Re: Guest Post - premodern Europe

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Link is broken - it should go here.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:14 AM
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Can this be one of those threads where we nitpick the endpoints of various time-periods in European history? For my money, the 1700s is really late early modern, not premodern. And, once you get past 1789, its not even late early modern anymore.

Actually, I think "modern" is kind of an unhelpful word, now that we are in, what, the post-postmodern era?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:20 AM
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If you're interested in premodern Europe, why are you reading about the doyenne of a late eighteenth/early nineteenth century salon?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:23 AM
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Mary Wortley Montagu: Early advocate of smallpox innoculation!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:27 AM
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2 -- Ha, I wasn't expecting to be pwn'd with that one. BOOM here's our discussion. I don't think there's any very meaningful sense in which "premodern" conceivably goes past 1789, or even 1648, even in Central Europe. HOWEVER I am guessing that LW thinks of "modernity" as corresponding to the second industrial revolution.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:28 AM
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I would put "premodern" as before 1453. I think what LW is really talking about is the Enlightenment.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:32 AM
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Little bitchery was invented in the late modern period.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:35 AM
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Setting aside pedantry about the entirely subjective periodisation of European history, PLEASE...

LW should read the Memoirs of John MacDonald. MacDonald was separated from his parents as a child in the aftermath of the 1745 Jacobite rising, made his way to Edinburgh and found his way into service, rising to be a footman or valet. In this job, he travelled through much of Europe and to India, before settling down to run a hotel in Spain. Fascinating, fast paced narrative of mid 18th century life, from the viewpoint of a servant observing the gentry from the outside.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:39 AM
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Little bitchery is eternal.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:39 AM
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Heh, the nitpicking in 2 was my first instinct, too.

Re: 7

What was scholasticism but centuries of little bitchery, in Latin?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:41 AM
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Inside the gentry, it's too dark to observe


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:51 AM
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Has everyone seen that picture of ~400K people crossing the Bosporus? So fucking awesome.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 8:52 AM
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It's not even nitpicking!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 9:26 AM
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13: Did you just nitpick whether or not it was nitpicking?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 9:45 AM
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It's not real correspondence, but you might be interested in Persian Letters.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 9:56 AM
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Would "pretopless" work better?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 9:58 AM
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I have to go to Turkey on a business trip at the end of the month. If I'm killed as a consequence of the street protests, I promise that my ghost will put an update here.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:04 AM
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My mom's in Istanbul right now (she's taking a tour of Turkey). I just talked to her and it sounds like everything has calmed down. Or the tour guide is blowing smoke to keep everyone calm. Who knows?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:09 AM
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I've already been pwned by Chopper's mom. Fuck it, I'm going to Syria right now.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:13 AM
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18: Aww, well. Dragons live forever, but not so little protests.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:14 AM
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The touristy parts of Istanbul aren't where the protests are happening, as far as I can tell from reports on the protests.

We went to Istanbul last year and really liked it. After having been in Western Europe for a few months the people reminded us of New Yorkers. It's also up there with SF or Seattle in terms of an amazing location to put a city, and it's the first genuinely old place I've been to (not having seen Rome, Athens, Jerusalem, etc.)

I find Turkish politics really interesting, though I'm not too knowledgable. As far as I can work out, the AK party is about as religious as the democrats. The recent move to ban alcohol sales in stores after 10pm puts them on the creeping Islamofascist path to maybe one day being as bad as Pennsylvania.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:31 AM
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Does Turkey have bar owners trying to protect market share also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:46 AM
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I got caught up in a street protest in Istanbul back around the summer of 92 IIRC. Police were storming the street and beating up protesters near restaurant I was in at the time (there was no sign of protesting in the area at the time I went in). Some seriously bloodied protesters/bystanders took refuge in the restaurant and the cops, in full riot gear and out in strength thankfully passed it by.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:50 AM
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I guess I can't blame my failure to proof read my comment on the lack of preview, oh well...


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:50 AM
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Pennsylvanian bar owners understand that if you let Pennsylvanians buy liquor at the grocery store, they'll drink it all sitting in their car in the parking lot at the grocery store.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:51 AM
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12: I got this.


