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The Paths of Civilization: Understanding the Currents of by Jaroslav Krejčí (auth.)

By Jaroslav Krejčí (auth.)

This paintings spans the advance of civilizations from their remotest origins to the current day. It examines the time period 'civilization' almost about tradition, socio-economic constitution, ethnicity and statehood. Socio-economic situations support the reader to discover the ways that person civilizations - via global perspectives, forms of lifestyles and responses to the surroundings that every endure their very own signature - fight, merge, submerge within the move of the currents of history.

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It is virtually impossible to dissociate individual elements of a political and socioeconomic nature from the basic ideological premises that shape the modern ‘technocentric’ societies. And it is often the ideas born of structural malaise and dissatisfaction that reshape the social structure in another way. Neither parliamentary democracy and the market economy on the one hand, nor the dictatorship of the Communist party and the planned economy on the other, emerged merely as a result of the growth of productive forces or other supposedly material circumstances; rather, they were introduced, or – in the case of the free market – were allowed to operate by the deliberate actions of ideologists and politicians who often had to wage a fierce fight with their opponents to achieve their aims.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Buddhist-Confucian compound (a clear-cut case of civilizational radiation) spread outwards to the peripheral countries – Vietnam, Korea, and eventually Japan. Whereas in the former two countries the only variations consisted in the relative impact and timing of the two schools of thought, in Japan a strong element of native tradition blended the imported ingredients of culture into what may be described as ShintoBuddhist civilization. The Tibetans, on the other side of the Chinese Empire, came under the impact of the Tantric version of Indian Buddhism and adapted it to their own image.

It penetrated the social fabric to an unprecedented depth and for some time became extremely acute. Nationalism became the dominant passion of the masses. While in Western Europe, after 100 years or so of pre-eminence (1848–1948), its intensity is abating, in some other parts of the world it is still gathering momentum. National consciousness even moved into a sphere where there had originally been no ethnic differentiation. This was especially the case with the European colonizers of the Americas and Oceania.

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