… is from page 989 of Will Durant’s 1950 volume, The Age of Faith:
[A]bout 830 the Hindu numerals entered Eastern Islam about 1000 Gerbert brought them to France; in the eleventh and twelfth centuries Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew mathematics streamed into Western Europe through Spain and Sicily, and came with Italian merchants to Venice and Genoa, Amalfi and Pisa. Transmission is to civilization what reproduction is to life.
DBx: Yes. Just look around you.
And yet many people, right and left, deny this reality. On the political right we find some people pushing xenophobia, as well as bigotry for (what they imagine to be) “the” national culture. On the political left, we find some people who, the moment after they ostentatiously and self-righteously denounce the bigotry of the right, proceed to display their own, equally obnoxious bigotry by condemning so-called “cultural appropriation”: “Group X isn’t fit to mimic or absorb any of the cultural ways of group Y!”
Group X’s xenophobes on the right insist that group X is too superior or advanced to group Y to have its – group X’s – culture polluted with the different ways of the Ys. Group X’s bigots on the left insist that group X is too inferior or backward to legitimately adopt any of the different ways of the Ys. And bigots of both sorts look with ignorant contempt upon trade, which is the great transmitter and improver of cultures.
Bigots on both the right and left oppose free trade and cultural mixing – which is to say, oppose the progress of civilization.