Eurocentrism is an idea closely related to the study of history. Historical books are often wrongly considered by many to be infallible in their validity: " If it's in a book
how could it be wrong?". This is a problem which stems from lower levels of education where the textbook holds all the "right answers".
The question to be asking when reading history is, "Who wrote this book, where did they become educated, and from what information did they form their ideas from?"
Generally the answer to this question is invariably unbalanced towards the west. History in a modern sense is very much a western idea, which naturally gives it a
dangerous western bias. This is what euro centrism is, a view by historians which views Europe, or the english speaking world, as the center.
History often builds new ideas of the past off of previous works of history widely accepted as valid. The problem of eurocentrism is if all of history is coming from the
west then all new histories will be based on the west as well, perpetuating the western slant. This octopus eating it's own tentacles syndrome in being bucked by the
current trend in history which has become very aware of this problem and the eurocentric writings of the last 300 years or so.
It was widely considered by the historians of the 1800's and 1900's that the west had grown to dominance because of it's superior intelligence and ingenuity.The social
theory derived from Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution, helped this idea to be continually fostered for hundreds of years. Obviously today this smacks of racism, as testing has
shown that intelligence across races are on the average the same. It has even been put forward that the real powerhouse before the rise of the west were the Asian
countries like China, (see Before European Hegemony : The World System A.D. 1250-135 by Abu-Lughod, Janet L.) who were involved in a world wide trading system
before the Industrial Revolution.
"History is written by the victors" is a quote which is poignant in this instance, reminding historians to be careful and not fall pray to their own social biases. Of course
the next problem to tackle is to ensure that the anti-eurocentic movement doesn't go too far and start overly bashing western ideas or overly relying on non-western
ideas, repeating the same mistake.