Found 3 comments on HN
qohen · 2012-03-02 · Original thread
> Civilized society? Not at all. Just organized tribal warfare.

The story may be a bit more nuanced that that:

From a review of "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World"

(http://www.diplomacy.edu/resources/books/reviews/genghis-kha...):

"Arguably, however, Genghis Khan and the Mongols were the dominant force that shaped Eurasia and consequently the modern world. Not for what they destroyed – though they wrought much destruction all over the continent – but for what they built. They came close to uniting Eurasia into a world empire, and in so doing they spread throughout it technologies like paper, gunpowder, paper money, or the compass – and trousers. They revolutionised warfare. More lastingly, in the word's of the author: ' ...they also created the nucleus of a universal culture and world system. (...) With the emphasis on free commerce, open communication, shared knowledge, secular politics, religious coexistence, international law, and diplomatic immunity.' ".

http://www.amazon.com/Genghis-Khan-Making-Modern-World/dp/06...

protomyth · 2011-04-14 · Original thread
For an interesting historical perspective of the interaction, check "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" by Jack Weatherford http://www.amazon.com/Genghis-Khan-Making-Modern-World/dp/06...
IMO I'd say war and atrocities do go hand in hand, they don't have to but it just seems to be a downfall of human nature. I believe what happened in Japan is a prime example, the US troops had heard of all the atrocities against POW's and when invading they treated the Japanese dead more like game than humans, including taking trophies, this then got back to the Japanese and they were so disgusted by the American atrocities that when the US invaded cities there were mass suicides because the Japanese didn't want to live through US occupation. So ironically the Japanese Military committing atrocities ended up killing their own people more effectively than if they'd shot a civilian with every POW.

Again looking at history, I believe without war we wouldn't have technology. Most of the technology that we take as granted in the medieval period came from the Mongols, who because of war managed to gather together inventors from multiple countries and cultures and put them together. They took Chinese fireworks and Bronze Workers from Eastern Europe (I can't remember the country) and put 1 + 1 together, they built a cannon. They also committed many atrocities, however it was always the victims own fault, many times they killed the messenger, which the Mongol's invented their own postal service so they got pissed off at that and just besieged cities. Other times they were given fare warning, nearly always 'surrender and we'll let you live your lives as you always have', yet people refused. IIRC one time the citizens refused and killed the messenger, this one led to the Mongols diverting a river into the city and then slaughtering everyone.

The book I read (http://www.amazon.com/Genghis-Khan-Making-Modern-World/dp/06...) is a real eye opener. The man merely wanted to protect his own family, but betrayal after betrayal he ended up conquering most of the old world. The only reason he didn't take over all of western europe was because 'middle' europe was so poor they thought it was like what we imagine the third world. Aside from Europe they didn't invade most of Africa and India, this was purely because they couldn't ride their horses and didn't feel like invading.

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