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Thread: The official "Why no Spain, Inca, Zulu, Tannu Tuva, Bhutan, etc" Thread

  1. #2921
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    Quote Originally Posted by Israelite76 View Post
    But we can compare the Nazis with our standards
    Obviously.
    I always thought the Mongols were far worse than the Germans personally
    The episode began bloodily and became constructive. It came to play a unique/reforming role in the history of civilization in Eurasia.

  2. #2922
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlicer View Post
    I agree to some extent. I always thought the Mongols were far worse than the Germans personally. They virtually wiped out entire kingdoms of people (Xi Xia/Khwarezm). If they had the kinds of technology the Germans had, they could have and would have eliminated entire populations. Their foreign policy was basically "surrender or die."
    But, you do realize that the Mongols did have the technology the Germans had... at least, comparable technology for the day.

    Lots of people seem to think that the Mongol Horde was made up entirely of Mongols. It was, I suppose, in some respects. The Mongol army itself was actually a huge traveling city, made up of a lot of Mongol warriors, but also artisans and carpenters and lots of other people... including weapons makers and military trainers. A large portion of the army and "city" were actually people from the various lands the Mongols had captures. They joined the army (mostly) willingly, and actually got paid for their service (slaves also existed, but they didn't fight). Among those people were the best weapons makers of all the lands the Mongols controlled... and they controlled a lot of land. They used cannon from China and large catapults from the Middle East. At their height, they were at the head of martial technology.

    And to be clear: they did eliminate entire populations. However, the "surrender or die" doesn't translate so well. Though they are seen as mindless murderers (thanks Iran, Poland, Austria, and the Pope), their primary business was trade. They built huge empires in order to gain the profits of trading between China and the Middle East and eventually Europe. Thus, if a kingdom/culture was already willing to trade and not violate the (probably fairly strict) rules demanded by the Mongols, they would likely be left alone, as there were plenty of other kingdoms which didn't want to play nicely. So, "surrender or die" wasn't as accurate as "submit or die" or perhaps "obey or die"

    Notably: Genghis apparently had no interest in conquering Khwarezm (er... at the time that he did, at least). What he wanted was trade. One tactless Khwarezm governor decided to take offense and assaulted the Mongol ambassadors. This was seen as a huge insult. Contrary to the stereotype, Genghis held high standards for the treatment of ambassadors. In response, he basically wiped Khwarezm off the world, along with neighboring allies. In contrast, Moscow was left mostly untouched. It wasn't destroyed or even truly attacked. This is because it (through Ivan I) agreed to support trade and pay tribute. In the end, Moscow benefited from the Mongols far more than the Mongols benefited from it.

    In the end, this isn't so different from the three-word versions of the foreign policies employed by Rome, Alexander, Britain, or even the US.

  3. #2923
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtarget View Post
    {Snip Snip Hooray}
    The Mongolians also allowed certain nations, such as Tibet, to almost rule themselves. The only thing stopping the Tibetan empire from being totally free was a few Mongolians in place to make sure Tibet wasn't planning to revolt. Otherwise Tibet had full control of their nation. These Mongolians rarely did anything and helped Tibet way more than they hurt. So they weren't bad guys, but they did kill people, many people.

  4. #2924
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    Quote Originally Posted by PachaMinnie View Post
    So they weren't bad guys, but they did kill people, many people.
    Indeed, so long as you played along, all you really had to deal with was some occasional tribute (normally paid out of the profits you made from the trade they supplied) and a small contingent of Mongols who made sure you didn't start revolting or allying with their enemies. For that, you got access to Mongol trade routes, new technology, and protection from any other invaders. And the Mongols wouldn't force you to adopt their religion or force their government on you. They were pretty hands off so long as you paid your tribute and didn't insult them. For merciless overlords, you couldn't really expect much better.

    Yeah, in many ways it was like a global protection racket, and they didn't just defeat Khwarezm, they ruthlessly exterminated them. The resulting message is clear: be nice and you can go on with your lives, resist and we'll murder you, surrender during battle... and we'll flip a coin to figure out whether we let you live or kill you as a message to everyone else who might consider resisting.

  5. #2925
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    The episode began bloodily and became constructive. It came to play a unique/reforming role in the history of civilization in Eurasia.
    I am familiar with these arguments, but in the end I do not find them entirely convincing. I find the term "Pax Mongolica" especially farcical. The Mongols did not do anything that led to greater peace. Even if you argued that they did, this "peace" was built upon skyscrapers of skulls. The Mongols even fought among each other, which is why their "Empire" was actually split into several (consider the Yuan dynasty, the Il-Khans, Chagatai and the "golden horde"). The Mongol unification of much of Eurasia certainly did bolster trade and result in constructive interactions among diverse people, but at what cost? I recall reading in one book that their occupation of Afghanistan (previously under the Khwarezmian shah) wiped out a majority of the population. They did pretty bad to the aforementioned Xi Xia as well. Their massacres altered the demographics of the entire world through the swathes of destruction they cut through.

