Caplan’s opinion, like most of his opinions, is not about western civilization in the same sense as westerners use the term in the Greco/Roman, Germanic, or Anglo, American, French, and German enlightenment thinkers: as the struggle for rule of law and truth, goodness and beauty.
Instead, Caplan’s misattribution of ‘western civilization’ is the Cosmopolitan (Ashkenazi) enlightenment vision of a universal market of high consumption combined with the British Imperial Marketplace that transformed British civilization from a germanic Hanseatic one prior to 1830’s expansion of the industrial revolution, to a purely commercial international one after 1830, under Disraeli and Gladstone.
Once you understand that he is not talking about western civilization at all, but cosmopolitan, his arguments are a little more transparent – and always consistent.
The west didn’t develop first, it developed fastest. Why? It’s counter-intuitive: martial epistemology and the oath of the intitatic brotherhood of soldiers, the economics of concentrating family wealth into technology (bronze, horses, chariots and their descendants) for use by professional warriors, and the voluntary construction of armies from these voluntary associations. The reward for which was enfranchisement in freedom: the reciprocal insurance of one’s property from theft and conquest. Conversely given the wetness of our terrain, and its oceans, seas, and rivers, we never had to create a monopoly organization to control irrigation that caused the centralization of authority and capital in the flood-river civilizations. Instead, we constructed manorialism, which was the control of territory and its allocation to those best able to use it.
Out of these conditions we developed argument, reason, common law, natural law, jury, senate, independent judiciary, private property, contract.
And these processes from ideas, to organizations, to production to institutions, to armies can adapt faster as a group than any other known human social order.
So the west defeated the rest not because it was first, because it was fastest. And it was fastest for the simple reason that we discovered ‘truth’ in the objective sense, and it was more valuable to us than the propaganda and deception necessary for central governments to organize multitudes for alternative, more communal, means of production.
We discovered truth. Truth gave us trust. Trust gave us velocity. And we were (and are) faster than the rest because of it.
Truth is the secret of the west.
(That and that we’re the most eugenic civilization aside from the Ashkenazim).
The Philosophy of Aristocracy
The Propertarian Institute