Posted by: Opinionated Leonidas | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:53 AM
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25: Speaking of drinking in cars, back in the day (maybe still?) Texas A&M was very strict with regard to booze on campus. But then Texas allowed open containers in cars so the thing to do was to go out for a drive to get drunk. Thought of that when I recently heard about this law. A bill approved by the Texas Legislature on Sunday allows students with proper licenses to keep guns in their vehicles on college campuses.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 11:02 AM
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27: I think now in Texas you have to keep booze in your trunk.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 11:04 AM
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Texas A+M is definitely the weirdest campus I've ever been to. Everything is on a gigantic scale and incredibly far apart, so it feels like some sort of Soviet monument set in the middle of nowhere. And the very very tiny "college town" part of it is basically done up like a set from a 50s western with a bunch of saloons. Driving around endlessly on empty roads getting drunk somehow makes sense in the setting.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 11:18 AM
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We drank in cars, regardless of the law. If anybody wants to write my biography, a good title for the chapters covering 1987 to 1992 might be, "What Open Container Law?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 11:19 AM
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Or, if you want to put a positive spin on it, "The Years of Putting my Trust in the 4th Amendment."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 11:26 AM
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21: I find Turkish politics really interesting, though I'm not too knowledgable.

Turkey's been one of those things I'd zoned out on over the decades. I've just read Josh Marshall's summary, extremely helpful for those, like me, who hadn't kept up at all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 12:13 PM
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Regarding Turkey, this post from the NYT in early May was interesting.

It seem that there's a push to change museums, that had formerly been mosques (and before that churches), back to mosques. Some have undergone this change. Others are in the planning stages. There is even enough interest in resanctifying Hagia Sophia that the matter has been sent to a legislative committee. (Whether the move is to let the idea die or live is not clear.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 12:17 PM
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Isn't Texas A&M the entity with which Phil Gramm claimed to have had a "life-long love affair"? I'm a pretty easygoing, accepting person, he lied, but that seems a perversity too far for me.

As for [something]-modern Europe, this book looked pretty neat at the Strand the other day.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 12:47 PM
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As far as I can work out, the AK party is about as religious as the democrats. The recent move to ban alcohol sales in stores after 10pm puts them on the creeping Islamofascist path to maybe one day being as bad as Pennsylvania.

They're considerably worse than that. The large cities have the most liberal rules concerning alcohol sales; smaller municipalities and rural areas are much more restrictive. (The town to which my parents retired, about 90min. outside Istanbul, is entirely dry, by law.) And the policy regime is not in equilibrium. Regulations are much more tight than than were in 2003 and the new ban on sales after 10pm is just another increment in this ratcheting process. (My parent's town only became dry about five years ago.)

Alcohol restrictions are just one front in the AKP's gradualist push towards a state-imposed social conservativism: There are new abortion restrictions, new legal restrictions on the availability of Caesarean sections, police harassment of women wearing "inappropriate" clothing, and blasphemy prosecutions by the federal government.


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 12:48 PM
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The touristy parts of Istanbul aren't where the protests are happening, as far as I can tell from reports on the protests.

Here's a photo of protesters standing on top of one of the buildings in Taksim Square; while it's probably not quite as touristy as the old city, it's still one of the main attractions.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 1:16 PM
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35: Certainly you know more about this, but just to clarify you're saying that the AK in rural areas is more religious than the Democrats in comparably rural areas of the United States? We, of course, have plenty of dry counties here.

(I'm happy to be convinced here, I'm curious and don't have a horse in this race. Also obviously I'm against the AK party, they're center right, and the only place I'd support a center right party is in the US where there's no major left-of-center parties.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 1:32 PM
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What's your point, UPETGI9? A party that has failed to repeal laws that were passed 90 years ago is objectively the equivalent of a party that makes it a major goal to pass and enforce new such laws?

