture, which spread across northern Europe from the Ukraine to Belgium after 3000BC; to be followed by the Bell-Beaker culture, which grew within Europe and spread further westwards into Spain and northwards into England and Ireland between 2800-1800BC.
The Indo-Europeans also spread eastwards across the steppes as far as the Tarim Basin in present-day Xinjiang, China, but these groups were eventually Asianized.
Coon on the European Race
Second question: what about the pre-Indo-European inhabitants of Europe? The people who were settled in Europe before the Indo-Europeans arrived were also White but not pastoral and aristocratic. From Carleton Coon we learn that Europe, long before the arrival of the Indo-Europeans, was populated by a White people, which he calls “Mediterranean,” a sub-race of the Caucasoid race. He writes in his 1939 book, Races of Europe:
At any rate, the main conclusion of this study will be that the present races of Europe are derived from a blend of (A), food-producing peoples from Asia and Africa, of basically Mediterranean racial form, with (B), the descendants of interglacial and glacial food-gatherers, produced in turn by a blending of basic Homo sapiens, related to the remote ancestor of the Mediterraneans, with some non-sapiens species of general Neanderthaloid form. The actions and interactions of environment, selection, migration, and human culture upon the various entities within this amalgam, have produced the white race in its present complexity.
The White race originated out of Upper Paleolithic types and Mediterranean types. The Upper Paleolithic peoples, according to Coon, are the original modern sapiens of Europe, whereas the Mediterraneans came later from the Near East as a more advanced Neolithic people. The Upper Paleolithic and Mediterraneans mixture produced a White crossbreed typified by the Dinaric race.
I should clarify that experts today agree that the Upper Paleolithic peoples were “modern humans” who migrated into Europe around 40,000-35,000 years ago from the Near East. The Neanderthals who were there before can still be found in the Iberian areas of Europe until about 25,000, but there is minimal or no evidence of genetic mixture with the Upper Paleolithic. Furthermore, it should be noted that Coon did not write only of a Mediterranean sub-Caucasoid race, but identified two more White sub-races in Europe, Nordic and Alpine. He observed the predominance of the Nordic type in countries of Central and Northern Europe; and of the Alpine race in central/southern/Eastern Europe and parts of Western and Central Asia. Interestingly enough, Madison Grant had already offered a mapping of these three sub-White races in his book, The Passing of the Great Race, published in 1916.
Coon believed that the Proto-Indo-Europeans were basically the ancestors of the Nordic racial type. The Nordics were a blend of Indo-European Corded people and Mediterranean Danubians. The Corded people came from southern Russia, the Pontic-Steppes, and, as they moved westward into central and northwestern Europe, they intermingled with other peoples (1939: 107-109). In any case, we now know that the Indo-Europeans who spread westwards and eastwards across the steppes (as far as the Tarim Basin region) were Caucasians.
Don’t you believe the BBC propaganda that the “first Europeans” were “generic” creatures resembling some African/Asian/European amalgamation.
Third question: how can one separate the West geographically from the Near East, Africa, and even Asia? Parts of Africa and the Near East were included into the Roman Empire, the Hellenistic world included Persia, Bactria, Sogdiana, even lands adjacent to the Indus River. The eastern boundaries of the European continent itself extend to the Ural Mountains, cutting Russia into European and Asian parts. While the Mediterranean Sea separates Europe from Asia and Africa, historically this Sea has been the major source of Europe’s connection to the Near East leading some historians to conclude that Ancient Greece, Rome, and Renaissance Italy are best identified as “Mediterranean”. Cultural Marxists have exploited these connections to promote “Mediterranean Studies” against the traditional Classic programs. Europe’s very uniqueness, its dynamism, explorations, colonization, and Westernization, has obscured its identity and boundaries.
From a strictly geographical point, irrespective of historical connections, Europe is the most connected region of the planet. It is not even a clearly cut continent on its own but a peninsula on the western end of Asia. With its deeply convoluted coasts and its island fragments scattered all round, the sheer length of Europe’s interface between land and sea has been estimated to be 37,000 km, which is equivalent to the circumference of the earth. Europe is connected to more seas than any other place/civilization: to the Black Sea, the North Sea, the Baltic, the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea, itself a collection of many conjoined sub-seas.
China, in contrast, has been a relatively isolated civilization, both geographically and historically. On the eastern side has stood the vast Pacific Ocean; to the south and the west, the impassable gorges of the Burma border and the inhospitable plateau of the Tibetan Himalayas, and to the northwest and north, the sparsely populated grasslands of Central Asia, the Gobi desert, the fifth largest desert in the world. Contacts with other regions did occur, with India through the northwest corridor, with the Arab world by sea, and through the Silk Road along the Steppes. But the salient point is that China has developed her own culture in a far less connected way than Europe.
Black African kingdoms have been very isolated: sub-Sahara Africa is surrounded by the Sahara Desert in the north, which hindered contact with the Mediterranean, and by the Kalahari Desert in the south, which partially disconnected the southern plateau and coastal regions from central Africa. On the western side, Africa is faced by the vast Atlantic Ocean that Portuguese navigators only managed to navigate southwards in the 16th century. To the north and south of the equator, Black Africa had to contest with dense rainforests which occupy a west-east band of territory from the southern coast of West Africa across to the Congo basin and all the way to the Kenya highlands. Moreover, with an average elevation of 660 meters, African cultures were limited by the presence of few natural harbors where ships can dock, and few navigable rivers. Of the Niger, the Congo, the Nile, the Zambezi, and the Orange Rivers, only the Nile has relatively long navigable areas.