    I personally feel that their conquests were disproportionately beneficial to certain groups. Those that were beyond the scope of their conquests potentially gained a lot more from their "unification" of Central Asia. This translates especially to Western Europe, which is why you will see books a lot of the time like "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World." Those that were within their hordes' grasp, however? Not so much. Look at Russia. They were screwed for quite a long time because of the Mongol occupation, and even after the Mongols left they retained a lot of the brutal methods that the Mongols utilized. Look at China. The Khans' anti-agriculturalist, pro-pastoralist policies were devastating to China, and a large number of people died from their invasion and mismanagement. They also instituted ethnic rankings in their administration of China which, humorously enough considering how this conversation started, have obvious parallels to the Nazis. When they were finally booted out by the Ming dynasty, the Ming retained many of their ruthless policies (much like the Russian rulers did when they kicked the Mongols out). Owing to their mistreatment by foreigners, the Ming dynasty became a lot more isolationist than any Chinese dynasty had been previously.

    Yes, it's true: the Mongols weren't all bad. They did some good things, maybe even many good things. There are no such things as superlatives of "good" and "evil" in history. But in my personal opinion, the evil they did far outweigh the good.

    But, you do realize that the Mongols did have the technology the Germans had... at least, comparable technology for the day.
    This doesn't make sense. I was literally stating that if the Mongols had World War II technology, their "death count" would have been even greater than it was (their "kill count" is already enormous even without said technology).

    What he wanted was trade.
    In fact, Christopher J. Beckwith, in his book Empires of the Silk Road, makes a convincing argument that many of the groups of Central Asia, from Xiongnu to Turks to Scythians to Mongols and everything in between, just wanted trade. The book goes into detail about how these Central Asian civilizations are misunderstood. He notes, for example, that many "tribes" had a "comitatus" system. In this system, a large band of retainers pledged loyalty to a chief (or khan or kaghan or whatever else). In exchange, such retainers were often lavishly rewarded, which partly spurred the desire for trade. He cites numerous examples of this correlation. In a journey to India, the Chinese monk Xuanzang observed 200 ministers of the Western Turkish khan all wearing embroidered silk robes which had been obtained through trade. Kublai Khan's 12,000 bodyguards were likewise rewarded with silk robes, gems and all manner of other treasure. Mote's Imperial China 900-1800 draws many of the same conclusions. Mote takes particular issue toward Ming foreign policy with regard to the Mongols. He notes that the Ming fought pointlessly with Mongols for a long time, even though all the Mongols really wanted was trade. Once trade was in place, peace reigned on the frontier. And as I recall, Nicola di Cosmo's book Ancient China and its Enemies also comes to many of the same conclusions when discussing the Xiongnu.

    So yes, you're right. All Genghis Khan wanted in the case of Khwarezm was trade. Undoubtedly, the Khwarezmians provoked the war with the Mongols. But while the term "casus belli" exists in Latin, I have not come across a similar term to describe the justification for massacring virtually an entire population, including innocent civilians.. In the end it is not the killings that are particularly objectionable with the Mongols, but the sheer scope of their butchery. Stalin once said, "One death a tragedy, a million a statistic." Perhaps we have become desensitized to numbers, and so when we hear "killed a lot of people" or "killed millions of people," it doesn't sound so bad to us. The reality is, though, that it is very bad. The Mongols did a very bad thing. I am putting this in the simplest English possible to make the point clear.

    So, "surrender or die" wasn't as accurate as "submit or die"
    I hope you realize what a petty semantics argument this is. Really? How different is "submit" from "surrender?" If it makes you happy, I'll recant what I said and use the word submit instead, which essentially means the same thing.

  6. #2926
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtarget View Post
    they didn't just defeat Khwarezm, they ruthlessly exterminated them.
    Sounds like genocide to me. Are you guys really saying the murders the Nazis did were worse than the murders the Mongols did? isn't murder murder? The religious fervor of the Aztecs isn't any different than the brainwashed Nazis. They just seem worse because there isn't centuries of time to dull the effects of their evil. I'm not saying the Nazis aren't as bad as people say, they are, but downplaying other crimes just to make the Nazis into the ultimate evil is sick.

  7. #2927
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicRatlhead51 View Post
    Sounds like genocide to me.
    Er... Yes, but "genocide" has additional connotations. The Mongols were actually a surprisingly racially/culturally/religiously tolerant group. They didn't really kill people because of their race or beliefs. They killed them because they didn't bow to demands.

    So, the effect is the same: the murder of a culture. The motivation, however, is different. Genghis didn't care about the race of the Khwarezm. He just cared that they insulted him.

    Quote Originally Posted by VicRatlhead51 View Post
    Are you guys really saying the murders the Nazis did were worse than the murders the Mongols did? isn't murder murder?
    This is ranging far off topic, but the quick answer is: Yes and No. End result is the same, motivation is different. The Nazi systematically killed a race based on prejudice (and the need for a scapegoat), with the goal of removing their culture from the world. The Mongols removed a kingdom from the world, with the goal of punishing a king (a shah, technically) and setting an example for other nearby kings. In the latter, the motivation was political, in the former, the motivation was based almost entirely on hatred.