Also, where are the Democrats whose base consists of religious rural people? There's the "Black belt" of the Deep South, and some parts of Minnesota I guess.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 1:38 PM
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For example, it seemed to me (and again I could be totally wrong) that a huge part of the controversy over an AKP president was the idea of having a president who was personally religious. In the US you can't be a major party figure without being religious.

Turkey is one of the only countries which is comparably religious to the US. (Lots of countries are way less religious and lots way more.) So it's interesting to me to see how things are different there and how they're similar.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 1:45 PM
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I mean Turkey's 20 years ago is, if I understand things correctly, essentially a French-style officially secular state. That's a really fascinating combination with a population that's comparably religious to the US. I can't imagine what the reaction in the US would be to say a cross necklace ban in schools. I just find the whole situation very interesting. (And that's not even getting into the Turkey/EU situation which is fascinating too.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 1:55 PM
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Certainly you know more about this, but just to clarify you're saying that the AK in rural areas is more religious than the Democrats in comparably rural areas of the United States? We, of course, have plenty of dry counties here.

Yes. In rural areas you can find members of the AKP openly advocating imposition of Sharia (as did Erdogan in public statements in the 90s, before the AKP leadership adopted a more rhetorically moderate stance), so the appropriate comparison is more to politicians in the US who advocate theocracy.

But really, it's not illuminating to focus on alcohol policy here, as that's the most innocuous use the AKP has made of state power. As I tried to imply in 35.2, the Islamists have been engaged in a broad-front social conservative push for the last decade; it's reached the point where their current policies are difficult to reconcile with basic standards of civil liberty.

And this isn't even to touch on the increasingly authoritarian nature of the current administration. (One theme in much of the commentary on the protests is that non-state media is barely covering them; this is self-censorship resulting from a number of prosecutions of journalists over the last decade for crimes such as "insulting the state".)


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:00 PM
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So, for example, not only is the Hagia Sophia a museum and not a mosque (as it should be), it's illegal for visitors to pray there! The status quo ante before the AKP came to power is really much more secular than the US would ever consider.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:01 PM
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I certainly agree that the increasing authoritarianism seems very troubling.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:03 PM
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I know nothing whatsoever about Turkish politics, but I offer three nuggets for discussion:

1. Pennsylvania's legislature recently passed the Castle Doctrine, extending the zone in which a homeowner may shoot to kill an intruder to outside the home.

2. Our legislature also passed a Day of Prayer resolution and a Day of Fasting resolution.

3. At the national level, the Affordable Care Act includes an NRA-backed provision that hamstrings doctors and others from gathering or analyzing data about firearms ownership or usage. According to some top injury-prevention researchers I heard at a recent forum, this provision will have a major effect on their ability to track and analyze the causes and factors of gun violence.

As mentioned, I don't know enough to know how the US political situation differs from Turkey's. I do know that it's often harder to see incremental changes when they are closer to home.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:06 PM
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That "as it should be" was ambiguously placed. I meant that the current status is correct.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:08 PM
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For example, it seemed to me (and again I could be totally wrong) that a huge part of the controversy over an AKP president was the idea of having a president who was personally religious.

That might have been accurate when the AKP first assumed power, but open religiosity among politicians is now a non-issue and laïcité as a political principle is pretty much dead.


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:09 PM
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Back OT, the book linked in 8 sounds very interesting. I often enjoy items written with that double-consciousness lens.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:11 PM
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Also, where are the Democrats whose base consists of religious rural people? There's the "Black belt" of the Deep South, and some parts of Minnesota I guess.

Also New Mexico and Alaska. Still, these are all unusual areas where local political patterns are shaped by complicated histories and demographics, rather than being the norm as is apparently the case for the AKP in Turkey.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:23 PM
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I also see that some of my info is out of date. For example, it seems that in the 6 months since I was reading up on this stuff head scarfs have been legalized for lawyers.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:26 PM
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So discusson on the post on "premodern Europe" is all about Turkey. Nice, guys.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:28 PM
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Turkey is mentioned in the post.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:35 PM
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Ataturk is a good object lesson in how sometimes you just need the personal rule of a left-wing authoritarian.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:40 PM
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Not-really-OT: I have a whole different perspective on lw's guest posts now that I can picture him holding Ace.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:49 PM
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So discusson on the post on "premodern Europe" is all about Turkey. Nice, guys.

