"In Benedictow’s view, “no cultural sphere with more than a billion people contributes so little to the development of science or the arts in our time.”
Think of the Romans, Chinese, the Indians, the Persians, the Byzantines! As the Jews were never numbered in the billions they are not referred to here.
"The Ottomans used a centralized power structure to extract a large proportion of the resources of the empire to use for military aggression, but they were successfully rebuffed by European states. The problem with an overly centralized power structure with high tax rates is that over time it will lead to economic and technological stagnation. Successful innovation requires some degree of decentralization, which could be found in regions of Western Europe with many free cities, from northern Italy via the Netherlands and Flanders in the Low Countries to England and northern Germany. This is where we encounter the development of capitalism."
Read the rest here.