British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

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FlashDangerpants
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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by FlashDangerpants » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:26 pm

For sure. The British didn't invent the idea of invading people, we just made more money doing it than our predecessors.

Age
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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by Age » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:53 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:07 pm
Age wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:35 am
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:00 am


It has happened, and there's not a heck of a lot I can do about it.
You are right, there is not a lot you can do about it. But, do you think that you would you be reacting and behaving the same way as you are now?
I imagine it would be a very similar feeling to when your country is flooded with immigrants who don't assimilate and have completely different politics, culture and values, rendering the home you once knew, as unrecognisable.
I doubt very much that you would have very similar feeling as I would have under those situations.
It is NOT "my" country.
You still have NOT answered my question.
I did NOT ask you how you would feel.
I asked you if you would be reacting and behaving the same way as you are now.

Now, considering I do NOT know how you would feel and you still have NOT answered my actual clarifying question I am therefore still non the wiser in regards to how you are actually seeing things if you were on the other side in this situation, and how you would react and behave if you were in the opposite position of what you are in now.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:47 pm

Age wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:53 am
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:07 pm
Age wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:35 am


You are right, there is not a lot you can do about it. But, do you think that you would you be reacting and behaving the same way as you are now?
I imagine it would be a very similar feeling to when your country is flooded with immigrants who don't assimilate and have completely different politics, culture and values, rendering the home you once knew, as unrecognisable.
I doubt very much that you would have very similar feeling as I would have under those situations.
It is NOT "my" country.
You still have NOT answered my question.
I did NOT ask you how you would feel.
I asked you if you would be reacting and behaving the same way as you are now.

Now, considering I do NOT know how you would feel and you still have NOT answered my actual clarifying question I am therefore still non the wiser in regards to how you are actually seeing things if you were on the other side in this situation, and how you would react and behave if you were in the opposite position of what you are in now.
Your home then, if you insist on being terribly PC (and I used 'your' rather than the unavoidably pompous 'one's'). It's very telling how the terminally PC refer to the possessive when it comes to countries, but only when it's 'certain groups' that they approve of. I suppose then that British and American thugs didn't brutalise muslims in THEIR OWN countries? And it was a particularly stupid question that there is no possible answer to. How was I 'behaving and reacting'?

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by Age » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:58 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:47 pm
Age wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:53 am
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:07 pm

I imagine it would be a very similar feeling to when your country is flooded with immigrants who don't assimilate and have completely different politics, culture and values, rendering the home you once knew, as unrecognisable.
I doubt very much that you would have very similar feeling as I would have under those situations.
It is NOT "my" country.
You still have NOT answered my question.
I did NOT ask you how you would feel.
I asked you if you would be reacting and behaving the same way as you are now.

Now, considering I do NOT know how you would feel and you still have NOT answered my actual clarifying question I am therefore still non the wiser in regards to how you are actually seeing things if you were on the other side in this situation, and how you would react and behave if you were in the opposite position of what you are in now.
Your home then, if you insist on being terribly PC (and I used 'your' rather than the unavoidably pompous 'one's').
Well you have certainly misread, misinterpreted, and misunderstood what I was saying, and have taken it out of context completely.
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:47 pm
When I say, "It is NOT "my" country", I am just stating the fact that ANY country is NOT "mine", NOT "yours", and NOT any "one's" country. People do NOT own countries. 'Countries' are just a parcel of land, which has been given a name. Countries are NOT owned by any one. A 'country' is just a label placed on a particular a piece of the earth.
If you THINK/BELIEVE that I am insisting on being "terribly PC", then how do you define 'PC'?

When, and if, you clarify that, then we will see if I insist on "being terribly PC" or not.