Anything to avert the "Pre-modern means pre-1650", "No, it means pre-1550", "Maybe in England it does, not in Spain" discussion seems good to me.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 2:50 PM
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2.2: Modern really does have a meaning distinct from "contemporary" or "like what we have now."

The modern era begins around the time that people start drawing a distinction between the "moderns" and the "ancients." Modernity is any civilization with the attitude that we have the power to - and do - constantly remake our world, and that we are defined more by the things around us that are new, than by the things around us that are old.

So we may have occasion to name other eras after the modern one, aside from obvious degenerate cases like "postmodern" (the "metaphysics" of eras), if something additional new element starts to move us away from the modern attitude, even if modernity is not thus repudiated.

For example, even though we distinguish the agricultural and industrial eras, we don't thereby assert that industrial eras don't have or radically depend on agriculture.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 3:33 PM
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I'm not sure what I'd think pre-modern Europe would mean absent additional context. European history is so decked out in period names I'd expect someone to say "medieval", for instance, instead of pre-modern.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 3:33 PM
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As for when the modern era arrives, the future has always been unevenly distributed, hasn't it?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 3:35 PM
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With precision bombing we should be able to pick the exact age we want to bomb Europe back to, should it come to that.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 3:40 PM
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56 gets it right. As to 58, I pick the Mesolithic, but I do have a fondness for the large reindeer herds of the Paleolithic.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 3:45 PM
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I don't know when the modern period started, but the odds of any post-1000 year being modern are inversely related to odds of Turkey being a world power in that year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 4:12 PM
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Personally, if I had to choose to be any contemporary Turkish leader, I would choose to be this one, who is pretty much living my dreams.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 4:23 PM
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Actually, Moby, I think that's pretty wrong. Most historians I'm familiar with start the "Early Modern" era around 1400 (not worth arguing over, but it has to do with early forms of capitalism, empiricism, and humanism), and Turkey in its Ottoman form was pretty much the gigantic terrifying Other to Europe until 1850, conservatively.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 4:38 PM
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It was certainly an Other, but after Lepanto it wasn't that terrifying. They got beat by the junior varsity part of Europe. And 1850 was 50 years after Napoleon took Egypt from them without too much trouble from anybody but the British.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 4:47 PM
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Turkey in its Ottoman form was pretty much the gigantic terrifying Other to Europe until 1850, conservatively

OI! THAT'S WHEN THEY LOST THE PLOT, RIGHT ENOUGH.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ENGLISH DEFENCE LEAGUE | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 4:48 PM
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I'd have said Vienna in 1683, not Lepanto, and put the let's stop worrying about the Ottomans much at all point at about 1770, not 1850, but otherwise OK to 63.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 4:52 PM
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Someone on Twitter (Flying Rodent?) was making fun of the so-called Scottish Defence League. "What is that? 7 Rangers fans and 5 visiting English guys?"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 4:59 PM
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Anyway, my argument is that there was a fairly constant, if not exactly linear, drop in the threat that the Ottoman Empire made to Europe as modernity approached.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 5:14 PM
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My only association with the word "Lepanto" is the Diplomacy opening.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 5:17 PM
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"The Years of Putting my Trust in the 4th Amendment."

Yeah, about that...


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 5:19 PM
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Well, 67 is wrong, or at least wrong in that "modernity" was clearly approaching by around 1400-1600 on most historians' definition of the term. I guess if you want to say that the threat to (Western) Europe from the Ottoman Empire (much of the East was already conquered) decreased somewhat after the late 16th century and a whole lot after the late 17th century, that's fine but not that interesting.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 5:24 PM
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It's more interesting to me than arguing over whether modernity started in 1500 or 1700.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 5:27 PM
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But, going back to 1000 was clearly too far, as noted by all those places already conquered.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 5:31 PM
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So discusson on the post on "premodern Europe" is all about Turkey. Nice, guys.

