Essay by VirginiaFMUniversity, Bachelor's November 2014

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Idea as reality

social constructivism ("

became self conscious idea


no common European history: different languages different religions


christianity was equivalent to medieval Europe

Europe is just an invention

Less subject, more product of history

First a cultural idea, then a self-conscious political identity

lands in between !!! Poland, Czech republic, between Europe and Russia, conflicts all the time, push and pull between west and east (sometimes western sometimes eastern authority)

Barraclough: (1963)

negative integration

scientific revolution changed totally

united Europe can be used as national instrument e.g. Charlemagne want big empire under his rule

unity always justified by conditions of our time

can't be justified by past

2 big breaks in history: - scientific revolution - 11th century crusades: unified through Christianity for fighting against Islam, mobilization of Christendom, became more through crusades

China: China change was not good, way more traditional than Europe, in Europe change was good, that's why scientific revolution could take place in Europe and not in China


modern society is janus-faced

one side dual revolution and enlightenment, and other side Auschwitz

rationality central part of modernity

technical, people become more and more rational and listen to hierarchy and thus Holocaust was possible


Baumann vs.

Freud explaining holocaust

(Baumann = rationality; Freud = aggressive instincts break free)

Buruma & Margalit: 2002

Definition of Occidentalism

'hate on the west'

soulless, mechanical, artificial


Elias: (1939)

process of behaviour of people = civilizing process

external constraints caused by society

you have to control yourself because rules society imposed on you

external constraints become internal straints internalized

"selbstzwang" "fremdzwang" (in brackets)

civilized societies = rational thoughts

who doesn't think rational= not civilized

threshold of shame gets higher higher

element of control imposed

compare to catholicism: Catholicism = external pressure (confessions e.g.)...