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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Lexington Green on January 30th, 2006 (All posts by )

    Western technological superiority has deep historical roots, and can only be understood if at all by an analysis that is willing to look back centuries, even millenia.

    Joel Mokyr, The Lever of Riches, quoted on David Cosandey’s very interesting Rise of the West site (about which more later, I hope).

     

    3 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Daniel Lapin Says:

      Yes, it has taken a few thousand years, but we have finally become so technologically superior that our technology is freely available to all. And that is the problem. C4, automatic weapons, cell phones and fission weren’t invented in the Islamic world, but they have them because the drive for technological and scientific excellence was and is concomitent with open societies. It is a fundamental problem, and the coming Iranian crisis may be the historical point at which technology destroys us.

    2. Shannon Love Says:

      Daneil Lapin,

      There is a huge difference between being able to obtain technology and being able to produce it. Native-Americans could easily trade for metal tools and gunpowder weapons in all the quantities they could possibly use but it availed them not.

      What really makes a group of people dangerous is organization, not technology. Had Native-Americans ever acted in concert they could have pushed the Europeans into the sea yet they spent as much or more time fighting each other as in fighting the invaders.

      The same dynamic applies to the Islamic world. They resort to terrorism in large part because they lack the means of large scale military (or any other kind) or organization. They cannot create or manage advanced technology for the same reason. The rulers of every Islamic nation worry more about internal threats than they do external. Until they can overcome that weakness the systemic threat they pose is relatively minor.

    3. Daniel Lapin Says:

      Shannon,
      I disagree. Militant Islam has unfettered access to enough of the West’s technology that they can threaten the structure of society. They changed the government of Spain with a few kilos of HE and a few cell phones. They didn’t have to produce the technology; the West has made it available to all. How much organization did that operation require?

      As for a lack of military power, demographics will take care of any lack of military might. It may take a century, but Islam is patient.