Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

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Sid Guttridge
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by Sid Guttridge » 26 Jun 2020 22:38

Hi Futurist,

The Caspian and the Urals are not conjoined. There is the better part of 1,000 kilometres between the two.

All the other continents are essentially defined by the sea. Have you ever wondered why the special pleading for Europe?

The moment one talks of hybrids, and accepts and overlooks intermarriage, one is essentially conceding that DNA is not being used to define "Europeaness". It simply confirms my original point that Eurasia is a continuum in every area under discussion, including DNA. There are no "Europeans", just western Eurasians who think they are entirely distinct. They aren't.

Nor should we conflate "whiteness" with "Europeaness". It is perfectly possible to have a majority western Eurasian ancestry and still have a dark skin.

My own father was British with no known admixture from outside these islands. Yet he had black hair and very dark brown eyes. His skin was also brown and tanned easily. This created a lot of confusion when he was in the Indian Army as he was presumed by those who did not know him to be an Indian officer. In those days Indians were meant to get off the pavement if it was being used by British women, but of course my father, being British, didn't. This led to a couple of racially charged incidents and considerable embarrassment for all.

"Whiteness" is, in any case, another artificial construct. With the possible exception of Albinos, there are no white or black people, just a broad palette of shades of brown.

Cheers,

Sid
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 26 Jun 2020 23:03, edited 2 times in total.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by Sid Guttridge » 26 Jun 2020 22:51

HI Guys,

Wikipedia has an article entitled "Boundaries between the continents of earth". It shows multiple proposed boundaries between Europe and Asia.

As a geographical entity, "Europe" appears to exist largely by convention, rather than any definitive reality on the ground.

Cheers,

Sid.

AllenM
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by AllenM » 26 Jun 2020 23:31

I don't accept any other definition for Europe than Europe. Look at the European Union. As I wrote, European identity goes back centuries. There is no reason to ignore history. There is no reason to ignore a heritage that is passed on from generation to generation. I knew a few Kashubs. The language relationship between Polish and Russian allows me to read Russian.

Futurist
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by Futurist » 26 Jun 2020 23:52

Sid Guttridge wrote:
26 Jun 2020 22:38
Hi Futurist,

The Caspian and the Urals are not conjoined. There is the better part of 1,000 kilometres between the two.
But there's this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ural_(river)
All the other continents are essentially defined by the sea. Have you ever wondered why the special pleading for Europe?
Africa is actually separated by the Suez Canal, which is itself an artificial man-made creation. For that matter, there is no clear boundary between North and South America either if one goes by geography.
The moment one talks of hybrids, and accepts and overlooks intermarriage, one is essentially conceding that DNA is not being used to define "Europeaness". It simply confirms my original point that Eurasia is a continuum in every area under discussion, including DNA. There are no "Europeans", just western Eurasians who think they are entirely distinct. They aren't.
Why exactly can't someone be part European, though?
Nor should we conflate "whiteness" with "Europeaness". It is perfectly possible to have a majority western Eurasian ancestry and still have a dark skin.

My own father was British with no known admixture from outside these islands. Yet he had black hair and very dark brown eyes. His skin was also brown and tanned easily. This created a lot of confusion when he was in the Indian Army as he was presumed by those who did not know him to be an Indian officer. In those days Indians were meant to get off the pavement if it was being used by British women, but of course my father, being British, didn't. This led to a couple of racially charged incidents and considerable embarrassment for all.
Apologies for asking, but do you have any photos of your dad that you can share with us? If he's already deceased, I'm presuming that this is easier. I want to know just how South Asian he actually looked.
"Whiteness" is, in any case, another artificial construct. With the possible exception of Albinos, there are no white or black people, just a broad palette of shades of brown.

Cheers,

Sid
So, albinos are the real/true whites. Who knew? ;)

gebhk
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by gebhk » 27 Jun 2020 00:17

Nature largely defines all the other continents. Only Europe is defined exclusively by man, not geography. Why the special pleading?
So presumably according to these definitions Africa too is not a continent while Britain and the Isle of Sheppey are?
As a geographical entity, "Europe" appears to exist largely by convention, rather than any definitive reality on the ground.
Just like every single other geographical entity. How is Australasia defined by the sea? It isn't. It is defined by convention which holds that Japan is in Asia and New Zealand in Australasia.
It simply confirms my original point that Eurasia is a continuum in every area under discussion, including DNA.
With respect what has DNA to do with anything? Whose DNA? The cats? the Humans? The bluebottle flies? If we start defining geographical constructs by their DNA content and accept an entirely hominocentric view of the world then there is no Eurasia, only a pan-global Africa because that is where all we Homo sapiens came from. However this would be a nonsense, because an intellectual geographic construct, like every geographical 'feature', is not defined by the genes, culture or absolutely any other feature of its inhabitants. It merely requires lines on a map. Whether they arbitrarily divide a landmass or groups of islands from one another is immaterial.
There are no "Europeans", just western Eurasians who think they are entirely distinct. They aren't.