    Yeah, the end result is similar, but I still find the Nazi's motivations to be more morally corrupt. To continue the comparison, I find the actions of the Aztecs to be less corrupt than the Mongols, as they were driven by religion, and while I don't support the use of religion as some excuse for murder, I accept that the psychology behind it is less clear. The Aztecs are no worse than the Christians in Europe who (at least pretended to) murder people in the "Holy Land" due to their religion.

  8. #2928
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlicer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    So, "surrender or die" wasn't as accurate as "submit or die"
    I hope you realize what a petty semantics argument this is. Really? How different is "submit" from "surrender?" If it makes you happy, I'll recant what I said and use the word submit instead, which essentially means the same thing.
    I suppose I didn't make the point clearly enough. Here, let me be more explicit:

    I felt submit was more accurate than surrender, because surrendering was not enough. The policy employed by the Mongols in the height of their empire was that cities who did as the Mongols asked without military involvement were allowed quite a bit of lenience, even to the point of entirely avoiding any sort of occupation. The moment you put up any armed resistance, even surrender might not be enough to let you keep your life.

    Nearly every single city in Khwarezm surrendered to the Mongol army. Every single one (that I have read about, there may be a few exceptions) was still emptied and murdered. Merv is the classical example: it had a small garrison which fought for a while, then gave up and surrendered, with the agreement that they would not be killed if they accepted defeat and Mongol control. After the surrender, the Mongol army killed everyone.

    This is seen by Europeans (and most everyone else) as deceitful and evil behavior. It seems that Mongols basically believed that the past insults by the Khwarezm leaders against diplomats had removed any need to be honest or fair in their dealings. For this, millions of people lost their lives and what had been a rather impressive kingdom/culture was almost entirely removed from the world. I don't know if I can think of any other examples of a culture being so completely wiped from history. That, in itself, is a worrisome, troubling thing.

    The treatment of Khwarezm was an important display of Mongol foreign policy. It was a message to the rest of the world: If you insult/mistreat the Mongols, you will not receive mercy, and the Mongols do not recognize the value of a proportional response. Is that good? No. Honorable? No. Fair? Absolutely not. However, it was an excellent policy for empire building and after the destruction of Khwarezm, the Mongols had a far easier time invading other areas, as they often surrendered as soon as the army appeared.

    To bring this back on topic a bit, I have found dozens of instances of Civ players using this exact same behavior, despite the fact that the AI does not recognize the impact of such actions. How many people have utterly destroyed a civ --even to the point of razing cities instead of taking control of them-- simply because they entered into some small scale battle with you or exerted cultural pressure on one of your cities? I'm not trying to say that these people have evil tendencies, the point here is that it's a naturally-discovered strategy for building strong, large empires. That doesn't make it good or right, it is just a description of what it is.

  9. #2929
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    When I stated that their foreign policy was "Surrender or Die" above, I was speaking more broadly about entire states or kingdoms surrendering. I understand what you are saying though, and I agree with parts of your analysis.

    As I said before though, I don't find one justification for massacre more morally corrupt than the other. Whether you are murdering innocent people because of their race or because of their state's refusal to serve you, you are still murdering innocent people. I have heard that "the path to hell is paved with good intentions." To me it doesn't really matter what their justification was. The ruthlessness displayed by the Mongols was unparalleled and personally I find them more destructive than even the Nazis.

    The Mongols weren't as benevolent as you're saying either. When it came to Xi Xia for example, they occupied the country and used it as a stepping stone to invade Jin. Or perhaps it's more appropriate to say they used Xi Xia like toilet paper. From Mote's Imperial China:

    "[After being snubbed by Jin, the Xi Xia ruler] made peace with the Mongols and offered them an alliance against the Jin. Until 1217, the two nations collaborated in annual wars. The Mongols looked upon the Xia primarily as a source of good mounted warriors to be deployed at their discretion. They made annual levies for troops that the Xia found difficult to meet. In 1217, the Xia refused to supply the fighting units demanded, and the Mongols sent an army to punish them for insubordination. The capital was surrounded for several months before the Mongols withdrew."

    Later...

    "In 1221, the great Mongol general Prince Mukhali, Genghis Khan's viceroy for the China front, drove eastward across Xi Xia territory with a vast army en route to attack the Jin capital, now withdrawn to Kaifeng (the old Northern Song capital) in Henan Province. For the next two years, the Mongols made themselves at home in Xia territory, constantly demanding troops to join their command, and behaving so oppressively toward the Tangut population that anger was aroused against the Emperor Shenzong, who was blamed for the disastrous consequences of the alliance with the Mongols. Late in 1223, popular resentment forced his abdication.

    The new Emperor had little choice but to change policies. He again placed his nation in alliance with the Jurchens against the Mongols."

    I'll sum up the rest, but it should be obvious: The Xi Xia were conquered and exterminated by Genghis Khan.