Remember that it was YOU that started this, by seemingly wanting to be 'politically correct, yourself, by wondering what the word 'colonized' actually meant. You wanted to also point out in a 'politically correct' fashion that the united states was NOT 'colonized'.
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:47 pm
It's very telling how the terminally PC refer to the possessive when it comes to countries,
You were the one referring to possessiveness of a country, NOT me. It was YOU who used the term 'your' country. I just wrote that it is NOT 'my' country. So, does that then mean that it is actually you who is PC, or maybe even terminally PC?
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:47 pm
but only when it's 'certain groups' that they approve of.
But there is absolutely NO group that I approve of, like YOU do. YOU are the ONE who approves of some groups and NOT of other groups.
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:47 pm
I suppose then that British and American thugs didn't brutalise muslims in THEIR OWN countries?
Besides the fact the human beings who are known as, and called, "muslims" do NOT have THEIR OWN countries, the human beings who say they live in those countries called britain, america, australia, and others, obviously often brutalize human beings who are known as "muslims". But what has that got to do with any thing here?

You said: The US wasn't 'colonised'. It was created when lots of people went to live there
I am, more or less, asking: If you would 'behave and react' the same way? That is; would you say the same thing if the country or the planet that you lived on was changed when lots of people/aliens went to live there? Would you still say that "it" was NOT 'colonized', and that "it" was created when lots of people came to live here?
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:47 pm
And it was a particularly stupid question that there is no possible answer to.
Of course there is an answer to it.

You are acting the way you are now, by saying the things that you are now, because it was you or your family members that took over and 'colonized' people on other lands. So, my question, which you can very easily answer, is asking you would you be acting the same way now/saying the same things now, if the land or country that you or your family are living in now that was taken over and 'colonized' by people from other lands?

It is a very simple question to answer. If the land that you live on now, which your family previously knew "as theirs", was taken over and colonized by people from other lands, then would you still be saying; It was not 'colonized'. It was created when lots of people came to live here?

Would you still be so understanding and/or forgiving of those people who took over, for lack of better word, "your" land, from you or your family?

Would you still be thinking "our place" was not stolen, not taken over, nor not 'colonized'. It was created when these "other" people wanted to come and live here?

If you do not want to answer the question or are unwilling to answer it, then that is one thing. But the question really is possible to answer, and truthfully it is a very easy question to answer, if you want to be honest with your self.
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:47 pm
How was I 'behaving and reacting'?
Unconcerned, uncaring, apathetic, closed.

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:54 pm

I'm sick of being asked to define PC by the PC (who either refuse to, or are incapable of, recognising themselves). I think it's the latter. I've defined it many, many, times, and several on here now understand what it means. I suppose 'hypocrite who takes the moral high ground' describes the PC, but that can equally apply to many of the nonPC as well.
A good example of PC behaviour: the fountains of crocodiles tears over the election loss and humliation of their patron saint Hilary Clinton, yet not a whimper about her savage hawkishness and bloodlust over the ME. Barely a word said in protest against America's despicable rape of the ME over two decades, causing untold suffering and destruction, but screeching like demented gibbons over some perceived 'insult' of muslims (one of the 'special groups' they have decided to be continually 'offended on behalf of'). Of course, no 'protected group' has ever asked these twits to seek out 'offence on behalf' of it.
Americans are the biggest offenders when it comes to PC, yet they are the worst for 'military worship' and dewey-eyed sanctifiying of anyone in the military. How can anyone who makes a show of 'caring' about others have anything but contempt for those who make a decent living out of killing others???
Projection is part of their game. I'm well acquainted with several PC twits, and believe me, behind closed doors it's a completely different story. For some reason they are desperate to appear to be 'good' people to those who don't know them very well, but they just aren't very good at it so they latch onto any cause that happens to be fashionable at any given time.

ps. The rest of your post was incoherent rambling. Perhaps you should go back and edit it.

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Gary Childress
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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by Gary Childress » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:21 am

gaffo wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:49 pm
Of course all Colonialism is bad by default.

Just thinking about history, and concluded that all the former Brit colonies:

Hong Kong, South Africa, India, Autralia, NZ, Canada, USA, have a higher standard of living and more liberty generally than former nations of other colonial powers.

why is that?

again, not affirming the merits of colonialism - lol, but it seems to me nations today from colonial powers other than that of Britian in general have a lower standard of living, and less liberty.
One of my teachers back in high school brought that up in our class back in the day--that the British approach turned out better for their respective areas of influence. Back then you could still hear people talk about Western nations (especially Britain) benefitting less advanced nations through "colonialism" (or whatever we wish to call the process). I think VT brings up a valid point concerning the definition of "colonialism". Maybe a better word needs to be used for the process of governance instituted by Western nations upon less developed parts of the world. Of course the British referred to their domain as the "Commonwealth".

