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The Restlessness Of The Western Spirit From A Hegelian Perspective

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues the primordial roots of Western uniqueness must be traced back to the aristocratic warlike culture of the Indo-European speakers who spread throughout Europe during the 4th and 3rd millennium. The chapter offers an empirically-based outline of a society dominated by aristocratic elites in which the most honorable goal was undying prestige by risking one's life fighting. Timothy Earle is the one scholar who has addressed, from a comparative perspective, the economic and political character of group oriented and individualizing chiefdoms. The chapter concentrates on the main observations he makes about the prestige character of Denmark and staple character of Hawaii but will also touch on the case of Peru as an example of a less developed staple chiefdom.

Keywords:Aristocratic egalitarianism; Epic of Gilgamesh; Indo-europeans; western civilization

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