Taleb is On Board with Tribalism

Why GREECE, GREXIT, and “EUROPE” are an unnatural proto-Nazi “Aryan” construction — or why putting Teutons and Greeks together isn’t the smartest (and most stable) idea.

Nor is it natural.

The least *unnatural* union for Greece is some sort of *loose* Mediterranean League of City States (and another minor Balkan connection). But again, it would need to stay fuzzy –i.e., should you want to use history/culture, use them properly (“annales” style).

+ There are two natural cultural (eventually leading by mixing to ethnic) demarcations: butter vs olive oil (and eventually a third, the palm tree). The demarcation is robust: if people have the same food, they are the same (or eventually through mixing) become the same. Now if a nonblind but deaf Martian visited Turkey and Greece, he would think they are the same people (same with Lebanon and Western Syria). If words are different, body language in the Levant, Greece, Turkey and Southern Italy is similar. “Una faccia, una razza”. But a bureaucrat blinded by constructions would put the Greek in the same unit as the German, and bundle the Turk with the Huns in the Altai mountains near China.

+ But Mediterraneans are integrated as a socio-cultural unit. This is not just recent; the integration is 5000 years old in the East and 3000 in the West. The trend to “Europeanize” came with German scholarship which starting in 1820s (one Müller) tried to kill any Levantine/Babylonian connection to Greece, trying to give Germany some nobility in its historical roots, while French scholarship was until then considering Greece as deeply rooted in the Levant and Asia Minor, as a continuum from Babylon to the Phoenicians to classical Greece (mythology says that Europa herself was Phoenician). The rise of antisemitism played a part: the Teutonic cultural separation from the Levantine Canaanite race (the Jews and Phoenicians had near-identical language and ethnicity).

+ The Levant and what is now Greece spent at least 1000 years in the same political unit Rome-Byzantium and another few hunded in the Ottoman Empire; the Greeks and the Germans have now about 40 years together.

+ The nation-state started integrating the Mediterranean people. During the 19th Century only a few coastal cities such as Marseille and Toulon in Southern France spoke French, the rest spoke Provencal or Catalan.

+ The idea of a Mediterranean unit is not popular. Partly because it has been linked to Mussolini.

+ The Mycenians did not use a Semitic language (linear B). But the word Knossos (the capital) means “settlement” in Phoenician.

+ If a French person looks like a Mediterranean and speaks French, it is by colonization. The same applies to the “Aryanization” of Greece, to the “Turkification” of Asia Minor, and the “Arabization” of Syria or the “Aryanization” of India. Arian/Semitic/Hun is not a distinction beyond the language spoken.

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