    Here we have an example where the Mongols abused their own ally. The Xi Xia had not even been their subordinate, but the Mongols treated them as if they were their own demesne, occupied their territory and committed so many abuses that Xi Xia essentially were forced to try to oust them. So in reality, the Mongols really had no qualms with occupying those that had agreed to deal with them. Unlike with Khwarezm, with Xi Xia I think it is fair to say that the Mongols instigated war and despite this carried out a slaughter anyways. The Xi Xia campaign was also when Genghis Khan died.

    To bring this back on topic a bit, I have found dozens of instances of Civ players using this exact same behavior, despite the fact that the AI does not recognize the impact of such actions. How many people have utterly destroyed a civ --even to the point of razing cities instead of taking control of them-- simply because they entered into some small scale battle with you or exerted cultural pressure on one of your cities? I'm not trying to say that these people have evil tendencies, the point here is that it's a naturally-discovered strategy for building strong, large empires. That doesn't make it good or right, it is just a description of what it is.
    It's rather frivolous to compare this to a videogame. For one thing, Civ is a simulation and so the rules are different from real life. For another, a game is a game. Nobody cares about massacring a data representation, nor could it even be considered an "evil tendency" by any standard. Obviously it's a lot different when you massacre entire cities of people than when you do so in a videogame.

    Calling such massacres an effective method of control or Empire building is a bad justification as well. In that case, if the Nazis had succeeded in building a 10,000 year Reich, should we look fondly upon their ethnic cleansing that brought peace and civility back to the world? Should we accept the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo as acts of a sage?

  10. #2930
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    But in my personal opinion, the evil they did far outweigh the good.
    The answer is not quite so simple, since it very much depends on when and where we look. The destruction of Ryazan,
    The Tale of the Destruction of Ryazan, or the prosperity of the capital of the Golden Horde? or the scope and sophistication of Golden Horde diplomacy?

    I find the term "Pax Mongolica" especially farcical...The Mongols even fought among each other,this "peace" was built upon skyscrapers of skulls.
    Don´t tell that to the Romans, a massive slave society, especially after the 2th century.The same applies to Pax Romana, and the Romans fought each other constantly. The Pax Mongolica was extremely efficient. Marco Polo,
    "The road you travel from Tana to Cathay is perfectly safe, whether by day or by night...danger: this is when the lord of the country dies, and before the new lord who is to have the lordship is proclaimed; during such intervals there have sometimes been irregularities practised on the Franks and other foreigners"
    The Mongols contributed actively/selectively to economic expansion, and we should keep in mind the relative openess to different religions:the spread of Tibetan Buddhism through China to Mongolia, a revival in Nestorian Christianity throughout Eurasia, the expansion of Islam in Eastern Europe.

    Look at Russia.They were screwed for quite a long time because of the Mongol occupation
    No, they were screwed because of the Russian cultural traditions/nation's isolationist tradition.
    As Charles Halperin has put it,
    "The enormous destructive cost of the Pax Mongolica cannot be denied, but the Mongol empire made significant contribuitions to the political instituitions,economic development and cultural diversity of many lands. No history of the Mongol empire, no matter how erudicte, which dwells only on Mongol destruction can be satisfactory"
    Russia and the Mongol impact on Medieval Russian History

    Should we accept the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo as acts of a sage?
    I heartily agree with you, but don´t tell that to the benevolent American atomic diplomacy.

  11. #2931
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlicer View Post
    When I stated that their foreign policy was "Surrender or Die" above, I was speaking more broadly about entire states or kingdoms surrendering. I understand what you are saying though, and I agree with parts of your analysis.
    And I don't disagree with you, nor do I wish to say the Mongols were anything close to "benevolent". I'll say they weren't mindless, but I won't argue that they weren't an empire built on violence (or more poetically: a pile of skulls).

    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlicer View Post
    As I said before though, I don't find one justification for massacre more morally corrupt than the other. Whether you are murdering innocent people because of their race or because of their state's refusal to serve you, you are still murdering innocent people.
    This is the only substantive difference I see in our statements, and it is basically impossible to resolve. Yours is based on an external view: the primary concern is the outcome. Mine is based on an internal view: the primary concern is the motivation. I would go so far as to say that while Genghis Khan himself might have murdered numerous people, including innocents, he was less morally corrupt than some of the Nazis who may have never killed anyone at all, but would have, if given the chance, for no reason more than racial hatred. While Genghis might have a deplorable lack of respect for human life, the same can be said of the Nazi, and Genghis lacked the racial hatred. You might argue the reverse, and with good logical reasoning. There's no reason the two viewpoints cannot coexist, however. They are two facets of the same argument, based on morals and values.

