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Old November 23rd, 2016, 09:25 PM   #11

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Originally Posted by Lord Fairfax View Post
Well, now other people invade Europe, but I don't hear the "crime against humanity" argument in this case
Oh please, reductio ad absurdum.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 10:43 PM   #12
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I think it is impossible to generalise about Western Colonialism. It took so many forms, varied so much from region to region, from time to time and between the different European Countries.

On the one hand there is the success of Singapore, which I doubt would exist if there had been no British Colony in Malaya and just up the road Myanmar. Its citizens have been exposed to rape, murder, torture and genocide, just to mention a few of the crimes. Ask any of the minorities, the Nagas, Shan, Karen or especially the Muslim Rohinga and I have little doubt that they would prefer Colonialism to rule under a brutal Burman junta.

But turning back to Le General, De Gaulle came to power as the only Frenchman who could prevent an imminent coup d'etat by the French military. Already Corsica had fallen to the insurrectionists, aided by De Gaulle's cousin and led by the French Foreign Legion. Algeria was effectively under the insurrectionist control and metropolitan France waiting for imminent take-over by the military. France was also in an economic mess and had to borrow $250 million from the USA.

De Gaulle put himself forward as the only candidate with the stature to stop France sliding into civil war and avoiding a military putsch, retired to Colombey and waited the call.

To sounds of Algerie Francais, he was voted into power (for 6 months).

He abandoned his old friends in Algeria but then set out to exploit France's former Black African colonies.

I don't think any other European country took the same ruthless approach. De Gaulle's undercover operations in Black Africa made the CIA and KGB look like amateurs. French interests took precedence and if it required destabilising these newly independent countries, whose leaders did not co-operate, then tough on them - a french inspired coup would topple quite a few.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 10:48 PM   #13

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Canada, United States and Australia were Western colonies and they don't seem to be still underdeveloped ...

The point is that the mentioned former colonies have developed a Western society with democracy and a market economy.

Regarding former French colonies, well, it's quite correct to say that the French approach to the colonial empire was a bit different from the British one: it's known, for example, that at Paris they considered Algeria substantially part of metropolitan France [!!!].
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 10:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lord Fairfax View Post
Well, now other people invade Europe, but I don't hear the "crime against humanity" argument in this case
I bow to your wisdom, sir. In this case it's reverse I presume. Hard-working taxpayers should pay for the well-being of these newcomers. So it's a crime against the european working class I guess, because they are obliged to provide food, shelter and medical care to these ppl.

EDIT: I dont consider second most populous province of canada & former french protectorates of morocco and tunisia undeveloped.

Last edited by At Each Kilometer; November 23rd, 2016 at 11:19 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 11:44 PM   #15

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In de Gaulle's WW2 memoir, he writes frequently about his differences with Britain and America over colonial policy. Basically, de Gaulle felt like the pre-1939 French colonies were still French "possessions" and France would damn well decide what they were going to do with them and when they did it.

He had two justifications:

(1) They BELONG to France!

(2) Granting independence to these colonies willy-nilly whenever they wanted it was not good for the colonies because the people there just weren't ready for it. France knew what was good for them and the people who lived there did not. As de Gaulle put it in his memoir:

" ... the transformation of peoples still primitive and ill-assured states would launch a wave of xenophobia, poverty, and anarchy." De Gaulle stated (to Harry Truman in a personal meeting) that France would decide when and how much independence should be granted to France's colonies.

Was de Gaulle right all along? A case might be made that de Gaulle's only mistake was speaking the truth when people were not willing to hear it.
Hi there Porter Rockwell !

I love the way you constructed your question. I have a lot of experience in terms of the effects of colonialism on native populations (Both first hand and academic) so I should be able to provide you with a better understanding of this matter, however before I do that I would like to correct a few things in the points which you raised, if you will allow me.

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As we have seen, de Gaulle predicted the future accurately in a lot of cases. Take the former Rhodesia (British, not French ... but the principle still applies). Today's Zimbabwe has seen a whole generation of xenophobia, poverty, and anarchy -- just as de Gaulle predicted...
So the xenophobia issue with Zimbabwe is actually quite the opposite. The xenophobic attacks where against Zimbabweans, among many other African populations, who had migrated to South Africa fleeing their countries political issues, in hope of a better life in South Africa.

Due to the scale of immigrants entering the country, a lot of South African where not happy and this sparked a series of xenophobic attacks against Africans who migrated to South Africa.

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Were the peoples in these colonies responsible for the poor results seen in their countries or have they been held down by the developed world? Zimbabwe's sorrow is more the result of civil war between native war lords and the subsequent totalitarian regime that emerged.
There was never any civil war between native war lords in Zimbabwe. The issues in Zimbabwe where caused by one person who was determined to cling to power no matter what the outcome. Thus civil war can be completely ruled out here.

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Should western nations have presented a united front and adopted a stronger and completely paternal attitude? Was what happened inevitable under any circumstances and it didn't matter what de Gaulle or any western colonial power did or said? France fought bloody and failed wars in Algeria and Indochina. No colonial power has been able to hang onto much. Enclaves like Puerto Rico or Guiana are about the only places left.
Let's look at the civil war matter. In most cases where this happened with former colonies, it was due to bad transition of power and inexperienced administrates.

