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Barbarians Invade Civilisations


Censorship strikes again

I was not even able to upload this answer someone talking to me on Quora, whose name is Alberto. I will put it here and you’ll be able to work out from the context what he was saying. Anyone wishing to comment is welcome, I only censor for spam and not politics. It is just as well I have my own outlet and am not fully in thrall to other people’s sites and their rules.


Some historical examples

I picked out the Phoenicians as an example because I thought that was your best argument out of them. Saying that the Greeks were educated by Egyptians is rather silly. All of these big libraries which were in due course destroyed by the Moors you so idolise were Graeco-Roman.  They were not originally Egyptian, as the Ptolemaic line was totally subordinate to Graeco-Roman power.

Egyptians came under the influence of Semitic tribes, among others the Hebrews and Phoenicians, and it was the Akkadians who brought literacy to Sumeria, so that we don’t even really know much about the original Sumerian language.

That all aside, I would like to point out a certain inconsistency in your arguments.


Inconsistency in your arguments

You are arguing that earlier cultures have been culturally more rich and civilised than invading cultures. There has been a tendency in history for advanced civilisations to become complacent and then the barbarians invade them. You reference the Vikings, ok, let’s take the vikings. Scandinavia was the “officina gentium aut certe velut vagina nationum“ as Jordanes wisely if naughtily puts it. From its territories the kingdoms and empires of all medieval Europe sprang, from Spain to Russia. And what happened? They became the most civilised parts of the world because they became economically relatively comfortable. Their homelands are among the highest HDIs in the whole world. So much for barbarians.

Obviously we can’t just leave these people on the street…

Now it is others coming in and destroying that. People who may have once been great repositories of culture but who lost it and now in many cases are barely literate. They come in many cases not so much to work as to receive gifts of houses and benefits. We know that because here in Poland, where the benefits even for Poles are meagre, and you need to work, we are not seeing them. Other than as a transit space to Germany and other Frankish and Visigothic and Viking kingdoms where they expect to find a copious social safety net. They even flock on the shores of France to enter the UK via dinghies just for a marginally more generous social crib.

And there’s you, taking the side of the fine culture when it’s Vikings like me invading but when it’s Vikings like me who have the fine culture, and those who long ago forgot their culture are invading as Barbarians, then that’s wrong.

You are like the Kali figure in Sienkiewicz’s trilogy. The epitome of double standards. Poles talk about “Kali’s Law”. That basically means it’s one law for me and another for you.


You say the Arabs taught us algebra, ok, so maybe they taught us algebra, sitting in the European-built luxury of Cordoba.  So now go and see if you can find, in the Bialowezska forest or on the beaches of Picardie, an algebra teacher for your local college. If you can, then I say, fine, bring that one in. It’s a pity to take an algebra teacher away from a needy country, but it’s up to the country to make itself a fit place for them to stay.

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