The real Casanova

Resultado de imagem para Illustration by Brunelleschi

Illustration by Brunelleschi from a 1755 edition of Memories of Giacomo Casanova de Seingalt. Photo by akg-images/Fototeca Gilardi

His name is synonymous with serial seduction but Casanova’s memoirs reveal a man greater than the sum of his ‘conquests’

Laurence Bergreen is an award-winning biographer, historian, and chronicler of exploration. His books have been translated into over 25 languages worldwide. His most recent adult book is Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius (2016). He lives in New York City.

Edited by Nigel Warburton

Everyone thinks that they know about Casanova, the legendary lover who proceeded from one romantic conquest to another, but almost no one really does. They believe that he was handsome, distinguished and practised in the arts of love, a virtual Zorro of the boudoir. That he was a wealthy member of the upper class, and celebrated in his lifetime for his exploits. So runs the fable of the great lover.

In reality, Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was a far more complex and intriguing figure, a libertine, to be sure, but so much more. And – in case there is any doubt – he was a real person. Born in Venice on 2 April 1725, he was the obscure son of a somewhat famous actress and courtesan named Zanetta Farussi and a forgotten actor, Gaetano Casanova. If anyone in this modest family qualified as a ‘Casanova’, it was his mother Zanetta with her love affairs and wiles and penchant for abandoning him. At the start of 1726, the New Theatre in the Haymarket in London hired his parents along with an ensemble of Italian comedians; Zanetta and Gaetano left Giacomo in the care of his grandmother Marzia. A little more than a year later, Gaetano and Zanetta’s second child, Francesco Giuseppe, was born, and baptised on 1 June. Rumours described him as the bastard child of King George II.

In Venice, meanwhile, young Giacomo suffered from nosebleeds that he said affected his ability to think. His environment was equally problematic. The Republic of Venice, as it was known, was extremely hierarchical, and ruled by 400 families registered in the Libro d’Oro, or Golden book, a directory of Venetian nobility. This rigid structure was destined to collapse under its own weight but, at the time, Venice thrived on sin; it was the Las Vegas of its day. Tourists came from across Europe to sample its gambling dens and its courtesans, and other illicit pleasures. Some convents functioned as harems for the daughters of wealthy families who did not want the girls to marry or to bear children. Under cover of religious vocation, they entertained well-heeled admirers and staged orgies. In time, a ‘nunnery’ became a synonym for a ‘brothel’, as Hamlet said to Ophelia. 

As the son of actors, Casanova had no place at all in Venetian society, decadent or otherwise. Actors were outcasts. They couldn’t even be buried in consecrated ground. For Casanova, a career in the clergy was the approved way up and out of the restricted circumstances of his birth. It was a path to education and a secure status in a society. He himself did not feel a sense of religious calling; quite the opposite. He was cynical about the whole experience and wrote about it in amusing, occasionally caustic terms. He did get a sense of excitement when he began preaching sermons, but for Casanova the most important part of the experience was the impression he made on women. 

In time, he found a quicker path to women and status as a successful gambler, and left the priesthood, although throughout his life he benefited from the classical education he had received. So he spent the rest of his life manufacturing identities to overcome the disadvantage of low birth. He styled himself as the Chevalier de Seingalt, appropriating a title to which he had no claim. On this basis, he managed to ingratiate himself with the aristocracy, and to gain access to women of the upper echelons, who were, at least in his account, taken in by his impersonation of an aristocrat. Each time he seduced an upper-class woman, he had a sense of evening the score, of striking a blow for the common man.

Casanova claimed that he bedded 124 women – not a lot, perhaps, by the current yardstick of some celebrity memoirs, but more than enough to qualify for libertine status, so long as he did not marry – and he never did. ‘Marriage is the tomb of love,’ he wrote in his memoirs. Who was his greatest love of all the women in his life? A Freudian would answer: his mother, very possibly present in his subconscious because of her absence in his daily life. We know a few tantalising titbits about Zanetta. Ruthlessly ambitious, she abandoned him when he was a child to pursue her vocation as an actress. Casanova saw her infrequently during the rest of his life. She retired on a pension to Prague, at the time a centre of the arts, after a reasonably distinguished and scandalous career performing in commedia dell’arte

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/is-there-more-to-the-legendary-lover-than-his-reputation

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The Dark Town That Built A Giant Mirror

(Credit: Getty Images)

A Norwegian town shrouded in shadow for half the year has found an ingenious way to get a bit of sunlight. But why go to such extreme measures? As Linda Geddes discovers, the Sun has powerful effects on our minds and bodies – and it changes us when it’s absent.