The conventional wisdom these days seems to be that Western intervention was only detrimental, having no benefits whatsoever and that those countries managed and controlled by Western powers were victimized, regardless of who controlled them and how. I mean, I don't know. Given the state that much of the rest of the world was in prior to Western influence, it's difficult for me to believe that things would have been better had they only been left to themselves, free of the influence of Western civilization.

For one example, looking at some of the societies which have been left isolated from modern societies, the people of the Andaman Islands or aboriginal peoples in the Amazon basin, who don't have outside contact, they don't seem to be making progress at all. Had Europeans not taken over and instituted a system of governance while extracting resources from places like Africa, the Americas and Southern Asia, what would those places look like today?

But I could certainly be wrong. I'm no expert on such matters.

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by FlashDangerpants » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:17 am

Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:21 am
gaffo wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:49 pm
Of course all Colonialism is bad by default.

Just thinking about history, and concluded that all the former Brit colonies:

Hong Kong, South Africa, India, Autralia, NZ, Canada, USA, have a higher standard of living and more liberty generally than former nations of other colonial powers.

why is that?

again, not affirming the merits of colonialism - lol, but it seems to me nations today from colonial powers other than that of Britian in general have a lower standard of living, and less liberty.
One of my teachers back in high school brought that up in our class back in the day--that the British approach turned out better for their respective areas of influence. Back then you could still hear people talk about Western nations (especially Britain) benefitting less advanced nations through "colonialism" (or whatever we wish to call the process). I think VT brings up a valid point concerning the definition of "colonialism". Maybe a better word needs to be used for the process of governance instituted by Western nations upon less developed parts of the world. Of course the British referred to their domain as the "Commonwealth".
We really didn't use the same system everywhere. In some of our possessions, including for a long time India, we nominally left the local rulers in charge and mostly followed the existing heritage of laws with a little additional stuff to control the things we cared about most (trade and taxes). In others such as Kenya we brought in white farmers to replace the locals and grow valuable crops such as coffee, completely replacing the local ruling classes.

There were perhaps some continuities across the whole empire for some periods of time that were beneficial. We tended to suppress whichever was the most scandalous local custom if we weren't benefiting from it. So after making lots of money from slavery, we got all up in everyone's faces about it after we quit that habit, behaving a lot like a recently converted vegan who won't let anyone enjoy a burger. And we largely killed off Sati iirc (the tradition of throwing Indian widows on their husband's funeral pyre), although they probably got to starve to death instead.
Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:21 am
The conventional wisdom these days seems to be that Western intervention was only detrimental, having no benefits whatsoever and that those countries managed and controlled by Western powers were victimized, regardless of who controlled them and how. I mean, I don't know. Given the state that much of the rest of the world was in prior to Western influence, it's difficult for me to believe that things would have been better had they only been left to themselves, free of the influence of Western civilization.
It would be difficult to find a historian to make a nuance-free claim that western influence in the regions we invaded was nothing but detrimental, except in those places where we wiped out the inhabitants entirely ofc. But they also tend to frown on even limited counterfactual speculations (the what if this one event had been different sort) so there's really no good way to evaluate a grand one such as what would the world be like today if the whole 15th to 20th centuries had been completely different?
Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:21 am
For one example, looking at some of the societies which have been left isolated from modern societies, the people of the Andaman Islands or aboriginal peoples in the Amazon basin, who don't have outside contact, they don't seem to be making progress at all. Had Europeans not taken over and instituted a system of governance while extracting resources from places like Africa, the Americas and Southern Asia, what would those places look like today?
Tiny island chains like the Andamans and the pathless tracks of the deep jungle didn't just recently become isolated, they were isolated from ancient society as well because they are very remote.

The same cannot be said of Africa and the Americas, those places were connected to other societies through trade links and population migration. Us Europeans got our numerical system from the Arabs who got it from India. We got the stern post rudder from Arabs, who got it from India, who got it from China. The list of ingredients that were necessary for Europe's rise but did not originate there is endless.

