top of page

European primitivism

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

There is a tremendous European primitivism.

We live overshadowed in Europe by powerful technology and an age-old heritage based on Greek culture.

The Greeks were heirs to the advances in Mesopotamia in North Africa. The cuneiform writing of the Sumerians and the Acarians on clay tablets, the hieroglyphics on papyrus were dominated by an elite of scribes who used hundreds or thousands of symbols to translate records, memories, laws, messages, or even thoughts. The Phoenicians simplified writing to the point of any marketer, dismissing a specialized scribe. But it was the Greeks who invented twenty symbols: the Greek alphabet. Any human being could propose to write a text, for example, about his own life.

On the other hand, Hesiod dedicated a part of his work to speak, not of gods and demigods, but his misadventures and his daily life. It was, in the words of Irene Vallejo, the first European.

The strength of its architecture, the foresight of its political systems or the wit of its military strategies have made the Greeks a fantastic people and civilization.

From advance to advance, Europe traverses antiquity, with the expansion of the Roman Empire, plunges into the Middle Ages and rises in the Renaissance.

The Europeans constructed a keen perception of the world that surrounded them to the point where one could envision the planet as a "first global village" already in the middle of the 19th century.

Progress is made in the discovery of the secrets of physics and after chemistry. Biology in the 19th century uncovered its secrets. There, 150 years ago, there has been a vast perception of the laws of the universe. But this perception was only possible because, at the same time, Europeans have perfected a curious methodology. This methodology has allowed and continues to allow a profound validation of all the hypotheses and theories that the various generations are contaminating. To this methodology, we call science. It is at the basis of all the invented technology, first in European countries and then from a specific time in North America and even a little all over the world.

And we live overshadowed by this technology. It was the steam engine, the cars and the planes, the trains and the ocean liners. She's the pill medicine, her cell phone, and her computer. We buy a new car at home, french-made, whose onboard computer helps me regulate its driving. Our car tells us when and how to accelerate and whistles in the face of obstacles. They say you take the initiative to break if someone crosses the road, which I hope will be proven. And we're fascinated.

However, in the face of a pandemic caused by a tiny virus, Europe is entirely primitive from a human and political point of view.

The individualistic view, already manifested in Hesiod's words, materialized in the constitutional texts that emerged in the 19th century. The Portuguese constitution in 1976 enshrines several rights. Education for all and total freedom: freedom of expression and the right to individual opinion.

As in many other European countries, there were several opinions about everything in Portugal. Everyone was entitled to their opinion, and It should always respect this.

But a virus spread based on laws and principles of an epidemiological nature and not based on constitutional principles, which are at the mercy of human will.

The spread of the virus is done regardless of my opinion or my will.

It then becomes fundamental for me to understand the laws on which the virus spreads. And then the first problem arises: the school forgot to teach that. Then we watch ordinary politicians and citizens plunge into a swamp of "non-perception." No one seems to understand half a dozen basic biological mechanisms that underfunded the functioning of a pandemic caused by a virus. Now this "non-perception" leads many people to the gates of death, literally, independently, of the "opinion" and perception. This non-perception, motivated by a profound ignorance, is the first sign of the surprising European primitivism shared by North and South America. These regions consider themselves heirs to European culture.

From a broader perspective, Europe's stance is surprising, not understanding that the proliferation of a virus occurs all over the planet, regardless of national borders, and that this proliferation contributes to encouraging the occurrence of multiple mutations.

In other words, there is a tremendous European primitivism in contrast to technological strength.

We can now elect three significant challenges at the end of 2021: the pandemic, environmental issues and poverty. In the face of any of them, there seems to be a distressing indifference on the part of European leaders. If a European leader said what he said about the countries of southern Europe, imagine what you would think about the rest of the world.

You'd say uneducated people without education. However, Boris Johnson attended Eton College and Balliol College Oxford.

Emmanuel Macron studied philosophy at the Université Paris Nanterre, completed a master's degree in public policy at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, and then graduated from the École Nationale d'Administration. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel specialized in quantum chemistry at the University of Leipzig.

All these institutions are considered prestigious schools.

How is this still primitive view explained from the political and human point of view?

I'm sure it's a mystery that would be interesting to uncover.

© Eduardo Rui Alves

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page