By Linda Geddes From Mosaic

The inhabitants of Rjukan in southern Norway have a complex relationship with the Sun. “More than other places I’ve lived, they like to talk about the Sun: when it’s coming back, if it’s a long time since they’ve seen the Sun,” says artist Martin Andersen. “They’re a little obsessed with it.” Possibly, he speculates, it’s because for approximately half the year, you can see the sunlight shining high up on the north wall of the valley: “It is very close, but you can’t touch it,” he says. As autumn wears on, the light moves higher up the wall each day, like a calendar marking off the dates to the winter solstice. And then as January, February and March progress, the sunlight slowly starts to inch its way back down again.

Rjukan was built between 1905 and 1916, after an entrepreneur called Sam Eyde bought the local waterfall (known as the smoking waterfall) and constructed a hydroelectric power plant there. Factories producing artificial fertiliser followed. But the managers of these factories worried that their staff weren’t getting enough Sun – and eventually they constructed a cable car in order to give them access to it.

When Martin moved to Rjukan in August 2002, he was simply looking for a temporary place to settle with his young family that was close to his parents’ house and where he could earn some money. He was drawn to the three-dimensionality of the place: a town of 3,000, in the cleft between two towering mountains – the first seriously high ground you reach as you travel west of Oslo.

(Credit: Olav Gjerstad/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Rjukan sits at the base of a valley in in southern Norway (Credit: Olav Gjerstad/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

But the departing Sun left Martin feeling gloomy and lethargic. It still rose and set each day, and provided some daylight – unlike in the far north of Norway, where it is dark for months at a time – but the Sun never climbed high enough for the people of Rjukan to actually see it or feel its warming rays directly on their skin.

As summer turned to autumn, Martin found himself pushing his two-year-old daughter’s buggy further and further down the valley each day, chasing the vanishing sunlight. “I felt it very physically; I didn’t want to be in the shade,” says Martin, who runs a vintage shop in Rjukan town centre. If only someone could find a way of reflecting some sunlight down into the town, he thought. Most people living at temperate latitudes will be familiar with Martin’s sense of dismay at autumn’s dwindling light. Few would have been driven to build giant mirrors above their town to fix it.

Dark place

What is it about the flat, gloomy greyness of winter that seems to penetrate our skin and dampen our spirits, at least at higher latitudes? The idea that our physical and mental health varies with the seasons and sunlight goes back a long way. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, a treatise on health and disease that’s estimated to have been written in around 300 BCE, describes how the seasons affect all living things. It suggests that during winter – a time of conservation and storage – one should “retire early and get up with the sunrise… Desires and mental activity should be kept quiet and subdued, as if keeping a happy secret.” And in his Treatise on Insanity, published in 1806, the French physician Philippe Pinel noted a mental deterioration in some of his psychiatric patients “when the cold weather of December and January set in”…

more…

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170314-the-town-that-built-a-mirror-to-catch-the-sun

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Swedish Insanity – Welfare Is Funding 300 Islamic Terrorists

AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

Swedish Welfare State Funding Islamic Terrorism

A new damning report shows that multiple Islamist fighters who have travelled from Sweden to fight in Syria and Iraq have been the beneficiaries of welfare payments from the Swedish government.

The new report created by the by the National Defence University on behalf of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) shows that around 300 Islamists have claimed benefits by using others to give the government the impression that they are still in Sweden despite the fact that they are in Syria or Iraq fighting for jihadist groups, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports

Terrorist researcher and one of the authors of the report Magnus Ranstorp said the problem isn’t just limited to Sweden. Commenting on the results, he said: “it was not surprising, we have seen the same pattern in other countries. Most surprising was that almost all had it in some form. But it is the monitoring that needs to work better. The problem is that there is too little follow-up.”

The 300 individuals covered in the report traveled from Sweden to the Middle East between 2013 and 2016, and are thought to have participated in fighting for groups including the terrorist Islamic State.

Housing allowances, child support, student loans, maintenance and parental benefits are the most common types of benefits earned by the Islamists, often collected by a third party with the money then sent to them overseas. ” It’s not big money, they do not get rich on it, but it can go a long way in a conflict zone,” Ranstorp said.

Police say that student loans, in particular, are an issue because the fighters can game the system by pretending to be going overseas to study and receive large lump sums from the Swedish government. 

