“I do wonder if the Athenian philosophers were expatriate Egyptians. In a parallel manner, did the priests of the ancient Jewish people share a common ancestor with some of the philosophers of Hinduism? Reportedly, there is a certain congruence in the nature of their gods, their names, and their approaches to religious practice.
My personal post-war pre-independence experience in Malaya confirmed the rudeness of many of the British in Malaya. When I shared a house with a sergeant in the British Air Force and his wife, he talked at length with me and my Anglo-Australian wife, but his rather snooty wife ignored us. Having been brought up in Jamaica, he displayed no superiority. I remember him telling us that his wife, a nurse, was paid as much as a local doctor, in a job for which her Asian underlings were better qualified. The police had a comparable practice; there was a ceiling for Asians below which no Englishman would be found.”
(These extracts are from ‘On empires gone and going’ in ‘Musings at Death’s Door.’
As for Athens, Greece was not created a nation until the 18th century AD. Its first king was reportedly a Dane! Historically, in an era of city states, Athens seems to have popped up with great philosophers. Transmission, rather than evolution, is usually the source of substantial new knowledge. An erudite academic has claimed that Athens was not only established by Egypt, but that about half the population of Athens at one time were Egyptians. Others assert that Persia was also the transmitter of learning to Athens.
As for the great philosopher-teachers of the ancient Jewish people, it has been suggested (refer Megasthenes, Emperor Seleucus’ ambassador to the court of Chandragupta) that these men, known as Calanians, came from the East. As well, some Indian scholars have claimed to have discovered some shared components of both Judaism and Hinduism. Sacrilege? Do we really know what happened in so-called pre-history? What is wrong with shared origins and shared cultures?
As for rudeness by European colonial administrators, my feeling is that some people exploit any power which might come their way. Examples might be junior public officials and policemen in some places, the newly-rich in developing countries and their exploitable servants, corrupt border officials – just to name a few from my experience.
Since great greed and the exploitation of power just for its own sake by humans appear to be unique in the animal kingdom, perhaps one should not be too hasty in judging others, both historically and currently!)