    I suppose the better point is this: I believe that crime is in the mind, not the hand. Imagine that a person schemes to murder someone by shooting them while they sleep, follow through, and only later discover that the "person" they killed was a mannequin. In my mind, they are guilty of premeditated murder. Though no one died, the outcome is unimportant. The motivation and desire was the crime, and that remains true regardless of success. At the same time, I understand the counter argument. I am fine with both sides existing. This is, of course, a philosophical debate and fairly Off Topic here.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlicer View Post
    It's rather frivolous to compare this to a videogame. For one thing, Civ is a simulation and so the rules are different from real life. For another, a game is a game. Nobody cares about massacring a data representation, nor could it even be considered an "evil tendency" by any standard. Obviously it's a lot different when you massacre entire cities of people than when you do so in a videogame.
    Understood, but that is still based on moral judgements. Clearly, its different because when I take a city in Civ, no one actually dies. The moment we step away from that guarantee, things get less certain. In a purely strategic situation, the use of disproportional response (a variety of "shock & awe") is both easy-to-arrive-at and strategically effective. The examples within Civ merely illustrate that it's use is not something that requires an inherently evil mind. It is a simple, logically sound strategy that appears effective on examination and fairly reliably delivers the desired result. The only reason not to do it is based on morals or value judgements. People in other cultures may have different morals or values than you do and wouldn't have issues implementing such a strategy. I certainly don't want to invoke a absolutist vs. relativist debate here, but holding different morals or values than you (or me) does not make them Wrong[tm]. We can judge them for ourselves, but those judgements will never be absolute.

  12. #2932
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    Keep in mind the massacres where done at different times here. Nazis did theirs in the 1940s and late 30s, the Mongolians did their much earlier. The Mongolians didn't put people in ovens, gas them, starve them, beat them, etc. they didn't prolong their death 'til it was just torture for their victims, they didn't make their victims into soap. They didn't kill these people because they had a world view in which everyone would be a Mongolian and everyone else is inferior. The Mongolians did massacre people, but so did many, many others at that time. Back then they didn't have our moral ground. This doesn't make it okay, but it is an excuse. The Nazis had a moral ground, they knew they where crossing it, they didn't care. The Mongolians didn't just make their victims suffer a horrible fate, they just slashed them with a sword. The actions of the Nazis wasn't just the 13 million that died slowly however, it is the total 54-57 million that died in the war. More than 50% of those where civilians, brought on by the Nazi terror. Millions more where left without a home, a family member, a dream of a better life. Countries where lost, torn apart, and people suffered for many years after the Nazis.

  13. #2933
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    Don´t tell that to the Romans, a massive slave society, especially after the 2th century.The same applies to Pax Romana, and the Romans fought each other constantly. The Pax Mongolica was extremely efficient. Marco Polo,
    "The road you travel from Tana to Cathay is perfectly safe, whether by day or by night...danger: this is when the lord of the country dies, and before the new lord who is to have the lordship is proclaimed; during such intervals there have sometimes been irregularities practised on the Franks and other foreigners"
    The Mongols contributed actively/selectively to economic expansion, and we should keep in mind the relative openess to different religions:the spread of Tibetan Buddhism through China to Mongolia, a revival in Nestorian Christianity throughout Eurasia, the expansion of Islam in Eastern Europe.
    I kind of figured Rome would end up getting drawn into this due to the similarity of terms.

    Rome wasn't perfect, and neither was their "pax," but I would wager that they murdered less than the Mongols to achieve the results they got. I do fully admit that the Mongol conquests opened up a secure trade route. Since trade was always on the mind of peoples of Central Asia, the Mongols did much to facilitate it and improve the global economy. I would still argue that their results were disproportionately beneficial. Some were helped by it while other regions were adversely affected. You beat me to mentioning Ryazan, lol.

    No, they were screwed because of the Russian cultural traditions/nation's isolationist tradition.
    Many of those cultural traditions and to some extent the isolationism derived from their harsh treatment at the hands of the Mongols, arguably. The same case can be made for Ming. The Mongols did not destroy Russia but they certainly damaged the region and affected the Russian concept of authority/proizvol [arbitrariness].

    I'm going to just requote what you said and offer my own exegesis.

    "The enormous destructive cost of the Pax Mongolica cannot be denied [1], but the Mongol empire made significant contribuitions to the political instituitions,economic development and cultural diversity of many lands [2]. No history of the Mongol empire, no matter how erudicte, which dwells only on Mongol destruction can be satisfactory" [3]
    [1]-No disagreement here.

    [2]-Note the phrase "many lands." This falls right in line with my earlier comments about how the so-called "Pax Mongolica" was disproportionately beneficial. I cannot disagree with this statement either because it specifies "many lands" rather than "all lands." The Mongol conquests DID benefit many lands, particularly the ones beyond their hordes' reach. I would argue that their destructive impact did more damage than good to the countries they did conquer, however, and your historian quotation above does not even challenge this notion. Where does the quote above mention that the Mongol's conquests benefited Central Asia, Russia and China more than it damaged them? Some things the Mongols did indeed benefited these countries. But in other ways, the damage was more severe than the outcome.

    I won't argue the Mongols' contributions to economic development, cultural achievement, relative tolerance and cultural diversity. I take some issue with "political contributions." They made a few good ones and a few bad ones. I personally think the states that succeeded the Mongols in China and Russia were more autocratic than the states that preceded them. This is especially evident in China when comparing the Song vs. the Ming, which are practically at two opposite poles of the political spectrum.

