Dharma Flower wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:39 pm
I don't mean to be bigoted in any sort of way, and I'm sorry if I've given that impression.
Before the modern period, the average person in Asian countries may not have been able to afford the level of meat consumption that's available to modern Asians today.
I didn't think you were intentionally do anything like that. But, the way you expressed the idea reflected certain bigoted assumptions that are embedded in certain perspectives on non-Western countries. That's all. I'm not a social justice warrior crusading against this stuff, just a friendly point of information.
Queequeg wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:10 pm
Historically, some of the wealthiest civilizations have been in Asia.
As far as I know, there was a substantial gap between the rich and the poor in Asian countries that hindered the poor from having access to the same resources.
You mean like inequality in the West? Access to resources is relative, and I assure you, you and I are deprived of access to the resources our 1% peers have. They do not live in the same world. Most of us have no idea how impoverished, even a middle class existence is in comparison to the wealthy and ultra wealthy.
Don't kid yourself.
There was, at that time, what we would call a feudal system in countries like China and Japan, similar to the system that existed in the West in terms of the gap in wealth and power between the poor and the rich.
You might want to take a closer look at life in those feudal systems.
For instance, in Tokugawa Japan, they had some of the highest literacy rates - comparable to modern, first world country literacy rates. 400 years of peace tends to have remarkable effects on human beings. The shogun was not dining on kobe beef steaks while the farmers starved. If anything, it was the nobility and samurai classes that were falling on hard times and having to marry their daughters to merchants to keep up the castles. When your claim to wealth is being a warrior, but there are no wars to fight, its hard to keep up appearances.
China had similar periods of flowering. They had a problem though because their frontiers were open borders with the steppes out of which hordes of raiders would come every few centuries when the Chinese (and then the successive barbarians who were seduced and Sinicized) got rich, refined, and peaceful.
There have always been rich and poor, but rich and poor is relative. If you think Asian civilizations were vast populations of impoverished poor with an emperor sitting pretty on top, I think history might give you a surprise.