Apparently the left and progressives, as noted recently, find that race and its consequences are the most important historical axis/issue on which to judge American history. On Monday I had asked:

Is this what the left believes, that “race is the single most important and consequential issue in all of American history.” Really? Wow.

There are a number of arguments against this. Here is the first one. What is the most important issue, what is the most important factor to track when viewing history of American and indeed the larger international history?

Math. Specifically, the history and development of the body of Mathematical knowledge.

Consider first the following. Imagine for a moment American history without race. No civil war, no civil rights movement and so on. Possibly without a civil war America would have been in a different place regarding the power of the central government and perhaps in that light a weaker America might have reshaped the outcome of the brewing European conflicts.

But … picture instead a world history without technology, without the advances in power such as steam, oil, and electricity; without the transistor, the printed circuit; without automation and industrialization. Picture instead, America in a world in which technology was still at the level of the Roman era. Wars were still fought with spear, sword, and javelin. That there were no airplanes, instead galleys and sailing vessels still plowing the seas.

For almost all the advances in modern biology and medicine … depend on prior advances in chemistry and technology … which depend on prior advances in physics … which depend on prior advances in mathematical technology, which in itself is a technology which is different in a fundamental way from all those mentioned just prior in that it doesn’t directly derive from our understanding of the natural world. Math lives in an abstract reality. A world of point, number, and set, of category, group and mapping.

Furthermore, even if you set aside for a moment my conviction that the advancement of all science and technology depends on prior advancements in math, recall you still are faced with the issue that race issues are dwarfed today, throughout the 20th century and even in the 19th the technological developments overwhelm the social and political developments in their impact on society, the course of history, and the life of man.

This week the election of Mr Obama has been hailed as an historic watershed for racial relations in America … but it is likely that in his Presidential term, there will be several technological developments not just one, that 20 years down the road, when looking back will far outshadow the life of the ordinary person as well as the course of American (and world) history than all the political and symbolic developments related directly to Mr Obama’s Presidency.

Filed under: CultureMark O.Race Issues

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