    [3]-I agree with this as well, which is why I said that any "superlatives" of "good" and "evil" don't have a place in history. The Mongols did do good things, but we must be aware of the cost. Historians have made different assertions on this matter. I am personally of the opinion that the Mongols did many good things economically and culturally, but the evil they inflicted outweighs the good.

    The Mongolians did massacre people, but so did many, many others at that time. Back then they didn't have our moral ground. This doesn't make it okay, but it is an excuse.
    My issue here is with scope. Everybody committed similar atrocities in premodern times. Where the Mongols differ is in the scale of their carnage.

  14. #2934
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    Comparing Mongolians to Nazi Germany is an irrelevant/futile exercise. Except for some people.
    Patton, 1945: "Berlin gave me the blues. We have destroyed what could have been a good race, and we are about to replace them with Mongolian savages" (The Russians)

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    Sounds like Patton would have agreed with me then.

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    Everybody committed similar atrocities in premodern times. Where the Mongols differ is in the scale of their carnage.
    Thanks God, they didn't have access to the atomic technology, and other weapons of mass destruction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homero View Post
    Thanks God, they didn't have access to the atomic technology, and other weapons of mass destruction.
    Exactly. I agree. This is what I meant by, "If they had the kinds of technology the Germans had (this was during that reverse Godwins law argument), they could have and would have eliminated entire populations." If they had nuclear weapons...even worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlicer View Post
    Exactly. I agree. This is what I meant by, "If they had the kinds of technology the Germans had...would have eliminated entire populations.
    The Germans...

  19. #2939
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    Originally Posted by Israelite76
    But we can compare the Nazis with our standards

    [QUOTE=Homero;1537698]Obviously.

    Why obviously? Not all agree with that statement.

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    The reason why the Germans were worse is because they were a cultured, modern civilisation at the heart of Europe. Germany was one of the handful of leading nations at the time in: the arts, music & literature, engineering, science and technology, sporting prowess, tolerance, assimilation (it has the biggest Jewish population in Europe, which were fully integrated and contributed in a positive way to Germany's advancement - practically all Nobel prizes won by Germans pre-1933 were won by those of Jewish faith) and yet it turned into a society that plunged into some sort of 'dark age' where certain peoples were chosen and dehumanised, to then be hunted like quarry for mass extermination. And all in 12 years, within the lifetime of our many of our fathers and grandfathers. Having Rwandans, Cambodians and other almost countless groups wipe each other out since the War has been abhorrent but they haven't fallen from such a great height to sink such low depths; there mentality is different, in their regions of the world, life is automatically cheap and almost worthless.

    You compare this to the Mongolians, whose killing spree and disregard for human life under Genghis Khan is greater or at least equally repugnant, committing genocide against the Tatars, among many other groups. However, Genghis' contribution as patron of the arts was to send captured artisans back to Mongolia; he was treacherous, ruthless, a bandit, a raider, uncivilised, uncultured, uneducated and merciless. He is from the 12th/ 13th century, with 12th and 13th century values, most of those Nazis who conjured up the Final Solution at Wannsee were not only university educated but were practically all lawyers and many held doctorates; the Nazi, Otto Rasch, who was in charge of Einsatzgruppen C held two doctorates - this was mass killing done on paper by educated men who felt a superiority over others, so much so that the death of the weaker was the only solution.

    The numbers that Genghis killed were far bigger but he didn't have far to fall to be so bloodthirsty and we can't compare a civilised German nation with that of King who was an paralleled military leader and killer from 800 years ago.

  21. #2941
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    Quote Originally Posted by Israelite76 View Post
    The reason why the Germans were worse is because they were a cultured, modern civilisation at the heart of Europe...
    In summary, Germany should have known better. Or they should have won, and no one would be having this debate. Hitler's error was killing mindfully. It seems to be more acceptable for a mass murderer to kill so long as he kills everyone equally. Or they must have done it in an age before globalization, so it isn't publicised to the whole world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Israelite76 View Post
    The reason why the Germans were worse is because they were a cultured, modern civilisation at the heart of Europe. Germany was one of the handful of leading nations at the time in: the arts, music & literature, engineering, science and technology, sporting prowess, tolerance, assimilation

    (it has the biggest Jewish population in Europe, which were fully integrated and contributed in a positive way to Germany's advancement - practically all Nobel prizes won by Germans pre-1933 were won by those of Jewish faith)

    The numbers that Genghis killed were far bigger but he didn't have far to fall to be so bloodthirsty and we can't compare a civilised German nation with that of King who was an paralleled military leader and killer from 800 years ago.
    Well, in terms of economics Germany was in a pickle, but yeah for the most part they where a cultured [not powerful] nation.

    Did they really have the biggest Jewish population? I always thought it was the Polish since they lost the most to concentration camps... Eh.

    Genghis didn't kill more. Mongolian conquests killed 30-60 million. Germans killed 45-75 million, unless you are talking about ONLY death camps. I don't see why though..