Be fair: also Pennsylvania.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 5:32 PM
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And Texas A&M! We covered a surprising number of biases.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 5:33 PM
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Also, indirectly, why you drive the speed limit if you're violating the open container law.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 5:35 PM
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Plus I linked to a video of Turkmenbashi Jr driving a Veyron and "winning" a staged motor race in Turkmenistan. Your collective failure to recognize the brilliance of that link has led to deadly sniping with M Hick over the Battle of Lepanto.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 6:03 PM
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77

Clearly the AKP is taking its cue from the famously tyrannical 2010 Conservative/Liberal government of Baden-Württemberg, which passed a "no alcohol sales from 10pm to 5am" law while I was living there.

I'm being overly flip here, and I'm completely ignorant about the history and so on, but, especially given the repression of religiosity from Ataturk till at least a decade ago, this sort of thing seems like, well, more or less how one expects party-based democratic politics to work. Intimidation of journalists and other attacks against the ability to vote out incumbents is a very different matter, of course. Moreover, wouldn't one expect that the core of the party leadership and supporters, those who date back to when it really was facing a great deal of repression, would tend to be much more hard-core than newer adherents, and that as it attempts to maintain its appeal as a governing party with a positive platform beyond the dismantling of, e.g., "no headscarves as a lawyer" rules, it'll be forced to moderate its positions to a certain degree?

The response to the park protest seems awful and excessive and brutal, but also, uh, kind of exactly how Western governments have consistently responded to protests in the last few years, no?

Anyway, feel free to tell me why I'm missing important stuff here, Lambchop & others.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 6:55 PM
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Yeah, I'm actually confused too about what is going on. My Turkish acquaintances posting to Facebook about how the government is under-reporting the number of people at the protests and whatnot is not really giving me a clear sense of whether what's happening in Istanbul is more significant and likely to lead to dramatic change than, say, Occupy Wall Street. And the complaints about how terrible it is that the Turkish state is allowing cultural landmarks to be bulldozed so that shopping malls can be built, and other remarks on those lines, is also not giving me much understanding of the level of outrage.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 6:59 PM
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complaints... is? I should save writing long sentences for when I'm less tired.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 6:59 PM
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Complaints is many and various, and my feet are cold.


Posted by: Aquarius | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 7:02 PM
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There's actually a serious point in my flip reference to Baden-Württemberg: as I understand it, the law wasn't about crusading Christian Democrats trying to impose good morals on the godless cityfolk, but an attempt to restore something like the status quo ante, which had been disrupted by the increasingly competitive, Americanized retail sector over the last decade or so. Not long ago, buying beer at a grocery store at 11pm would have been impossible, not because of any law, but simply because no grocery store would be open that late. But now, with megachains like Rewe opening up huge stores open until midnight near city centers, you had a real shift in the availability of alcohol to folks who're already well-into a night of drinking. The law was an attempt to move the alcohol availability back to what it had been, while still permitting the grocery shopping. Or so it seemed to me at the time.

Now, I have no idea if something like this mechanism has anything to do with the AKP alcohol law. But I do know that Turkey's been experiencing some massive shifts in economic and social structure, and it wouldn't surprise me if part of that was a shift in the retail availability of alcohol. So it certainly wouldn't surprise me if this law were more conservative than reactionary. But then, I have no idea, knowing next to nothing about Turkey.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 7:04 PM
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74: We covered a surprising number of biases.

I'm not sure if the i s a brilliant typo, or intentional.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 7:09 PM
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I'm not a very close observer of Turkish politics, but I do feel confident in saying that it's not conservationist impulse. It's not as if Istanbul was until recently a sleepy city.

More generally, fundamentalism is a relatively recent form of Islam in Turkey, even in rural areas. For example: Twenty years ago headscarves were rare in Istanbul, and the mark of a rural transplant; now they're ubiquitous. This isn't a return to recently abandoned mores, unless we extend "recent" to include the Ottoman era. Even the style is different: the traditional scarf is brightly patterned; the fundamentalist version is plain white. It's a new movement, and the social change its leaders are open about wanting to effect isn't rhetorically cast as a return to a status quo ante westernization or the like.