Swedish Minister for Upper Secondary School and Adult Education and Training Anna Ekström said the problem was “totally unacceptable. No state funds will be used for something that is in the vicinity of terrorism. We must take hold of this immediately. We are preparing now to go to the parliament and ensure that the government gets the opportunity to ensure that we do not pay out such large sums at once.”

Sweden has seen at least one case in which the government paid a jihadi before. Late last year, Muslim convert Michael Skråmo was revealed to have been paid £4,300 by the government since leaving for the Middle East in 2014. 

The Swedish government has also essentially legalised the flying of the Islamic State flag after a Swedish court refused to prosecute a man who displayed the symbol on his social media account as a promotion of the terrorist group. 

In 2015 it was shown that the Swedish city of Gothenburg sent more Islamists to the Middle East per capita than any other city in Europe.

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/03/12/swedish-welfare-state-funding-islamic-terrorism/

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Nuclear accident cover-up? Radioactive Iodine-131 detected across Europe… no one knows why

Image: Nuclear accident cover-up? Radioactive Iodine-131 detected across Europe… no one knows why

(Natural News) Mysterious plumes of radioactive iodine-131, the same nuclear isotope seen during the Fukushima disaster, have suddenly started appearing all over Europe. And according to reports, nobody seems to know where they’re coming from — that, or authorities are choosing to deliberately keep the undisclosed source(s) out of public view.

Trace amounts of the highly damaging form of radiation, which is known to destroy the thyroid gland, have been found in at least seven European countries, including in Norway, Finland, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, and Spain. Such radiation typically comes from either nuclear energy plants or atomic bombs — and the latter presumably haven’t been set off anywhere recently.

According to The Sun, the source of the toxic particles appears to be somewhere in Eastern Europe, despite the majority of them having been identified in countries to the West and North. The only other source from which such particles could be emerging are certain medical devices, though for their spread to be so wide across so many different regions is highly unlikely.

Finland’s Radiation Safety Authority (STUK) says it also identified trace amounts of the radioactive isotopes cobalt-60, niobium-95, and cesium-134, all of which are also directly associated with nuclear processes. Investigations into the source of these particles are ongoing, and experts are insistent that the levels are so low that they do not pose a significant health risk to the public.

“The preliminary report states it (iodine-131) was first found during the week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway,” reads a press release issued by the France-based Institute de Radioprotection et de Süreté Nucléaire (IRSN).

Norwegian nuclear officials claim informing public right away about radiation wasn’t necessary because levels were ‘low’

What’s strange about this radioactive presence throughout Europe is that its levels are seemingly so low as to be almost impossibly dispersed. One would think that having the same type of radiation detected in so many places at once would indicate much higher amounts of it, but experts insist that the levels are low enough as to be harmless.

The world heard plenty of this same narrative during and after the Fukushima disaster — and it is still the official story today, despite ongoing problems at the stricken plant that continue to harm Japan, the world’s oceans, and possibly even the West Coast of the U.S.— a majority of the world, essentially.

According to officials in Finland, the levels of radiation detected there were less than one-millionth of a Becquerel per cubic meter of air — not very much in terms of serious safety concerns. But as many Natural News readers are well aware, any amount of radiation is a health threat, and its source a pertinent area of concern.

“We do measure small amounts of radioactivity in air from time to time because we have very sensitive measuring equipment,” the head of Norway’s Radiation Protection Authority, Astrid Liland, told reporters when asked why it took so long to inform the public about the potential looming threat.

“The measurements at Svanhovd in January were very, very low. So were the measurements made in neighboring countries, like Finland. The levels raise no concern for humans or the environment. Therefore, we believe this had no news value.”

Ironically, Norway’s radiation levels were higher than in Finland, and yet Finnish nuclear officials were quick to issue a public statement out of precaution. Like Norway and France, however, Finland insists that radiation levels are far lower than what can have “any effect” on human health.

There are nuclear plants located in Finland, Sweden, and Russia where the nuclear particles in question could have emerged. Investigators are working to trace where they came from as quickly as possible.

Sources:

TheSun.co.uk

YLE.fi

TheBarentsObserver.com

http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-02-22-nuclear-accident-cover-up-radioactive-iodine-131-detected-across-europe-no-one-knows-why.html

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Parents – the Most Loyal Agents for the Torture Control Matrix

by Willem Felderhof, Contributor, Waking Times

Following absurd and fake disorder labels like ADHD and ADD, the ignorant “mental specialists” recently invented another pseudo diagnose called ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). In other words anyone who still has the natural, and thus normal, inherent reflex of opposing any form of evil.

