European History

Europe is a living museum, tourists crawling through the bowels where Romans tortured Christians before Christians tortured Protestants, where the English passed laws and the Germans baked bread.  It’s ironic that one of the most technologically advanced cultures in the world does more than almost any other to preserve its past.  This is easily justified by the large numbers of tourists it attracts, but I doubt that that is the reason.  Preservation is expensive.  To tear down and rebuild is relatively cheap.  It’s hard to find any architecture in a modern Chinese city over a hundred years old, far fewer the Renaissance-era buildings ubiquitous in Europe.  And China is probably the most socially conservative nation in the world, remember.  It is also probably the most face-conscious, that is, pretentious.  They want to be seen as the wave of the future, for whatever that’s worth, probably not much, aesthetically.  Europe is proud of its artistic and cultural heritage, and so preserves it.  So would be America, if it had any.  It’s just too young.  Europeans like to rag on America’s lack of refinement and culture, but that’s just jealousy at America’s rapid rise to the top of the world heap politically, economically, and culturally.  America is more creative than the rest of the world put together, by far.  Most of the world’s patents go to America, with Japan coming in second.  In terms of popular culture, there’s no contest.  America almost single-handedly creates the world’s movies and music.  Africa’s got the animals and Asia’s got the girls.  But for history, you go to Europe.