For five hundred years, Europe has been the center of world civilization. In that time, it initiated—one can even say invented—the idea and the fact of sustained economic growth. Since Galileo, it has been the cradle of modem technology, particularly with navigation and scientific instruments. In philosophy, music, painting, and literature, it transformed our conceptions of perspective and perception, of tonality and the diatonic scale, and of the relation of fiction to reality. All this, in a sense, was the application of an idea of rationality unknown to the non-Western world.
And yet, in that same period of time, the plains of Europe saw some of the most devastating wars in the history of human civilization: from Napoleon...
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