Technologies, political ideas and religions traveled exactly the same routes as cloves, silk, ivory, diseases and armies. There was nothing to stop a good idea from Europe reaching any corner of Africa or Asia, just as those goods got there.

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by Gary Childress » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:40 am

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:17 am

Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:21 am
The conventional wisdom these days seems to be that Western intervention was only detrimental, having no benefits whatsoever and that those countries managed and controlled by Western powers were victimized, regardless of who controlled them and how. I mean, I don't know. Given the state that much of the rest of the world was in prior to Western influence, it's difficult for me to believe that things would have been better had they only been left to themselves, free of the influence of Western civilization.
It would be difficult to find a historian to make a nuance-free claim that western influence in the regions we invaded was nothing but detrimental, except in those places where we wiped out the inhabitants entirely ofc. But they also tend to frown on even limited counterfactual speculations (the what if this one event had been different sort) so there's really no good way to evaluate a grand one such as what would the world be like today if the whole 15th to 20th centuries had been completely different?
I've seen a few historians who pretty much take the view that European (as well as American) dominance (in general) has been and was a bad thing all around. Howard Zinn for one example. Here's a piece of an interview with Noam Chomsky that sort of highlights the notion:

INTERVIEWER: In his recent book Enlightenment Now, your former MIT colleague Steven Pinker argues that life has gotten better and better, morally and materially, and he scolds other intellectuals for knocking western civilization. What's your view of his perspective?


NOAM CHOMSKY: I don’t find these broad-brush observations very helpful or informative. The devil is in the details.

There is work on these matters that seems to me much more compelling. In his very important study on the rise and fall of American growth, Robert Gordon observes that there was virtually no economic growth for millennia until 1770, slow growth for another century, and then a “special century” until 1970, dependent largely on specific inventions. Since the 1970s the picture is much more mixed: in the US, with actual decline in real wages for non-supervisory workers over 40 years and even increased death rates in recent years. These are among the features of the neoliberal era that have led to the rise of the kind of “morbid symptoms” that Gramsci warned about from Mussolini’s prison cell, as we see all too clearly in the western world today. Elsewhere we find different patterns. Thus Russia suffered severe economic decline and demographic collapse when market reforms were introduced in the ‘90s. China has been different again. As Amartya Sen has shown, Maoist China saved about 100 million people – not a small number – as compared with democratic capitalist India from independence to 1980, not from “enlightenment” in the usual sense, but from rural health programs and other reforms. And since then it has undergone spectacular growth and provided the bulk of the reduction in global poverty, in a society that’s not a model of enlightened values. Nazi Germany experienced very rapid growth in the ‘30s, not a triumph of enlightenment. There are numerous other complexities that are of major significance, but that disappear in unanalyzed statistical tables.

As for “moral growth,” there are even greater complexities. The American Revolution introduced the novel and important idea (put aside the fact) that “we the people” should take control of our fate –- and at the same time developed the most vicious system of slavery in human history, the foundation of much of US-British wealth and economic development. Or take Germany again. In the 1920s, it was at the peak of western civilization in the arts, the sciences and mathematics, and even political development, regarded as a model of democracy. Ten years later it was descending to the depths of human savagery. A decade later it was recovering what had been lost.

As for the Enlightenment and modern science, no serious analyst can question their major achievements – or overlook their role in the age of discovery that brought untold horrors to much of the world, devastating the Western Hemisphere and Africa, crushing the leading world centers of civilization in India and China.

With all that, a good case can be made I think that moral horizons are, overall, slowly widening, including recent years, when the activism of the ‘60s has had a considerable civilizing effect in many areas.
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cr ... ly-insane/

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by Gary Childress » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:52 am

I get the impression that a lot of non-European scholars (or maybe more accurately scholars of non-European ancestry) seem to take a very anti-colonialist view of things--that colonialism was pretty much all bad.

