What Columbus brought with him

Having gone through another bout of Columbus (and West European civilization) bashing, it was refreshing to read this:

aristotle.jpg

Aristotle: One more thing that Columbus also brought to these shores

Did Columbus "discover" America? Yes--in every important
respect. This does not mean that no human eye had been cast on America
before Columbus arrived. It does mean that Columbus brought America to
the attention of the civilized world, i.e., to the growing, scientific
civilizations of Western Europe. The result, ultimately, was the United
States of America. It was Columbus' discovery for Western Europe that
led to the influx of ideas and people on which this nation was founded--and
on which it still rests. The opening of America brought the ideas and
achievements of Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and the thousands of
thinkers, writers, and inventors who followed.

Prior to 1492, what is now the United States was sparsely inhabited,
unused, and undeveloped. The inhabitants were primarily
hunter/gatherers, wandering across the land, living from hand to mouth
and from day to day. There was virtually no change, no growth for
thousands of years. With rare exception, life was nasty, brutish, and
short: there was no wheel, no written language, no division of labor,
little agriculture and scant permanent settlement; but there were
endless, bloody wars. Whatever the problems it brought, the vilified
Western culture also brought enormous, undreamed-of benefits, without
which most of today's Indians would be infinitely poorer or not even
alive.

The
author, of course, will be vilified for his "racist" views, but before
you jump off that ledge, you might want to see what he says about
racism. The essay is here.

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