Let it be crystal clear; the real patients here with a disorder are not the children but the ones making the fake diagnoses and are doing the toxic prescription jobs. These agents of death are nothing less than order followers because they as well have a neo-cortex that is in an imbalanced, or total shut down mode. Otherwise they would apply their knowledge and conscience and refuse to commit these immoral actions.

What we are witnessing here is a relentless mind control assault on a precious and highly gifted generation that is being neutralized in the global war on humanity and consciousness.

That might sound charged and cause some unpleasant emotions, but it still is the Truth. The armies of pseudo psychologists, scientists, and youth workers that are labeling and poisoning the tsunami of children with psychological “problems” have been mind controlled into a severe brain imbalanced and fragmented mental state themselves as a result of their own common core style dumbing down programming.

Symptoms in Hell Diagnosed as Disease

Even more shocking is that the facilitators and with that the causal factors of this massive emotional and physical child abuse are the presumed guardian angels of the child; the parents. In this time of information they willfully ignore the fact that their child is showing symptoms that are absolutely normal reactions from the exposure to the multi directional assaults on their minds. It might sound strange to unaware parents or left brained “specialists” but living in a microwaved, immoral, toxic, torture society or in short, HELL, can cause some side effects. These are NORMAL and need not be treated but used for the understanding process of the causal factors.

Before attacking the messenger here; I speak from knowledge and experience as a father, and as a former ADHD/ADD/ODD “patient”. My youth was destroyed like most of us because my parents served as agents themselves and the cycle repeats on and on. I was kicked out of all the schools I went to and had (still have) extreme difficulties with “authority”. And of course I took it on myself because I was labeled as a problem child. The result; self-loathing, fear disorders, addictive behavior; the complete six flags fun package.

50 years later I more and more understand how normal I am. What a waste.

Refined Mind Control for the Final Stage

So I decided that this would never happen to my child, but I failed. I could not avoid and protect my son going through a similar kind of hell because the social engineers have refined their sick programming to unimaginable levels. Luckily my son is blessed with a powerful spark of consciousness, just like so many of his fellow generation members, but he is still battling on getting his mind back.

The vicious mind control attacks by killing any aspect of Morality and Truth with disgusting and relentless dumbing down tv programming, satanic computer gaming, or empty drugs, sex and alcohol driven “social” activities have largely demolished the sacred masculine and feminine aspects of Willpower and Care in the next generation.

 

When my son did not go to school, and for very good reasons, we were forced to look for “help” in the Dutch youth care. What we experienced there during that period was literally sickening. What I found there were numerous pseudo psychologists who do not know anything about human consciousness, EMF radiation, nutrition, the workings of the brain or the physical body in general, and most of all know nothing about the devastating health effects of the compulsory Nazi/Marxist model “education” system with it’s outcome based education (OBE) doctrine.

And yet despite this blatant ignorance on all levels, these infant pseudo psychologists have the “authority” to prescribe the most disgusting types of medication in this “health” swamp.

In the Netherlands alone more than 100.000 children are zombified by mind & body poisoning medication regimes. And in other countries it is even worse.

Most of the children (and their parents) do not have a strong free Will to reject that madness and are completely at the mercy of the agents of the satanic control system. Ignorant parents and pseudo psychologists are enforcing the identification of the child with their so-called problem, thereby pushing the child further into an engineered structural state of psychological stress and self-loathing.

Willfully Ignorant Parents are Evil Parents

Any parent, who still continues to offer their children to these mind destruction factories without any significant resistance, is willfully facilitating the destruction of the authentic true Self and mind of his/her child. The compulsory “education” system is nothing less than a worldwide network of concentration campuses for mind destruction. The extent of the mind destruction of our youth is also reflected in increased rates of mental illness, suicide, violent crime, and further child abuse. Suicide in the Netherlands amongst youngsters between the age of 18 till 25 is the number one cause of death. Not a word about the effects of the education system of course. But again, it is the parents who willfully dump the pure beings of consciousness in these conveyor belt zombie factories, despite the overwhelming evidence that is in the open today for anyone who CARES,  of what exactly the current education system is, where it comes from, who created it and for what reasons and most important; what the dramatic effect on the children is.

