Thread: Ancient Aliens
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Old June 20 2012, 09:11 PM   #24
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Edit_XYZ wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
in point of fact, our society is not a whole lot better developed or organized than ancient civilizations of 4000 years ago, the only difference is our technology is better and our populace and infrastructure is a lot cleaner. Ancient Rome wouldn't be all that different from a modern superpower if they had mastered electricity or figured out how to make concrete, and they missed out on those innovations only for lack of development time.
AND if the romans knew - and actually applied - such things as human rights (see the rights of slaves, peasants, etc) AND an equitable political system (see how patricians kept for themselves wealth, power and everything else worth keeping) AND science and technology (which is not even close to being reductible to only concrete - which they knew about - and electricity: these are details that fit into a MUCH larger scheme) AND were a LOT less aggressive (their entire economy was a raubwirtschaft, based on conquest of the subhuman - subroman, that is - peoples beyond the borders of the empire), etc.

You have an unaccurately high opinion of the Roman Empire.
No I don't, actually. Just because the Romans were assholes doesn't mean their society was unsophisticated, nor does it mean they wouldn't be on equal terms ECONOMICALLY with the modern world if the technological gap was bridged.

As a real world example, take Imperial Japan after the Meiji Restoration. This is what happens when you take a country that was -- socially, at least -- barely out of the iron age and open its borders to new technologies and new weaponry. Sixty years and a crash course of modernization later, Japan was an industrialized nation with a world-class military and a highly competitive modern economy. As for Rome... imagine, for a moment, if the Roman Empire had somehow survived in complete isolation until the turn of the 20th century, then suddenly opened their borders and absorbed nearly 2000 years of technological advancement overnight. They would be perfectly capable of wielding that technology and using it to remake their society in their own ideal, and even eventually to decide how much of their own ideal needed to be modified based on observations of the outside world.

IOW: Just because the Romans were assholes doesn't mean they were ignorant barbarians. There are asshole nations running around the world right now that we are able to safely ignore only because they are poor and powerless.

No political entity in history matches modern liberal democracies (imperfect as they are) when it comes to wealth, liberty, equality of chances, human rights, etc (as in, quite a few other highly relevant/objective criteria).
In history? This is not even close to being true. The most you can say is that the wealthiest and most prosperous nations in the world today are all liberal democracies. You might even be able to make the case that, adjusting for technological differences, Europe or the United States are much better off than Ancient Rome or even Alexander's Empire.

But I'm not claiming that economic or military prowess is indicative of an advanced nation. I'm saying it's indicative of a sophisticated society with a highly developed moral, religious, scientific and economic system. Just because they're dicks doesn't make them stupid.

Those human rights violations and wars implicating liberal democracies you hear reported about in outraged terms are all but jokes by comparison to what the romans (and pretty much everyone else) were doing throughout history (and someone daring to be outraged by them, if he had any influence was promptly executed/imprisoned in some hell hole/etc).
Which doesn't change the fact that ancient rome, given modern technology, would STILL be highly competitive on the world's stage today. They would be hated by the entire western world for precisely the reasons you named; on the other hand, there's a long list of countries RIGHT NOW that we barely tolerate only because they're poor and powerless.
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