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A civilization or culture is defined as a set of customs, traditions, ethics, values, language, music, dance, gastronomy, clothing, religion, and social and political organization of a people, ethnic group, tribe, or nation.
British scholars of the 19th century classified the peoples and races as Civilized, Barbarians and Savages, based on their respective “evolutions.” Such classification was based primarily on three factors: Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution; the Industrial Revolution in the beginning of industrial capitalism; and the Reformation of the Catholic Church, the schism from which Protestantism arose.
False premises that led to false conclusions.
Such a classification made the field fertile for the appearance of a Capitalist/Protestant ethic, which would produce today’s capitalist system.
The Theory of Evolution (not a science, but a theory) postulates that only the most capable, among the various species of living organisms, survives and evolves. Darwin labeled his theory Survival of the Fittest. This competition for survival and evolution would be in genetic, biological, adaptive and/or mutative terms, in relation to the environment from which they would have evolved and where they would live. Human beings have been labeled Homo Sapiens, representatives of the supposedly most evolved species–the most apt. The civilized, barbaric and savages represented an attempt to hierarchize Homo Sapiens.
To speak of capitalist ethics is to incur a contradiction in terms as capitalism does not have an ethic, but a single overriding value: profits. On the other hand, a Protestant ethics is based on the Old Testament of the Bible and on the doctrine of Martin Luther that God, a supposedly elderly, male, white entity, distributes His blessings in the form of material wealth, power, good life to those most deserving and for whom He feels greater affection. The subtext is that the poor are poor because they are sinners. And Jesus, the messiah son of that God, was a white Jew. The pieces fit together historically.