Child Abuse in the Classroom

John Taylor Gatto is a well-known former school teacher who taught in the classroom for nearly 30 years. He devoted much of his energy to his teaching career, then, following his resignation, authored several books on modern education, criticizing its ideology, history, and devastating consequences. He is best known for the underground classic Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling. He was named New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991…

more…

About the Author
Willem Felderhof is former commercial airline pilot, and whistleblower on the presence of toxic elements in aviation generally known as “the Aerotoxic syndrome”. He is also the organizer of the Open Mind Conferences in the Netherlands. As a Dutch citizen he is very concerned about the direction this country and the enslaved humanity in general are heading for.
This article (Parents – the Most Loyal Agents for the Torture Control Matrix) was originally created and published by Dutch Anarchy, and is reposted here with permission

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/21/parents-loyal-agents-torture-control-matrix/

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The Crossroads of History: Is the European Union Becoming the 4th Reich?

Map of Europe

With the serious economic and political crisis showing no signs of abating in Europe, both geographical and moral boundaries are being erased in the name of globalization, Sputnik Italy quoted participants of a round table discussion in Rome as saying.

© SPUTNIK/ ALEXEY VITVITSKY

Now that Europe is going through a severe economic and political crisis, its geographical and moral barriers are being erased for the sake of globalization, the participants of a round table discussion in Rome were quoted by Sputnik Italy as saying.

They claimed that Europe have already entered an era of uncertainty where cultural differences had blurred.

Italian journalist Marcello Veneziani, for his part, noted that the process of erasing all boundaries across Europe had come amid stark differences between the EU member states in terms of economic vitality and political sovereignty.

In this regard, Veneziani underscored the importance of boundaries being preserved.

“Without boundaries-related restrictions, any society can increase to immeasurable dimensions,” he said, calling for the creation of a governing class who would be able to not only win elections, but also to manage the affairs of state.

In an interview with Sputnik Italy, Italian economics expert Alberto Bagnai, in turn, focused on the economic crisis in Europe and how it had spelled disaster for Italy, which had earlier been hit by the 2008 economic meltdown.

Bagnai specifically critiqued the court of popular opinion, where anyone who would champion his or her country’s national interests, identity or ability to control its borders is denounced as a populist.

“This is happening because we live in a historical period when only multinational companies possess sovereignty. It’s clear that the media’s dismissive reaction to the idea that people can also possess sovereignty and identities is playing into someone’s hands,” he said.

Additionally, Bagnai commented on the fact that there are 90 NATO and US thermonuclear bombs on Italian soil, something that he said calls into question whether Italy is, in fact, a sovereign country.

“Italy possessing sovereignty is out of the question, and the problem is that it is time to understand that we should take advantage of the situation to negotiate the best terms for our country now, [and address] the relationship between the boss and his local representative, Germany,” he said.

Bagnai added that “Rome is very unlikely to become the capital of the Empire again in the coming years.”

“Given that we are a dependent country, we can either move towards a European Union which has, in fact, become the Fourth Reich which is opposed by the United States, or we can gain a little autonomy, negotiating with Russia and Washington,” he said.

“In this vein, mutual rapprochement is not necessarily a negative thing. It is much better than dropping atomic bombs on each other,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Freedom Party of Austria member and former presidential candidate Norbert Hofer told Sputnik late last month that the European Union needs to cut taxes and slash bureaucracy in order to overcome economic stagnation.

“The EU crisis is much deeper, as many EU members have huge debts and high unemployment rates; the economies of some EU countries are very weak. Therefore, we should focus on economics, strengthening the EU economy through reasonable tax cuts and reducing bureaucracy,” Hofer said.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201702141050653385-europe-italy-economic-crisis-globalization/

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The Great Enrichment

Resultado de imagem para Dam Square with the New Town Hall under Construction (1656) by Johannes Lingelbach.

Dam Square with the New Town Hall under Construction (1656) by Johannes Lingelbach. Photo courtesy The Amsterdam Museum/Wikipedia

This is how Europe became the richest place on earth: by being politically fragmented, yet intellectually united

Joel Mokyr is the Robert H Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and professor of economics and history at Northwestern University in Illinois. In 2006, he was awarded the biennial Heineken Award for History offered by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. His latest book is A Culture of Growth: Origins of the Modern Economy (2016).

How and why did the modern world and its unprecedented prosperity begin? Learned tomes by historians, economists, political scientists and other scholars fill many bookshelves with explanations of how and why the process of modern economic growth or ‘the Great Enrichment’ exploded in western Europe in the 18th century. One of the oldest and most persuasive explanations is the long political fragmentation of Europe. For centuries, no ruler had ever been able to unite Europe the way the Mongols and the Mings had united China.

