I found Hobsbawm's point about wealth and relativity incredibly enlightening. In particular, he highlight's a very valid point. If a man is rich in his own company, yet simply a common man in another, what then are his riches really worth? In another country, his wealth is common. In the grand scheme of things, he really has no worth. Relativity shows up just how meaningless money/wealth can be, which further highlights the division between the old and new world. Specifically, we see the new world industrializing, embracing capitalism, and believing their system to be supreme. So they try to spread these ideals and beliefs to other countries; judging (perhaps this is too strong of a word, forgive me it's 3am) them based on their wealth, or rather, lack there of.
The unfortunate part of this occurrence is that it fails to take into account their art, culture, food, or in general their "relative" riches. It discounts those riches, because they are not in the same proportion of those in the new world. Thus, the divide. It is not that the old world was pointless, crude, and unimportant; but rather it's beauty and "wealth" was in that of a different form- culture, art, architecture, etc. I think it is really interesting to think about exactly how some of our ideals were spread and that, in reality, it was all relative to what we believe. This is kind of like what my first blog was about, in terms of how history was taught. Because, we were taught that the new world showed them the ways of modernity. In reality, it was forced upon them, because the new world had weaponized modernity whilst the old world found reverence in antiquity.
I wonder, how would things be different now if modernization had not been pushed so quickly onto these ancient societies?