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by Gary Childress » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:12 am

Regarding "counterfactuals" I assume that the very notion that Western colonialism was detrimental rests on the counterfactual notion that had it not been the case, non-Western nations would be better off today. So it's not just me that's engaging in counterfactuals. It seems to me that "counterfactuals" are pretty much necessary for any kind of moral evaluation of history. Otherwise all you have are historical events and nothing to compare them against.

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by FlashDangerpants » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:34 am

Well, I'm not familiar with Zinn, but if he wrote what I said: "a nuance-free claim that western influence in the regions we invaded was nothing but detrimental", that would make him probably a terrible historian. Same goes if he wrote what you claimed first time round: "The conventional wisdom these days seems to be that Western intervention was only detrimental, having no benefits whatsoever" If he wrote what you have watered that down to: "European dominance was generally a bad thing all around", that would only make him a revisionist, and not necessarily wrong. You will need to make your mind up because those really aren't the same things.

As for the Chomsky thing ... I really don't get what you see in that guy. Just that quote you have there is packed with sloppiness and error. Luckily, he's not a historian so it doesn't matter for my purposes if he is spouting bollocks.

You do only have historical events and nothing to compare them against except other historical events. Counterfactual history is pretty straightforward, it's where you construct a fiction about how the world would have been had some event not happened. By definition it isn't true, it isn't research, and it isn't history. At best it is a well researched and plausible historical novel about what if What if Germany had won the war? or What if Constantine had died at the Milvian Bridge?

The grander the scale of the counterfactual speculation, the less realistic it becomes. Your one is beyond epic, there could never possibly be a well informed debate about how the world today might differ had not 200 different civilisations been conquered over the course of 4 centuries. So in that question, there exists only an opportunity for everyone to wave their prejudices around. That's why real historians aren't usually into counterfactual historical research.

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by Greta » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:04 am

I have to say that my impression was that the Brits was were brutal, but less so than the Spaniards, Dutch and Portuguese. Not sure if that's how things are reported in the Anglosphere or if it was the case.

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by Gary Childress » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:34 am

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:34 am
Well, I'm not familiar with Zinn, but if he wrote what I said: "a nuance-free claim that western influence in the regions we invaded was nothing but detrimental", that would make him probably a terrible historian. Same goes if he wrote what you claimed first time round: "The conventional wisdom these days seems to be that Western intervention was only detrimental, having no benefits whatsoever" If he wrote what you have watered that down to: "European dominance was generally a bad thing all around", that would only make him a revisionist, and not necessarily wrong. You will need to make your mind up because those really aren't the same things.

As for the Chomsky thing ... I really don't get what you see in that guy. Just that quote you have there is packed with sloppiness and error. Luckily, he's not a historian so it doesn't matter for my purposes if he is spouting bollocks.

You do only have historical events and nothing to compare them against except other historical events. Counterfactual history is pretty straightforward, it's where you construct a fiction about how the world would have been had some event not happened. By definition it isn't true, it isn't research, and it isn't history. At best it is a well researched and plausible historical novel about what if What if Germany had won the war? or What if Constantine had died at the Milvian Bridge?

The grander the scale of the counterfactual speculation, the less realistic it becomes. Your one is beyond epic, there could never possibly be a well informed debate about how the world today might differ had not 200 different civilisations been conquered over the course of 4 centuries. So in that question, there exists only an opportunity for everyone to wave their prejudices around. That's why real historians aren't usually into counterfactual historical research.
I apologize if I'm not being clear enough. my point has consistently been that colonialism is viewed by many as "nothing but detrimental". It's not just Zinn and Chomsky either. Frantz Fanon probably got the ball rolling in the intellectual world. You've heard of him, right?

And it's not what I see in Chomsky per se. It's what ENORMOUS numbers of other people do. He's considered a very influential thinker. One of the most quoted intellectuals alive (in case you weren't aware). Some people seem to put him along side Einstein at times in that regardless of what subject he comments on many look at him as well informed on those topics or whatever. I'm surprised at your apparent ignorance of this.