    Did you know Shaka's conquests killed more people than the crusades? Interesting fact..

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    Quote Originally Posted by PachaMinnie View Post
    ... Germans killed 45-75 million,...
    Just out of interest, would you care to break that down? And please don't say 'all deaths were their fault for starting the war'. You clearly said 'Germans killed', and implied in their conquests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfordp View Post
    Just out of interest, would you care to break that down? And please don't say 'all deaths were their fault for starting the war'. You clearly said 'Germans killed', and implied in their conquests.
    The soviets lost 23,400,000 people during the war, to who's hands? The Germans.
    Poland lost about 5 million people, who killed them? The Germans.
    America lost 400,000 soldiers during the war, most of them died in Europe
    Britain lost about the same as the Americans, again most of them died from German hands.
    Germany herself lost somewhere between 6 million and 10 million.

    Those deaths happened because German soldiers marched over there and shot 'em. Either than or German soldiers marched over there and got shot by 'em.

    Now, perhaps instead of saying "The Germans" killed I could've said something better, and closer to what I meant, but I will nonetheless defend my answer. Instead I gave the number of dead during World War 2... wrong move I understand.

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    Did they really have the biggest Jewish population? I always thought it was the Polish since they lost the most to concentration camps... Eh.

    Genghis didn't kill more. Mongolian conquests killed 30-60 million. Germans killed 45-75 million, unless you are talking about ONLY death camps. I don't see why though..

    Did you know Shaka's conquests killed more people than the crusades? Interesting fact..
    Happy to be corrected. Yes, Poland's population was far more, around 3 million and then there was Russia and Romania. As for a Western/Central European country, the German-Jewish population was 500,000 it was the biggest. I don't like being factually wrong so I will definitely take a hit on that one...

    As for kills, you take this from a number of angles: actual, exact amounts killed which often varies; combatants and non-combatants etc so let's call it an even split or just say that they both killed in numbers too huge for normal human comprehension to even grasp such carnage.

    Interesting about Shaka but I think that motive is also a good indicator. Not saying that Shaka's motives were 'purer' or any better but still.

    I was actually going more for the German deliberately killed that had no reason to die apart from being in select groups... People die in war, it happens but certain people singled out, there is an animal or hunter-game dark, sinister side to it.
    Last edited by Israelite76; 05-07-2012 at 07:08 AM.

  26. #2946
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    To be fair, the Germans had allies; Nazi Germany couldn't have killed all combatants in Europe. The Soviets had a big hand in Polish killings in order to wipe out the officer class and subjugate the population. Additionally, at least 40% of the Jews killed in the East, which would have been around 2/3 or 3/4 of the total of around 6 million liquidated in the Holocaust were killed by non-Germans; policeman and soldiers recruited locally, per countries, or even the local populous of occupied or allied countries.

  27. #2947
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveg700 View Post
    As opposed to all the other pig-headed, ruthless fascists and disgusting bastards that are held in high esteem here on this board?
    This is the statement that started the ridiculous tangent this thread has gone off on. I haven't read a single arguement that hasn't made it 110% undeniably true.

  28. #2948
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFD View Post
    In summary, Germany should have known better. Or they should have won, and no one would be having this debate. Hitler's error was killing mindfully. It seems to be more acceptable for a mass murderer to kill so long as he kills everyone equally. Or they must have done it in an age before globalization, so it isn't publicised to the whole world.
    Saying that they 'should have known better' wasn't exactly what I was going for; it dumbs it down, trivialises it, it's a childlike response. I am not sure if I did made it clear enough.

    So no, what I was saying was along those lines but more, that these were people that our fathers and grandfathers could have been friends with, related to, been neighbours of. They were cultured, educated, literate and had practically every other quality that we value today in Western society, some are still alive from that time. The Germans of the 1920s-40s, apart from certain Germanic fashions or attitudes of the time, are not so different to us: they wanted to prosper, they were industrious, wanted peace, were creative, wanted the best for their children etc. They believed in the rule of law; there was full emancipation of all citizens regardless of religion, and they had rejected his and the Nazi's warmongering calls for 'Lebensraum' and anti-Semitism just 4 years before he was elected, he won just a few percent of the vote. The Nazi party was in real trouble of going bankrupt and could have been disbanded; the SA bought their own uniforms and provided their own arms.

    However, within 4 years they voted for a man who would crush everything good about the German people. Within 10 years the Germans were at war with all of Europe and not just that, were singling out specific groups: Slavs, Poles, Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill and many others for 'special treatment'. They fell from greatness to the lowest of the low by our standards and once discovered, by the standards of all the nations throughout the world. If the Brits, Americans and Russians had thought that Belsen, Sobibor and Auschwitz, amongst others, were just 'regular' or the natural consequence of war, then there would have not been such a big deal made of it then, not just now.

