Why has the West been so successful over time? 译文为罗宾的作答，及一些跟评。 正文翻译 0
Source: Over 2,000 Years of Economic History in One Chart
Two guys set out to do exactly this. One was the Portuguese Vasco da Gama, who actually did reach India, and loaded his boat full of spices back home. He proceeded to load up on black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg, setting up a couple of pirate stations,until he was driven out by the Spanish, the Dutch, and the British, who did the serious work of massacring entire islands worth of the local people to claim exclusive ownership of the spice. Nobody appeared to have thought about just buying a couple of seedlings and try to grow the plant themselves. It was some seriously messed way to get one’s hand on nutmeg, something that basically grows like weed in any tropical environment.
两个家伙正整装出发，就是为了这一目的。其中一个，就是葡萄牙人瓦斯科·达·伽马（Vasco da Gama），他成功抵达了印度，并满载香料而归。此后他更开始大量贩运黑胡椒、肉桂和肉豆蔻，并在航运线路上建立了好几个非法站点，直到他最终被西班牙人、荷兰人和英国人赶跑；而后面这几位更是非常“勤快”地屠戮了一座座岛屿，清洗了岛上居民，然后宣称独占这些香料产地！似乎他们当中就没人想过要买几颗香料树苗，带回去自己种……这真的是一种为得到这些香料的非常病态的手段，尤其是肉豆蔻——要知道它们在任何热带环境中都能像野草一样生长。0
Source: Da Gama Discovers a Sea Route to India
达·伽马发现通往印度的海上航线0 0 Then there was Africa, with 30,000,000 square kilometers, the size of Europe, China, India, all combined, 60 times that of Spain. So this was the scale of things in early 1500. List of countries by population in 1500 They essentially stumbled on a world 150 times bigger, filled with awesome treasures and rather mild-tempered locals, living off the land. So forget about the petty squabbles of those handful of self-important dudes and their lame myth-making, look at the numbers! The numbers! This is the whole story, right here!
还有就是非洲，这块3千万平方公里的大陆，面积等于欧洲+中国+印度的总和，是西班牙的60倍。这就是16世纪早期的世界。 换句话说，西班牙人几乎是偶然间发现了一个150倍于自己的世界，里面充满了令人瞠目的财富，以及相对温和、依赖各自土地为生的当地人。 所以，忘了那些自命不凡的家伙的无聊争辩和他们自创的蹩脚神话吧，看看上面这些数字！数字！所有的真相就在其中！0 0 It was indubitably ugly and bloody because the locals in the Americas, in Asia, and in Africa got destroyed. The ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and the Aztecs in the Americas, the multitude of kingdoms in India, the Khmer empire in south east Asia, the Malis in Africa, and countless others, all gone up in smoke, with only the ruined stones on the ground, and the gold plating peeled off and shipped to Europe. Triangular trade - Wikipedia But the concentration of wealth seeded the growth of middle class in Europe, which in turn permitted an army of young, bright minds to get an education and then engage in science and technology development, without the constant struggle for survival. Einstein, Madam Curie, Linus Pauling, … these were all educated by government-funded public colleges and universities, without which none of them would be anywhere. What, do you serious expect the Windsors or the Habsburgs to, eh, discover new laws of physics or chemistry? They are not that smart. Have NEVER been that smart. No. The backbone of scientific discovery is the army of middle-class kids. They formed the basis for the 400-year-long Scientific Revolution. The middle-class nerds made those happen, over a much longer time period, because science is very much sequential - meaning you absolutely can’t get to Z until you first get to A, then work hard to get to B, then work hard to get to C,… all the way to Z. Painstaking, frustrating, boring, long and hard! But that’s where MODERNIZATION truly comes from.
财富的集中孕育了欧洲中产阶层的茁壮成长，又进一步滋养了一代又一代年轻聪明的人口接受教育，然后从事科技研发而不必挣扎于糊口谋生。爱因斯坦、居里夫人、莱纳斯·鲍林……他们都是在政府资助的公立大学或学院接受教育的，没有这些大学和学院，就不会有他们的成就。要不然，难道你想让温莎公爵夫妇或者哈布斯堡夫妇去发现什么物理化学定律？他们可没那么聪明，从来没有过。不！科学发现的支柱，是中产阶级子女这一人口大军。是他们构成了长达400年科技革命的基础。在很长一段时间里，所有这些事情（科技进步）都要归功于那些中产阶层的“书呆子”们——因为科学是非常循序渐进的——也就是说，在你首先发现a，然后努力找到b，发现c……之前，你是不可能一步登天找到z的。科技工作辛苦，压抑，无聊，漫长，艰难！但这才是现代化的真正源泉。0 But after 500 years, this once-in-a-life-time disturbance is receding, and the rest of the globe is catching up, re-balancing. With a LOT LESS BLOODSHED than when the wealth was concentrated 500 years ago. It turned out that the children of those slaughtered natives are just as intelligent and capable as the Europeans. Source: globalinequality From the look of it, there aren’t a lot of time left for Generation Three to be pounding out these kinds of questions on the keyboard. Better hurry then!