If we follow this reasoning, then, far more consistently there are no Eurasians either, just North Africans.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by Sid Guttridge » 27 Jun 2020 00:37

Hi Futurist,

You illustrate well my point made earlier to another poster that "Europeanists", having decided that Europe exists as a distinct entity, then set out in search of a frontier to justify it.

So far their Europe is bounded by two oceans, two straits, three seas, two ranges of mountains and now a river. The other continents only essentially need ocean.

If you check my Wiki link earlier, you will find about a dozen different proposed eastern borders, the River Ural included.

Yes, Africa and South America are connected by isthmuses to their northern neighbours, which is why I posted "essentially". Europe is a whole different ball game.

There is no reason why someone couldn't be part European, provided one can establish what "European" actually is in the first place.

I won't be sharing any pictures of my father, who died some 27 years ago. I have used the same anecdote on AHF before, if you have any doubts about it. I have myself been told that I look Syrian. My mother's family originally came from Scandinavia and I am somewhat lighter than my father. He looked very South Asian when sun tanned. During the 1940s he was in the 6th Rajputs, the Burma Rifles and the Gurkhas.

Cheers,

Sid

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by Sid Guttridge » 27 Jun 2020 01:02

Hi gebhk,

I posted that they were "largely", defined by nature, by which you correctly surmised I was referring to the ocean. Both South America and Africa are also connected to their northern neighbours by isthmuses. However, "Europe" is not connected to "Asia" by an isthmus. It is a full part of the same land mass.

I was unaware that there was any rule that every bit of land surrounded by water has to be a continent. If there is, you might be right about Britain and the Isle of Sheppey!

Australasia is very much defined by the sea. All its components are islands. Australia itself has been a discrete wandering continent for tens of millions of years through continental drift. If you were to suggest that it is unclear why some islands are in Asia while neighbours are in Australasia, you might have a better point. However, I would suggest that Japan was never in the running for inclusion.

DNA has something to do with it because Futurist made a point of emphasising this aspect and I am happy to follow that up as well.

With regard to your last point, Yup! That was a point I made near the start.

Cheers,

Sid.

gebhk
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by gebhk » 27 Jun 2020 01:19

My own father was British with no known admixture from outside these islands.
Hi Sid

The crux of the matter may also lie with the word 'known' in the above sentence. We would have said the same about my family and its solid North-European origins until the late 1980's, when we discovered that the anaemia that had plagued my mother all her life was in fact thalassemia minor. Subsequent testing showed that it was quite prevalent on her father's side of the family. Ooops. Seems like someone further down the family tree came back from a grand tour of the ancient sites of the Mediterranean with a bit more than a classical education...... There are of course many other possible scenarios to explain how essentially Mediterranean genes got into my family tree, but the one quoted seemed to amuse us the most :D . Incidentally and comparably to your dad, my mum recalled with some amusement that when she was stationed in Palestine during the war, the Jews wouldn't let her into their temples because they thought she was an Arab and the Arabs wouldn't let her into their's because they thought she was a Jew. Seems like she inherited more than just thalassemia from our mystery Mediterranean ancestor.

My optician recons that there should be a family history of my sort of monocular eyeball-shape myopia. There isn't, at least not officially....

The point being that you can't rely on the entries in the 'father' rubric of birth certificates to be an entirely reliable guide to genetic inheritance.

I hope you are not offended by these comments, they are most certainly not intended that way. The regiments your father served in are justifiably considered among the best and your dad must have been a very competent officer to have been assigned to them.

gebhk
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by gebhk » 27 Jun 2020 01:45

All its components are islands.
All landmasses are islands, so that does not prove much
Sid Guttridge wrote:
27 Jun 2020 01:02
Australia itself has been a discrete wandering continent for tens of millions of years through continental drift
Since Pangea broke up, all continents, indeed all land-masses, have been wandering through continental drift, so that doesn't help much either.