It should be emphasised that Europe’s success was not the result of any inherent superiority of European (much less Christian) culture. It was rather what is known as a classical emergent property, a complex and unintended outcome of simpler interactions on the whole. The modern European economic miracle was the result of contingent institutional outcomes. It was neither designed nor planned. But it happened, and once it began, it generated a self-reinforcing dynamic of economic progress that made knowledge-driven growth both possible and sustainable.

How did this work? In brief, Europe’s political fragmentation spurred productive competition. It meant that European rulers found themselves competing for the best and most productive intellectuals and artisans. The economic historian Eric L Jones called this ‘the States system’. The costs of European political division into multiple competing states were substantial: they included almost incessant warfare, protectionism, and other coordination failures. Many scholars now believe, however, that in the long run the benefits of competing states might have been larger than the costs. In particular, the existence of multiple competing states encouraged scientific and technological innovation.

The idea that European political fragmentation, despite its evident costs, also brought great benefits, enjoys a distinguished lineage. In the closing chapter of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1789), Edward Gibbon wrote: ‘Europe is now divided into 12 powerful, though unequal, kingdoms.’ Three of them he called ‘respectable commonwealths’, the rest ‘a variety of smaller, though independent, states’. The ‘abuses of tyranny are restrained by the mutual influence of fear and shame’, Gibbon wrote, adding that ‘republics have acquired order and stability; monarchies have imbibed the principles of freedom, or, at least, of moderation; and some sense of honour and justice is introduced into the most defective constitutions by the general manners of the times.’

In other words, the rivalries between the states, and their examples to one another, also meliorated some of the worst possibilities of political authoritarianism. Gibbon added that ‘in peace, the progress of knowledge and industry is accelerated by the emulation of so many active rivals’. Other Enlightenment writers, David Hume and Immanuel Kant for example, saw it the same way. From the early 18th-century reforms of Russia’s Peter the Great, to the United States’ panicked technological mobilisation in response to the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of Sputnik, interstate competition was a powerful economic mover. More important, perhaps, the ‘states system’ constrained the ability of political and religious authorities to control intellectual innovation. If conservative rulers clamped down on heretical and subversive (that is, original and creative) thought, their smartest citizens would just go elsewhere (as many of them, indeed, did).

Apossible objection to this view is that political fragmentation was not enough. The Indian subcontinent and the Middle East were fragmented for much of their history, and Africa even more so, yet they did not experience a Great Enrichment. Clearly, more was needed. The size of the ‘market’ that intellectual and technological innovators faced was one element of scientific and technological development that has not perhaps received as much attention it should. In 1769, for example, Matthew Boulton wrote to his partner James Watt: ‘It is not worth my while to manufacture [your engine] for three counties only; but I find it very well worth my while to make it for all the world.’

What was true for steam engines was equally true for books and essays on astronomy, medicine and mathematics. Writing such a book involved fixed costs, and so the size of the market mattered. If fragmentation meant that the constituency of each innovator was small, it would have dampened the incentives.

In early modern Europe, however, political and religious fragmentation did not mean small audiences for intellectual innovators. Political fragmentation existed alongside a remarkable intellectual and cultural unity. Europe offered a more or less integrated market for ideas, a continent-wide network of learned men and women, in which new ideas were distributed and circulated. European cultural unity was rooted in its classical heritage and, among intellectuals, the widespread use of Latin as their lingua franca. The structure of the medieval Christian Church also provided an element shared throughout the continent. Indeed, long before the term ‘Europe’ was commonly used, it was called ‘Christendom’.

If Europe’s intellectuals moved with unprecedented frequency and ease, their ideas travelled even faster

While for much of the Middle Ages the intensity of intellectual activity (in terms of both the number of participants and the heatedness of the debates) was light compared to what it was to become, after 1500 it was transnational. In early modern Europe, national boundaries mattered little in the thin but lively and mobile community of intellectuals in Europe. Despite slow and uncomfortable travel, many of Europe’s leading intellectuals moved back and forth between states. Both the Valencia-born Juan Luis Vives and the Rotterdam-born Desiderius Erasmus, two of the most prominent leaders of 16th-century European humanism, embodied the footloose quality of Europe’s leading thinkers: Vives studied in Paris, lived most of his life in Flanders, but was also a member of Corpus Christi College in Oxford. For a while, he served as a tutor to Henry VIII’s daughter Mary. Erasmus moved back between Leuven, England and Basel. But he also spent time in Turin and Venice. Such mobility among intellectuals grew even more pronounced in the 17th century…

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https://aeon.co/essays/how-did-europe-become-the-richest-part-of-the-world

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