Lunacy Now Profile picture
Jul 26, 2018 20 tweets 6 min read
From #Pericles to #Trump: A brief history of the West in 21 tweets (including this tweet). Purpose is to show how through the muddled history there is a direct ideological train connecting Western Civ that is meaningful to talk abt. Obvs lots is missing. it's a tweetstorm. (1/21)
753 BCE: A little town called #ROME is founded on the banks of the Tiber in #Italy. It will invent the word Emperor & become the standard for all future western empires. Its language is still used on the seal of the American President, along w/ its symbol of the Eagle. (2/21)
387 BCE: Plato founds his Academy for philosophy in #Athens. In between bouts of mansplaining & homoeroticism they trailblaze the concept of using logic & reason to make sense of the world & develop tools for doing so we still use today. (3/21)
338 BCE: Philip of Macedon unifies the Greek city states under the Hellenic League (by force obvs). His son Alexander the Great (tutored by Aristotle) starts conquering Asia at just 18 yrs old & spreads Greek culture throughout the Middle East. (4/21)
146 BCE: Rome conquers Greece & immediately culturally appropriates pretty much everything. Western classical architecture, mythology (eg centaurs, fauns), literary forms, theatre & the legal structure all comes from this combined culture. (5/21)
254 CE: Roman Emperor Diocletian splits his empire in two as being unmanageable. Barbarian tribes begin immigrating into the West & as it collapses are absorbed into the culture/bring in their own culture. (6/21)
380 CE: Emperor Theodosius makes Christianity the sole state religion of the Roman Empire, giving vast power to what will become the Catholic Church. Many of the church's rituals/ranks are roman in origin. Many pagan practices are low-key absorbed by #Christianity. (7/21)
476: A warlord called Odoacer deposes the last Roman Emperor in the West, Romulus Augustus & becomes King of Italy. Nevertheless, he keeps the Roman Senate & many aspects of Roman law & rule continue in Europe in one form another until the present day. (8/21)
732: While #Europe is torn between warring petty kingdoms fighting over the roman heritage, a confident & organized #Islam advances. #Frankish general Charles Martel defeats an Arab army at Tours, pushing their advance out of #France. (9/21)
800: Charlemagne conquers much of central Europe & is crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III, blending Germanic, Christian & Roman ruling styles. He brutally converts thousands to Christianity & preserves many classical texts. His HRE model continues until 1806. (10/21)
1095: Pope Urban II declares the First Crusade. Jews massacred across Europe by enthusiastic crusaders who eventually get around to capturing Jerusalem. The word crusade remains in our vocabulary meaning ideological war. (11/21)
1204: In maybe the most staggering betrayal of all time, the Fourth Crusade sack Constantinople, then the richest city in the world & capital of their ally the Byzantine Empire. It never really recovers & the West becomes predominant over Eastern Christian powers. (12/21)
1401: Sculptor Ghiberti creates bronze doors for the Florence Baptistry, kicking the Rennaissance into high gear. They use classical texts to invent #Humanism, promoting history, philosophy & literature as creating a flourishing citizenry. #LiberalArts starts here. (13/21)
1492: Columbus sets sail from Spain & discovers "The New World," launching the Age of Discovery. A confident Europe based on #humanist & #Christian principles starts roaming the globe, documenting & colonising everything in sight. (14/21)
1776: Britain's American colonies revolt to found their own country & win, bankrolled by France. The constitution merges a roman gov template w/ new enlightenment ideas abt the rights of man (arrived at using classically inspired philosophy). (15/21)
1857: Imperial Britain ruthlessly crushes the Indian Mutiny. Europe is dominating everywhere, as the quest for knowledge has yielded innovations like artillery. Using evolutionary science to explain why the white man is doing so well, the invent modern racism. (16/21)
1914: Having conquered the rest of the world, Europe's powers turn on each other. WWI kills 30 million, bankrupts the great powers & triggers the Russian Revolution. Western Civilization takes a massive confidence hit, then another one when WWII roles around. (17/21)
1945: America steps in to lead the West after WWII & renders Europe essentially vassal states. Soon flooded w/ coca-cola & jeans, they come to enjoy it. (18/21)
1969: Woodstock is the high watermark of the counter-culture movement. The horrors of war make people wonder if Western Civ is worth the cost. Hippies don't don't want excessive order & they don't want a society structured by dead white men. (19/21)
2016: Donald J. Trump wins the presidency. Liberals go into meltdown as they imagine Trump's presidency to be a return to all the worst parts of the West - racism & militarism. His supporters see a rejuvenated West standing up for itself for the first time in a long time. (20/21)

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