The fact is that arbitrarily and by convention the land masses of the world have been divided into continents and been given names. These arbitrary divisions do not require further justification or definition. It is not unreasonable to call folks who live there 'Europeans'. Just as it is perfectly reasonable to call the residents of London 'Londoners'. Neither of these define a person's skin colour, culture, belief system or ethnicity. They purely define their residency and/or place of birth.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by Sid Guttridge » 27 Jun 2020 01:46

Hi gebhk,

I am not offended at all. They are reasonable points.

My father's family come from Cornwall, where complexions like his are well known. Folklore had it that this was the result of a Spanish Armada vessel being wrecked on the north coast. The rescued crewmen supposedly settled locally. However, there is no evidence for this at all.

If there was any extra marital activity, it was almost certainly among the locals. There is little passing trade on Bodmin Moor!

In about 400 years parish records show that the family moved only about 15 miles. They only got adventurous and moved another 30 miles to where I am now in the 1880s.

Cheers,

Sid

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by Sid Guttridge » 27 Jun 2020 01:57

Hi gebhk,

Certainly all land masses are islands. However, unlike the other continents, Europe isn't a discrete land mass. It is part of a larger one.

I would argue that nature created six major land masses now dubbed continents and men invented a seventh according to different criteria by pretending western Eurasia was another. It wasn't.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Steve
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by Steve » 27 Jun 2020 03:55

Sid, you said (quite a few posts ago) that a Whabbist from Saudi Arabia is not “necessarily detached from Europe” but I would disagree.

He might or might not be descended from Europeans but he might or might not be descended from Nubian slaves or whoever or even Arabs. Does recognising Christ as a prophet give you an advantage when it comes to being regarded as a European over Jews who don’t? As far as I know (I no longer take any interest in religion) Christianity also accepts converts from anywhere. A quick check on Wikipedia tells me that Arabic numerals owe a lot to India but Islamic civilisation was built on building blocks from previous civilisations as all are apart from the first. When you say “he lives in the same land mass” I presume you mean he lives in the Asian land mass which is divided up into various parts such as the Indian subcontinent. The Aramaic language is a Semitic language but as far as I am aware has no other connection to Arabs apart from that. Admittedly most Europeans may be descended from farmers who moved from the Middle East. However, the Middle East over some nine thousand years has been subjected to many influxes of population and you might be hard pressed to find any direct descendents of those early farmers. But it’s like me telling my sister that her Chihuahua is really a wolf, too much water has gone under the bridge since Chihuahuas were wolves. Metal working and money probably started in the Middle East but they had to start somewhere.

Europe can be defined geographically; it is surrounded by seas on three sides and on its eastern side is connected by land to Asia. Though at first sight it seems open to the east apart from the low Ural Mountains all is not as it looks. Starting from the Arctic sea the climate is extreme and the land to barren for large scale people movement. Further on the dense Siberian forests and freezing winters have until recently also acted as a barrier to movement. Below the forest you have the open steppe that stretches from the Ukraine to Manchuria. Without using a boat, moving through freezing conditions or moving through featureless forest the relatively narrow steppe route was the best way to enter Europe. I say enter because most movement along this route seems to have been by nomadic tribes from the east pushing west.

There is a distinct language divide between the three main European language groups and their neighbours which make them unintelligible to each other. None of the peoples on the other side of the Mediterranean or Aegean Sea (Greek for the Aegean) speak a European language from one of the three main groups. Slavic speakers on the eastern side of Europe stretch roughly to the Caucasus Mountains the Caspian Sea and the Volga if we ignore sparsely populated Siberia. Beyond that stretching roughly below the bottom of the Siberian forest are spoken a variety of languages unknown in Europe.

All large cities around the world tend to look very much alike but why? The reason is that the rest of the world has modelled itself on Europe and its huge offshoot America. The Chinese leader does not walk about in traditional Chinese clothes he wears European style clothes. Because of this it is easy to forget just how different European culture (varies by country but not by much) once was compared to the worlds other main cultures. If the Arabs had conquered Europe in the 8c and converted its population to Islam Europe may have become like North Africa. Would Chinese civilisation or Japanese or whoever have ever started an industrial revolution? European culture and civilisation has been adopted in varying degrees by the whole world which is what makes Europe distinct from all the rest. I also think that European civilisation has passed its peak and is slowly going the way of all previous civilisations.

gebhk
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by gebhk » 27 Jun 2020 09:52

