25) World History

The invention of agriculture and cities.
Humans Ascending; Metals and Marxists; Catalhoeyuek – a Dead End Without Streets; No Cats At Catalhoeyuek; Walking Birds and Headless Humans; Cities, States, and Leninists as Criminals; Wheels On Fire; Priam’s Tragedy – the Original Trojan Legend?; Troy’s Non-Greek Alexander; Greece Without Greeks

What If the Russian Revolution Hadn’t Happened?  Arguing that the Soviet Union only went wrong in the 1960s.  That it was economically efficient up until then, and establish global equality for women, the lower classes and non-whites.

The role in 1930s China of Agnes Smedley, best known for her novel Daughter of Earth.
Smedley: an American Woman in 1930s Communist China, including her remarkable and mostly-overlooked writings about Mao and the Xian Incident.
Agnes Smedley in the Sino-Japanese War.  How she alienated her Chinese friends, but found a new role supporting China in the US in the Second World War.  And how she was persecuted and died from the harassment in the USA’s anti-leftist witch-hunts.

Woodrow Wilson’s Deceptive ’14 Points’. He did not in fact proclaim a general right of National Self-Determination. The belief he did is widespread: I used to believe it myself. But he never states it as a general principle. In several particular cases he was intending to violate it, mostly in line with the worst decisions that were later made at Versailles.

The 13th Chancellor.  Hitler’s Uncomfortably Close Links with British & Wider European Culture.  And how the British government helped his rise.

Israel Taking Too Much. Why they bear most of the blame for the failure of the Oslo Agreement. And why this probably dooms the Zionist project in the long run.

Why the sophistocated Chinese Empire could not modernise. Including details of the exceptional nature of European developments.  And how Japan managed to modernise without uprooting its traditional culture.   Also available as a PDF, Problems 21 – Imperial China

Wordsworth on Guerilla Warfare.  Mostly known nowadays for his poetry, Wordsworth showed a lot of political insight, though opting for a version of conservatism that was almost extinct even before Thatcher destroyed Old Toryism.  But this former radical showed a very early understanding of a new type of warfare that had begun in Spain.

Nation States were NOT invented by the Peace of Westphalia, which merely left Germany in a fragmented state.  Nation states existed long before that.  The idea came from university Departments of Political Science, and is not supported by any historians I’ve come across.

Why The Ming Sea Voyages Led To Nothing.  Chinese ships were better than those that Columbus used to discover the New World.  So why did the venture lead nowhere?

Crusaders and Other Barbarians.  How Europe was remade between the fall of the Roman Empire and the development of Puritanism.

Civilisation Alley.  Globalism before European Imperialism, considered as a broad band of advanced cultures from North-West Europe to South India, plus the sophisticated and diverse cultures of East Asia.

Celtic, Germanic, Multicultural.  The relationships between the peoples of North-West Europe.  And remarks on their current religious beliefs.

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