但是，500年后的今天，这种“千年一回狗*运”级的失衡正在消退，其他地区国家正在迎头赶上，世界正在重新平衡。与500年前那次财富集中相比，这回流的血要少得多。而事实证明，那些当年被欧洲人屠杀的原住民/当地人的后代，其实和欧洲人一样聪明能干。 看样子，留给“第三代”西方人的时间真的不多了——瞧瞧他们敲着键盘提的都是些什么问题——赶紧振作起来吧！ 0 评论翻译 ------------1------------ Garwin Kim Sing Ohhh…You just ruined the romanticism of “The Age of Discovery” that my history lessons were imbued with.
唔呼呼……答主你直接把我们在历史课堂上被灌输的“地理大发现”浪漫主义情怀给毁了。0 Agnidipto Giri The age of discovery WAS important , that's what help them build better weapons to butcher natives.
地理大发现当然重要，正是这些“大发现”帮助他们制造出了更好的武器，然后用来屠杀原住民。0 0 0 Rod Willett Queen Elizabeth played a part in the emergence of a relatively large English middle class because of the way she used the already growing towns as a foil against the large landowners. They were an important tax base for her, but her policies also diverted considerable wealth to the towns and allowed them to take full advantage of their position during the age of exploration, and the ensuing economic expansion.
英国能产生一个相对规模更大的中产阶级，伊丽莎白女王在其中扮演了重要角色。她利用已经发展起来的城镇，去对抗当时英国的大地主阶级，因为对她来说，这里是一个重要的国家税收来源。但她的政策同时也将相当多的财富转移到了这些城镇，使它们能够充分利用地里大发现以及随后的经济扩张期快速挤占有利地位。 ------------3 单个跟评------------0 0 Benjamin Hoffman Answers like this seem more like self-shaming or West-shaming than actual, factual answers. There are other factors that made the West unique and allowed them to dominate large empires and also have massive economic growth beyond just murdering countless numbers of native peoples around the globe. Relatively liberal governments, capital and private investments, scientific advancements, and population growth all played a role. You can be apologetic for the actions of your ancestors without minimizing their accomplishments. Good day!
像这类作答，似乎更像是要进行自我羞辱或羞辱西方，而不是真正地据实回答问题。还有其它许多因素造成了西方的独一无二，使他们能够征服一个个庞大帝国，催生空前的经济增长——可不仅仅是因为屠杀了全球无数土著这么简单。 相对自由开明的政府治理，资本主义和私人投资，科技进步和人口增长都发挥了重要作用。你可以为你祖先的行径感到抱歉，但没有必要把他们的成就贬低到一文不值。祝好运！0 John Jeglon This is beyond retarded and is little more then white guilt at play. By the time of the Age of Exploration, the West was technologically superior to most of the world with the exception of China. They had the Printing Press, gunpowder firearms, secular nationstates such as France/England and a generally more openminded vision of religion. Meanwhile Native America still used spears, had no firearms, practiced child sacrifice and the Aztecs started religious wars to slaughter innocent people . The Ottoman Empire was also stagnant/declining by this point. This attempt to downplay the West's achirvements by going “You pillaged lands!” is not just wrong, but a perpetuation of a laughable myth to push white guilt down our throats. The West conquered the world for a reason, and its not because of pillaging or oppression, but because we were simply smarter then you and still are to this day. Hell, the alleged achievements of other non-European nations of the modern era entirely came because they copied our ideologies. White guilt needs to end.