The rescued crewmen supposedly settled locally. However, there is no evidence for this at all.
I have heard that story too, and not just in Cornwall. I concur that, historically, there seems to have been little population movement in the West Country. As late as the seventies, the folk we visited frequently in South Somerset were only half-joking when they said that you could tell from which village someone came just by looking at their face. The point being, that in a static population it takes much longer for an addition to the genetic
pool to be diluted. However, just because a population is static does not mean it is isolated as the devastating plagues in Cornwall even as long ago as the 13000's showed. One could even speculate whimsically that in a static population, the excitement and romance of a traveller from afar could make the women particularly 'vulnerable' to the charms of visitors..... :)

On the other hand, Cornwall probably has more sunshine than most other parts of Britain so it is not unreasonable to assume that a gene designed to protect the skin from the negative effects of sunlight could arise there spontaneously and give the owner selective advantage and so ensure its survival and even spread. I am surprised that, given the tools we have at our disposal these days for investigating heredity, as you say no one has investigated this phenomenon satisfactorily.

In any event, thanks for sharing. It is these complexities at the micro-level that make the world such an interesting place and history such an interesting (and relevant!) subject.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by Sid Guttridge » 27 Jun 2020 21:05

Hi Steve,

Your Wahabist might indeed be descended from Nubian slaves as well as Europeans. That merely serves to emphasise my point that Europe is not a discrete unit. It is part of a wider whole.

Cities originated outside "Europe" and civilization arrived there from the Middle East. What particular features of cities are you proposing are peculiarly European innovations? It won't be fundamentals like roads, buildings, public spaces, sewers, plumbing, etc.. Whatever you may come up with will almost certainly be add-ons to these (i.e. electricity).

My point about Christianity is not the one you took up. My point is that Christianity, which is often advanced as a defining feature of Europeaness, in fact comes from outside any definition of Europe I have ever heard of. Again, it shows that "Europe" is just part of a wider whole.

Arabic numerals, particularly the "0", do owe a lot to India, where there are hundreds of millions of people of Indo-European descent who again live outside any definition of Europe I have ever seen.

Yup, Islamic civilization was built on pre-existing civilizations. But then so was "European" civilization with its Christianity, alphabet, algebra, etc., etc..

The land mass I was referring to that was shared by your Wahabist was not the Asian, but the Eurasian. "Europe" and "Asia" are just parts of a single land mass.

Yup, Aramaic is a Semitic language. It is also the language the New Testament was originally written in. Aramaic is certainly not "European" and yet the New Testament is advanced by some as a corner stone of "Europeaness".

Certainly Europe can be defined geographically. So can any area. What is more difficult is to define it as a continent when special pleading is required to include it with the others.

All the things you describe as defining Europe's eastern border do not, in fact, do so. All your freezing winters, featureless pine forests and open steppe run for thousands of miles. They form part of the continuum of Eurasia, not a defining line of separation. (I suggest your use of the word "featureless" is quite telling here). As you say, for millennia the steppes in particular have provided an avenue for, not obstacle to, horsed tribal movements from East to West.

There are unintelligible language divides within Europe as well. (Indeed, mutual unintelligibility might be regarded as a defining characteristic of a language). Your restriction to the three major language groups excludes people like the Sami, Basques, Maltese, Etruscans, Magyars, Szekely, Estonians, Old Prussians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Finns, Georgians, Greeks, Albanians, assorted Turkic people's and others who have long lived in what I assume you are defining as "Europe".

And where do the Tokarians, Galatians, Iranians and assorted Indian peoples, all of whom also speak Indo-European languages, sit?

Does the Chinese leader tend to wear entirely "European style clothes"? If he has a silk tie, that won't be distinctly European. If he has a cotton shirt, that won't be uniquely European. Neither silk nor cotton originate in Europe. Nor was woolen material exclusive to Europe. Surely this only goes to show that "Europe" was so prone to outside influences that we have forgotten many of them.

The Chinese were on the edge of an industrial revolution a millennium or more before it emerged in Britain. They could easily have been the first. They invented gunpowder, durable paper, printing, paper money, etc., etc.. Why might they not have kicked off the industrial revolution? They and the Japanese are certainly proving adept at exploiting it and are now probably as innovative as the West. Just because the industrial revolution started in Western Eurasia doesn't mean it could only have started there. Indeed, 1,500 years ago the smart money might well have been on China.

Cheers,

Sid.

gebhk
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Re: Churchill - Katyn - Appeasement

Post by gebhk » 28 Jun 2020 09:07

"Whiteness" is, in any case, another artificial construct. With the possible exception of Albinos, there are no white or black people, just a broad palette of shades of brown.
Now who said "We are the white people. Europeans are just 'orrible pink"?

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