To use a well know comparison, what was the result, on Europe, of the sudden disappearance of the Roman Empire (the western Roman Empire)? As we all know, this marked the beginning of the Medieval Era, which was pretty much an era where various "war lords" competed for power over various areas.

This very same thing is what happened in some colonies. Their colonial overlords just disappeared, seemingly overnight, leaving no administration what so ever as they left. Thus a kind of "Medieval Era" situation occurred, as various war lords competed for power...

I unfortunately have to disappear for a moment, but I will be back to address this matter further...

Last edited by The Cell; November 23rd, 2016 at 11:46 PM.
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Old November 24th, 2016, 12:01 AM   #16

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Enlarging the reasoning:

we've got two main types of former Western colonies.

1) as I was mentioning, the former colonies which have seen the settlement of Western populations who have become the great majority, putting in minority the native populations.

Generally these colonies have developed well [when not very well], in good substance because they have been and are Western countries.

2) former colonies where Western population haven't settled in so great numbers to substitute the native populations [or in some cases native and not native together: in Northern Africa, Islamic powers had already colonized and Arab populations had settled as well].

These colonies haven't acquired a Western model of development after the end of colonialism. I guess that also anti-colonial feelings have played a role in this, but overall it has been a matter of corruption, bad government and post-colonialism.

I know Senegalese migrants who work here in Italy. They claim that Senegal people doesn't enjoy the money coming from the exploitation of the natural resources of the country because of the way their government deals with international corporations [and now they have found oil and natural gas, I cannot imagine what will happen ...].

** A particular case
South Africa is a particular case: Westerns have settled in great numbers there, enough to impose their dominion and their model of development to the country. We all know how white South Africans did this. After the end of the Apartheid, the knew South Africa is trying and following that path of development and it promises well.
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Old November 24th, 2016, 01:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Enlarging the reasoning:

we've got two main types of former Western colonies.

1) as I was mentioning, the former colonies which have seen the settlement of Western populations who have become the great majority, putting in minority the native populations.

Generally these colonies have developed well [when not very well], in good substance because they have been and are Western countries.

2) former colonies where Western population haven't settled in so great numbers to substitute the native populations [or in some cases native and not native together: in Northern Africa, Islamic powers had already colonized and Arab populations had settled as well].

These colonies haven't acquired a Western model of development after the end of colonialism. I guess that also anti-colonial feelings have played a role in this, but overall it has been a matter of corruption, bad government and post-colonialism.

I know Senegalese migrants who work here in Italy. They claim that Senegal people doesn't enjoy the money coming from the exploitation of the natural resources of the country because of the way their government deals with international corporations [and now they have found oil and natural gas, I cannot imagine what will happen ...].

** A particular case
South Africa is a particular case: Westerns have settled in great numbers there, enough to impose their dominion and their model of development to the country. We all know how white South Africans did this. After the end of the Apartheid, the knew South Africa is trying and following that path of development and it promises well.
I think you are confusing things

Those "successful" cases are cases where the land in question was rich in all kinds of resources AND underpopulated.....

Underpopulation is not a success factor per se... For example Namibia is not a success though underpopulated, because it is essentially a desert ....
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Old November 24th, 2016, 01:59 AM   #18
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Canada, United States and Australia were Western colonies and they don't seem to be still underdeveloped ...

The point is that the mentioned former colonies have developed a Western society with democracy and a market economy.
In the development discourse those colonies are called "Western offshoots" because they took shape in lands scarcely populated and where the existing cultures were replaced. When there were more established social structures or the population could not be replaced, colonial rule was more likely to be detrimental. The point is, they cannot be compared to the former colonies still struggling to develop, today.
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Old November 24th, 2016, 04:23 AM   #19
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It is the culture of the people that hampers their development. While the West can be faulted for their exploitation of those colonies, but the blame is not entirely on them. There are nations like Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong which the population of them are not mostly European decent unlike Australia or the US, but they succeeded despite their being a former colony.

The precolonial historical events of these former colonies has something to do with their failures.
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Old November 24th, 2016, 04:33 AM   #20

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Originally Posted by Porter Rockwell View Post
In de Gaulle's WW2 memoir, he writes frequently about his differences with Britain and America over colonial policy. Basically, de Gaulle felt like the pre-1939 French colonies were still French "possessions" and France would damn well decide what they were going to do with them and when they did it.

He had two justifications:

(1) They BELONG to France!

(2) Granting independence to these colonies willy-nilly whenever they wanted it was not good for the colonies because the people there just weren't ready for it. France knew what was good for them and the people who lived there did not. As de Gaulle put it in his memoir:

" ... the transformation of peoples still primitive and ill-assured states would launch a wave of xenophobia, poverty, and anarchy." De Gaulle stated (to Harry Truman in a personal meeting) that France would decide when and how much independence should be granted to France's colonies.