这个作答简直智障！而且已经有点突破“白人负疚感/原罪论”的范畴了。 到地里大发现时代，西方在技术上已经超越了除中国以外世界大多数国家。此时西方人已经掌握了印刷术、火药火器，形成了如法兰西/英格兰这样的世俗化国家，并拥有普遍更加开明开放的宗教观。 与之相比，美洲原住民还在使用长矛，没有火器，用孩童进行献祭，阿兹特克人还会发动宗教战争屠杀无辜平民。 在这一时期，奥斯曼帝国同样是停滞不前。 你这种试图用“你们掠夺了土地”来淡化西方成就的企图，不仅错误，更是一种可笑迷思的延伸，就是要强迫我们接受“白种人负疚感/原罪论”。 西方征服世界是有原因的，不是因为掠夺或者压迫，而是因为当时我们就是比别人聪明，且这一条至今适用。见鬼，当代那些非欧洲国家所谓的成就，完全是因为他们照搬了我们的观念体系。所谓“白人负疚感/原罪论”应该到此为止了。0 Mithur Sheridan Excellent answer!!! Is a pleasure to read someone that don’t just read history, but is able to interpret it! I’ll just add that the Spanish gold did a lot more for the rest of Europe than for Spain. Spain, inundated by gold, became a very hard place to live for the common men. Inequality raised to maximum levels, and progress was thwarted by that. It institutionalized such a incredibly powerful nobiliary class that was able to content a bit the bourgeoisie class in the 19th century, which was bad for progress, and that we are still suffering (to a much minor point) even today. The only advantage of this is that, in its ineptitude, it allowed for an early, and more humane, decolonization progress than the mess that other potencies did after WWI. I understand, though, that all this is a bit out of scope of the question.
精彩的作答！！！阅读一位不只是懂历史，还懂得如何讲述历史的答者作答，真是一种乐趣！ 我想补充一点，就是西班牙掠夺来的黄金，对欧洲其它国家产生的作用还要远大于对西班牙自己。当年被金银财宝淹没的西班牙，很快就成了平民无以生存之地，不平等程度达到了前所未有的水平，这直接阻碍了西班牙的进一步发展。 它使得西班牙国内一个权势熏天的贵族阶级得到了彻底的制度化加强，直到19世纪，他们仍有财力给予西班牙资产阶级一些甜头让其满足——这对社会进步没有任何好处。即便到了今天，我们西班牙人仍在为此受苦（尽管程度变轻了）！这种贵族固化带来的唯一好处，可能就是因为它是如此无能，从而不得不更早、更人道地接受了（西班牙）去殖民化进程，而没有出现其它列强在一次世界大战后的那种混乱。 当然，我知道这有点跑题了。0 Elias Azrak “The Ottomans closed it in 1453! For no good reason!” You might call the Iberian Peninsula Reconquista which is the longest war ever fought (781-years) as “no good reason”. It was the sanctions applied by the Ottomans against European powers for the treatment that Muslims were getting. Very similar to the sanctions today the US is imposing on a number of countries starting from Syria, to Venezuela to Iran to Russia or China, with further sanctions that might be about to fall on Turkey, Germany and a number of other nations. In the end, Ottomans could not help their Co-religionists hold on to their Al-Andalus real estate and even worse this ended up giving naval superiority to the Spanish and the Portuguese. If history teaches anything, US sanctions imposed on other countries are going to cause an adverse effect at some point in the future: and one has to look no further than the de-dollarization trend of these countries.
“奥斯曼帝国在1453年关闭了它（丝绸之路）！却根本没什么大不了的理由！” 你或许可以把伊比利亚半岛上（西班牙/葡萄牙人对阿拉伯人）的再征服运动（亦称“收复失地运动”）——这一有史以来最漫长的战争（持续了781年）看作是那个“没什么大不了的理由”。关闭丝绸之路，正是奥斯曼帝国对欧洲列强实施的制裁！以报复穆斯林所遭受的待遇。这和今天美国对一系列国家实施的制裁非常类似，不论是对叙利亚还是委内瑞拉、伊朗、俄罗斯或中国，（美国）进一步的制裁还可能落在土耳其、德国等其他一些国家头上。 然而最终，奥斯曼人还是没能帮助他们的穆斯林兄弟保住安达卢斯（Al-Andaluz，指阿拉伯和北非穆斯林统治下的伊比利亚半岛和塞蒂马尼亚）不动产。更糟糕的是，它的制裁最终催生了西班牙和葡萄牙的海上优势。如果我们能从历史中学到什么的话，那就是今天美国动辄对他国发动的制裁，或许会在未来某个时候害到美国自己：不妨关注一下这些国家的去美元化趋势。0 Rory Fellowes Really excellent explanation of the truth of Western wealth and power i.e. robbery and murder on a vast scale. The arrogance of Europeans has always been staggering, but at last, with the many benefits of their brilliant scientific and economic advances made available to everyone, the rest of the world is catching up and, more to the point, catching on!!