Some of the anti-government complaints are probably misplaced. Istanbul has seen a lot of ugly development in the last decade or so, but that likely would have happened under any administration (the main secular parties are plenty cozy with business). And some of the anti-government sentiment can be chalked up to "secular panic" on the part of people who don't have any experience living under a regime that's alien to them, exacerbated by the suddenness with which public religiosity has become the norm.

But that said, it's also the case that political Islam in Turkey has been not just open about having an agenda of social transformation, but also increasingly ambitious in those goals and increasingly muscular in the use of the state apparatus in pursuit of them. I don't see any reason to think that a movement of that sort has an inner tendency to moderate itself after the generation of leadership that brought them into power departs, as 77 suggests.


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 7:55 PM
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All fair points, but I want to push on this a bit:

I don't see any reason to think that a movement of that sort has an inner tendency to moderate itself after the generation of leadership that brought them into power departs, as 77 suggests.

I wasn't suggesting an inner tendency, precisely, but more of an induced one, brought about by two separate mechanisms.

The first is straightforward electoral competition: to my total outsider eyes, it seems like AKP's early victories were driven partly by enthusiasm for their ultimate aims, but also largely as a vote against the existing regime. Insofar as they've already succeeded in dismantling the most extremely illiberal aspects of Ataturkish laïcité, and are now openly implementing a more extreme set of policies, they're going to be less popular. Can they maintain a governing majority by pandering exclusively to the fundamentalist minority? Maybe, especially if they deliver on bread-and-butter issues. But it's a strategy that leaves them vulnerable to challenges from less extreme parties.

The second mechanism is about personnel. Repression radicalizes, and the current leadership grew up in a climate where repression was quite real, and even political success no guarantee of immunity against the army. The younger generation, while perhaps demographically more likely to be religiously radical, won't have had quite that same experience, no? It's easier to be a good procedural democrat when your early political education didn't involve having the rules be consistently ignored in order to stamp out your movement.

And with that I'll stop speculating on something about which I have absolutely no knowledge, for real.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 9:35 PM
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Back on the original post, I don't really have specific recommendations, but lw, if you have access to an academic library and a bit of time to use it, I would recommend looking at some of the titles in the New Approaches to European History series. The books themselves are exactly not what you're looking for as they're histories, mostly topical, covering early modern and modern European history, but as textbooks they tend to have decently-sized "further reading" sections, which almost certainly will include some mix of biographies and primary source compilations (like correspondence). That's how I'd start to build my reading list, anyway.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:41 PM
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Can it really be true that the white headscarf is now common in Istanbul, and not just as a sign of rural backwardness? Pretty shocking.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 2-13 10:53 PM
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but after Lepanto it wasn't that terrifying.

Possibly not so obvious if you lived in Vienna in 1683.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 3-13 2:21 AM
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87 pwned 24 hrs ago. Need coffee,

Juan Cole has an informative short piece on Turkish politics today.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 3-13 3:16 AM
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OK, I missed the thread. Preindustrial instead of premodern, I guess. Thanks for the kind corrections.

Nice to have someone knowledgeable about Turkey stop in. The bit about C-sections and abortions is especially interesting. Is health care paid for mostly by the state, or are there significant private actors? Beyoglu is pretty nice, the rest of Istanbul that I've seen is fantastic walking neighborhoods. My ideal life definitely includes a month or two of every year in Turkey.

Thanks for the reading pointers, chris and fake accent.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 3-13 6:15 AM
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These are probably early and late, but Gutenberg has both Hakluyt and Mary Somerville's autobiography, and they have global and quotidian detail. Also very fond of _The Rational Toyshop_.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-13 6:09 PM
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I know the thread's dead, and it was OT anyway, but clicking on the table of contents to the FREE ISSUE of 'Government & Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics' revealed this article on "The Emerging Predominant Party System in Turkey". Possibly of interest!


Posted by: trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 4-13 10:56 AM
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