As we have seen, de Gaulle predicted the future accurately in a lot of cases. Take the former Rhodesia (British, not French ... but the principle still applies). Today's Zimbabwe has seen a whole generation of xenophobia, poverty, and anarchy -- just as de Gaulle predicted. The current Global Multidimensional Poverty Index of Zimbabwe is lower than at any time since it started to be measured. South Africa, on the other hand, has had a much more successful transition to independence, although they seem to be backsliding more recently.

Was de Gaulle right all along? A case might be made that de Gaulle's only mistake was speaking the truth when people were not willing to hear it.

Should western nations have presented a united front and adopted a stronger and completely paternal attitude? Was what happened inevitable under any circumstances and it didn't matter what de Gaulle or any western colonial power did or said? France fought bloody and failed wars in Algeria and Indochina. No colonial power has been able to hang onto much. Enclaves like Puerto Rico or Guiana are about the only places left.

Were the peoples in these colonies responsible for the poor results seen in their countries or have they been held down by the developed world? Zimbabwe's sorrow is more the result of civil war between native war lords and the subsequent totalitarian regime that emerged.
What "native war lords" engaged in a civil war in Zimbabwe? Just curious about what it is you are referring to here.



If you want the simplest answer to your question possible, the truth is that unless you have lots of one hugely beneficial resource to exploit, such as oil, and do not have a huge population (like Saudi Arabia, which has only 28 million people), then having great prosperity in this current world order depends on industrialization.

The most recent colonizers (Europeans), though they can certainly be given credit for other things, did not do much to turn their colonies into states that could industrialize quickly. The groundwork for such things just was not laid. Look at the Belgian Congo. Look at Namibia. Look at various states in Africa, and you see the same thing over and over again. A weak political foundation/basis for states, often made with little regard to religious or ethnic issues, yes, but even more glaring is the weak to non-existant industrial foundations. People from western countries have the misconception (for some reason) that countries like France or Britain really were trying to make their colonies in Africa or Asia into copies of the home countries in terms of their economic and technological level of development. They were trying to do no such thing, despite whatever they may have claimed. And honestly, as the conquerors, they were not really *required* to do so. Who could oblige them to do so? And anyway, many conquering and occupying nations throughout history have done nothing or done very little to develop the regions they were occupying by force as well. So nothing too different here except for maybe some genocides or atrocities or cases of cultural destruction. And of course the whole racial oppression thing. But overall, nothing out of the ordinary compared to previous events in world history.

I'll give an analysis of this with regard to a country that I know about quite well. Most people don't know this, but even a country as mismanaged and underdeveloped as Nigeria, with all the myriad issues it has, is actually statistically doing far better now than it was under colonial rule! Speaking generally, pretty much every index of development or statistic you can think of that really matters has improved greatly since the British left (people can mention terrorism if they like, but there is terrorism in Europe as well - violent separatists and radical jihadists). Since Nigeria is so undeveloped and so far from being like First World countries, that says an immense amount about how the British didn't make it some priority to develop that country (while it was a colony) and make it into some sort of "second Britain in Africa".

Something that also says how disinterested they were in such a thing was their willingness to create chaos by dismissing reasonable complaints that Nigerians had about the way they (the British) had set up the country with a wave of the hand or with condescending and unfounded assertions about the way they thought things were that bore no resemblance to the reality on the ground. A good book which gives an example of such a thing, which had disastrous consequences for the historical trajectory which that country took is A Nation Betrayed: Nigeria and the Minorities Commission of 1957 by Michael Vickers:

https://www.amazon.com/Nation-Betray.../dp/1592217338

But that case is nothing so unique. There are other instances of European colonizers creating crazy situations that could have been easily avoided in other countries in Africa.

However, I do want to emphasize that the economic and technological development is the main thing here. Not merely the fact that some countries were "betrayed" and set up wrongly, leading to avoidable conflicts. That is a factor, but is probably not the most important thing.

A leading Nigerian politician of the past, after the British granted Nigerians some degree of self-governance in the mid 1950s in the lead up to Nigeria's independence, boldly declared in 1955 of the region of Nigeria which he was the governing Premier: "In fourteen months under the present government, we have done more for Nigeria than the British did in 120 years." He was exaggerating to some degree (and the British only had colonial territory in Nigeria for nearly 100 years by the time he made that statement - a fact he was probably well aware of, so his exaggeration was probably deliberate, perhaps for comic effect), yet the basic idea of his claim - that the British hadn't been making some sort of great effort to develop their colony - was substantially correct. But to know this, one has to know some of the actual developmental strides the country has made since the British left vs. the pace it was crawling along at while it was a British colony. In other words, one might have to do some actual reading.

That is just one example, but extrapolate it to the rest of Africa, making adjustments where necessary for certain unique situations (Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, etc.) and you basically have your answer: countries with a weak political foundation/structure (because they weren't formed to be countries in the first place, but to be colonies), and little to no foundation for industrialization (and this is the more important thing).

Last edited by Ighayere; November 24th, 2016 at 05:02 AM.
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