In the last 300 years, the Europeans have conquered the world four times:
—the first time through their conquistadors, imperialists, slavers, and settlers. These groups committed plunder, rapine, and genocides on an unprecedented world-historical scale. They wiped out ancient tribes, nations, and civilizations, and colonized entire continents.
—the second time through their utopian ideologies—religious fundamentalism (crusades and other movements), monarchism, communism, capitalism, nazism, racism, and fascism. These ideologies have caused (and are still causing) wars, insurgencies, revolutions, coups, massacres, social dislocations, and cultural alienations.
—the third time by spreading European languages—primarily English, French, and Spanish—and European cultural and political norms.
—the fourth time through powerful Western bureaucracies. These bureaucracies include military coalitions which are armed with weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons), financial institutions (banking, insurance, and currency related entities), legal institutions (the UNO, the WHO, the IMF, and the World Bank), intellectual institutions (academia, mainstream media, movie industry, and think tanks), and the digital and electronics behemoths.
Till the seventeenth century, Europe was the world’s backwater—so for the Europeans to conquer the world four times in the last 300 years is a remarkable turnaround. However, it would be foolish to claim that in all the four instances, Europeans did everything on their own. The other civilizations have contributed massively—especially in the second, third, and fourth instances.
The question is: Where does European civilization go from here? Their four methods of world domination have by now been exposed, countered, compromised, and captured by other civilizations. Either the Europeans will come up with a fifth way of domination or they will lose their pole position in the world.