    Killing is killing is killing, it's abhorrent. The Mongols were not the same though. They were illiterate, ill-educated, uncultured, in fact the opposite of the Germans. They were committing atrocities, 800 years ago, not 70, we cannot identify personally with their culture, the people, their reasoning, anything at all, they are alien; we don't know anyone who fought against them or for them. There is not a man, who was in charge of troops who killed women and children, on the behest of Genghis Khan in China sitting in his living room, safe in South America. I write again, who the 12th/13th century Mongols were and what they did is alien to us. Whilst what they did shocked their victims, countries like Turkey still name their children after him in his honour; the jury is still split to some extent as to whether Genghis should be loathed as one of the biggest mass murderers ever or revered as the greatest general ever. Whilst some admire Hitler and this number will grow as those who can testify to his and his henchmen's evil die out, he is abhorred for what he did, a couple of generations or more after his death.

    It's not about killing 'everyone equally' or that they have done it 'in an age before globalization'. It is about who did it and why and how you can judge them by modern standards. In that way, what the Germans did is more shocking, not because we have actual footage of war or atrocities that they perpetrated but because that could have been us, our father or grandfathers as the perpetrators or victims.

    That is the difference, I hope that you understand.

  29. #2949
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicRatlhead51 View Post
    This is the statement that started the ridiculous tangent this thread has gone off on. I haven't read a single arguement that hasn't made it 110% undeniably true.
    I don't know if I'd say it started the tangent. Got a couple of obtuse responses. But it is undeniaby true. Everyone who objects to some civ's attrocities has their own pet pastard civ for which they have the utmost respect.

    It's pretty much axiomatic, because of all the civ's in the game, how many (or how few) weren't bastards?

  30. #2950
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    Quote Originally Posted by Israelite76 View Post
    Saying that they 'should have known better' wasn't exactly what I was going for; it dumbs it down, trivialises it, it's a childlike response. I am not sure if I did made it clear enough.
    Sorry, I was trying to come off as light-hearted in my response; this discussion on mass murder is not very topic, and certaintly shouldn't be the sole reason for abhorrence. Hitler did plenty of things the Khan didn't to warrant such.

  31. #2951
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFD View Post
    Sorry, I was trying to come off as light-hearted in my response; this discussion on mass murder is not very topic, and certaintly shouldn't be the sole reason for abhorrence. Hitler did plenty of things the Khan didn't to warrant such.
    Yeah you're right. I just honestly can't think of any civs worthwhile of being added to the game that haven't been discussed to death already. I toyed with the idea of proposing something utterly retarded like Libya under Moammer Gaddhafi or the Pitcairn Islands, but in the end I refrained.

  32. #2952
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlicer View Post
    The Pitcairn Islands...
    Lol.

    Maybe why no Lubeck as a City-State?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFD View Post
    Maybe why no Lubeck as a City-State?
    Lubeck is a part of Modern Germany, and I think its included in Germany's City list, as well. Unless they add City States for included Civs not currently involved in your game, I don't see Lubeck as a possible City State, as awesome (and relevant) as it would be.

  34. #2954
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwallyn View Post
    Lubeck is a part of Modern Germany, and I think its included in Germany's City list, as well. Unless they add City States for included Civs not currently involved in your game, I don't see Lubeck as a possible City State, as awesome (and relevant) as it would be.
    Well, Lhasa is apart of Modern China, and it's still a City-State. Although if Germany has Lubeck in its city-list... Still would make a good mercantile civ.

  35. #2955
    The hanseatic league would indeed provide a lot of mercantile city-state! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League

  36. #2956
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFD View Post
    Well, Lhasa is apart of Modern China, and it's still a City-State. Although if Germany has Lubeck in its city-list... Still would make a good mercantile civ.
    True, but no one is contesting Germany's ownership to Lubeck, are they?

    Very true. Like I said, it would be pretty awesome to have City States for Civilizations in the game, but not included in your current playthrough.

    @Gedemo

    I've always dug the old Merchant Republics of Europe (Genoa, Venice, Lubeck/Hansa, etc.). At least a scenario featuring them would be awesome!

  37. #2957
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    who the 12th/13th century Mongols were and what they did is alien to us
    Indeed, we can't judge people from the past by today's standards.

    But we can compare the Nazis with our standards

    Obviously.

    Why obviously? Not all agree with that statement.
    Well, we can judge them by today's standards.

  38. #2958
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwallyn View Post
    True, but no one is contesting Germany's ownership to Lubeck, are they?

    Very true. Like I said, it would be pretty awesome to have City States for Civilizations in the game, but not included in your current playthrough.

    @Gedemo

    I've always dug the old Merchant Republics of Europe (Genoa, Venice, Lubeck/Hansa, etc.). At least a scenario featuring them would be awesome!
    I think Kalypso made a game called Patriarch where you play as a merchant in the Hanseatic League. I haven't played it but it did certainly pique my curiosity (like many of Kalypso's games...which are all pretty weird).

  39. #2959
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlickSlicer View Post
    I think Kalypso made a game called Patriarch where you play as a merchant in the Hanseatic League. I haven't played it but it did certainly pique my curiosity (like many of Kalypso's games...which are all pretty weird).
    Patrician.

  40. #2960
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    You're right. Patrician. derp at Patriarch.

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