Here's an interview with Noam Chomsky with Lawrence Krauss. Just watch the intro in the first 6 minutes if you want to experience some of the fanfare on him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBVb6wRdwV4

This is not my view. So I don't understand your apparent animosity toward me. I'm just reporting what I see in some writings out there. I'm sure there is some nuance to the history of colonialism but I think there is a school of thought out there which thinks that the nuance is largely irrelevant, that the most important thing we need to know about colonialism is that it was bad and that it's not worthy of going into any nuance. Some believe colonialism was bad and that even going into any nuance is a sign of some kind of moral failing. I don't think I agree with that view but I do see it out there.

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by FlashDangerpants » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:30 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:34 am
I apologize if I'm not being clear enough. my point has consistently been that colonialism is viewed by many as "nothing but detrimental". It's not just Zinn and Chomsky either. Frantz Fanon probably got the ball rolling in the intellectual world. You've heard of him, right?
Google "George Orwell shooting an elephant". Frantz Fanon has an important theorist on the subject, and a primary source for the end of the colonial period, but he wasn't anything like the first guy to notice the harm that project did. Also he was a nuanced thinker, and I don't believe you are doing him justice (again).

Now try to understand that you have phrased this in two distinct ways that don't mean the same thing.
A. X is always and in all cases, and in all ways, entirely wrong.
B. On balance, X is usually a bad thing.
If you can't tell the difference between these things, I don't need lessons from you. The first is the sort of statement that, when discussing matters of nuance and scope, only an utter oaf would use. The second is what you get from academics, especially historians. The subject under discussion here is primarily within their domain.
Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:34 am
And it's not what I see in Chomsky per se. It's what ENORMOUS numbers of other people do. He's considered a very influential thinker. One of the most quoted intellectuals alive (in case you weren't aware). Some people seem to put him along side Einstein at times in that regardless of what subject he comments on many look at him as well informed on those topics or whatever. I'm surprised at your apparent ignorance of this.
He can be worshiped by any number of dim sheep and he still will be no God to me. That long quote you posted, most of which was beside the point in this convo, contained extraordinary demonstrations of not understanding his subject matter. If he has an uncritical audience who think that he is well informed on every subject, that is problematic, but not really my problem. Nobody is well informed in all things, I probably wouldn't find Wittgenstein's opinions on Economics any more persuasive than those of Chomsky.
Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:34 am
This is not my view. So I don't understand your apparent animosity toward me. I'm just reporting what I see in some writings out there. I'm sure there is some nuance to the history of colonialism but I think there is a school of thought out there which thinks that the nuance is largely irrelevant, that the most important thing we need to know about colonialism is that it was bad and that it's not worthy of going into any nuance. Some believe colonialism was bad and that even going into any nuance is a sign of some kind of moral failing. I don't think I agree with that view but I do see it out there.
Are you of the opinion that I can't read? Of course I could see that you are opposing the view that you are describing there, that's why you constructed the fantasy of how those societies would have turned out today in the absence of colonization centuries ago. I am trying to explain to you that you have two major problems here.

One issue is that you are attacking a straw man. The consensus is not "Western intervention was only detrimental, having no benefits whatsoever" because that would be oafish. The actual consensus is that our imperial conquests upended many civilisations, some to more devastating effect than others; that in all cases the objective was to benefit ourselves, with a side order of enriching friendly natives who could help us gain what we wanted. so a great deal of harm was done, and the resultant benefits largely accrued to the invaders.

Another problem is that your counter argument is based on a wishful thought experiment in which centuries of true history are replaced by a cascade of guestimates about how the world today might have been different. That exercise cannot yield usable results, it can only expose the author's prejudices. Actual history is a study of what happened based on sources and investigation of facts, counterfactual history is an imaginative pursuit with no basis.

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Re: British Colonialism better than French/German etc......

Post by Gary Childress » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:02 pm

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:30 pm
The actual consensus is that our imperial conquests upended many civilisations, some to more devastating effect than others; that in all cases the objective was to benefit ourselves, with a side order of enriching friendly natives who could help us gain what we wanted. so a great deal of harm was done, and the resultant benefits largely accrued to the invaders.
Fair enough. So exactly what in the above characterization of colonialism is NOT a negative? Your characterization seems to reinforce the idea that colonialism didn't have any good consequences for the colonized countries. Or am I missing something (entirely possible for an oaf like me)?

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