I’m very critical about this new book, but I’m not trashing the writer – I wouldn’t dare to insult a fellow author. However, with the greatest amount of respect, I still thoroughly dislike the ideas from his fashionable book as he presents them on tape – thankfully, I did not buy or read the tome.
Peter Francopan, a British professor of history with an Owning Class background, has written a new history “of the world”. He sees himself as enlightened (he just discovered cultural arrogance – well, well) but still argues in the name of others who did not choose him as their representative (“we are blind to other cultures”) – speak for yourself, my father would say.
Indeed, he looks with eyes not of this time – he has not discovered either of the Americas yet. In fact, he wants to show that we were wrong about the true center of the world – it should be the Caucasus. No one told him yet that Earth is a globe, so that we may put the center anywhere we want? He says that “we” have a bad habit of putting ourselves at the center of the world. That is more than an appeal to Western pious masochism, to somewhat wallow in guilt rather than go fight racism with our own pride about our own background in place. His accusation of self-centeredness must be autobiographic as he hails from … the Caucasus! Shocking.
We should dump our old dogmas – only to replace them by his new ones. “Understand what happens around you and adapt yourself but don’t try to stop it.” We see here how universities are still pandering to ideas comfortable to the current ruling class. Pf – try to sell such passivity to anti-Trump-activists!
We should rediscover the importance of China and see that Europe is finished? Here in Israel we just added India and China as countries to trade with, without any deep drama. But as long as China stays a dictatorship, it will stay behind and not co-lead the world. Especially once a new UN will be founded of only democracies and – I will add – representatives of oppressed Peoples (bypassing their rulers and oppressors)!
Do follow his audio and video presentations and read his book, I would say, if you want to familiarize yourself with the newest intellectual hype, but I think it’s all rubbish. Lots of overstretched theories and rationalizations and plenty of bluff. What a misuse of paper, time and effort.
Don’t just reflect –
Worse than waste: he calls for introspection instead of action. That must be the reason for the excitement. It’s always easier for comfortable people to just reflect than to act on what they think. Rather, join a group of activists if you want to do something useful with you precious time. The future lies in our hands.