Has anyone taken a look at Bruce Gilley's pro-colonialism article?

macon

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Aug 2015
3,675
Slovenia
Oh poor White Man's burden.

Have you seen anything in the history of Human's to suggest one culture ruling another is done for the subject culture's benefit?

Throughout Human history any privelegded group rules for itself, power corrupts.

who gets to determine which culture is superior and should rule others ? How can this be down peacefully?

people are sugguesting this stuff solely withthe intenetion that it should apply to others.

It;s just unrealistic and massive naive to think this is anyway to organize people.
My gun determines my superiority over your bow. Otherwise I fully agree with you but I give more importance to physical laws expressed in a technology than to social constructions (religion, morality, customs...)
 

macon

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Aug 2015
3,675
Slovenia
"none of that existed when the Europeans arrived". Are you serious or joking in a sarcastic way?
It is right for most of Africa back then. There were obviously states in some parts (mostly in Sahel and west Africa) but there were also tribal areas and some with human sacrifice and cannibalism. Pretty big areas.
 

macon

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Aug 2015
3,675
Slovenia
What inconvenient facts am I ignoring? Let's look at the numbers:

When the British left India:
Literacy rate was 16%. What was British literacy rate?
Life expectancy was 27. What was British life expectancy?

Mass starvation was a regular feature of life in India under British rule. The last ‘famine’ that was inflicted on India was in 1943 when over four million people died in Bengal. The British Army took millions of tons of rice from starving people. Even when other nations tried to send aid to the people of Bengal, Winston Churchill refused the offers.


The major famines that occurred in India under British rule:
  1. The Great Bengal Famine (1769-1770) – over 10 million deaths
  2. Madras City/surrounding areas (1782-1783) and Chalisa famines (1783-1784) – total deaths for both was over 11 million
  3. Doji Bara Famine (1791-1792) – over 11 million deaths
  4. Agra Famine (1837-1838) – close to 1 million deaths
  5. Upper Doab Famine (1860-1861) – 2 million deaths
  6. Orissa (Odisha) Famine (1866) – over 1 million deaths: Mr Naoroji noted that India had actually exported over 200m pounds of rice to Britain. He discovered a similar pattern of mass exportation during other famine years
  7. Rajputana Famine (1868-1870) – over 1.5+ million deaths
  8. Bihar Famine (1873-1874) – the relief effort for this famine was deemed ‘excessive’, it was decided future relief to be “thrift”. Lord Salisbury said it was "a mistake to spend so much money to save a lot of black fellows"
  9. Great Famine (1876-1878) – 5.5+ million deaths: Lord Lytton said "discourage relief works in every possible way.... Mere distress is not a sufficient reason for opening a relief work "
  10. Ganjam/Orissa/Bihar (1888-1889) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
  11. Indian Famine (1896-1897) – millions of deaths
  12. Indian Famine (1899-1900) – 1+ million deaths
  13. Bombay Presidency Famine (1905-1906) – hundreds of thousands of deaths
  14. Bengal Famine (1943-1944) – over 4+ million deaths: Churchill said it was the Indians' own fault for "breeding like rabbits"




If you admit low technology is not a "crime", then you shouldn't use low technology as an excuse to subjugate others as second-class citizens.
A good post. But can you also find literacy rate, life expectancy and number of population BEFORE British rule?

I have an idea that no number was higher before British rule.
 

robto

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Jun 2014
5,915
Lisbon, Portugal
Briefly read the article. His example Guinea - Bissea.and its.comparison with Hong Kong was spot on.

The only major objection I have with what he said was about Cambodia. It was the authoritarian Vietnamese intervention , not the Chinese back Ed Khmer Rouge , that benefited Cambodia. Khmer Rouge was uniformly disastrous for Cambodia, resulting in massive unnecessary loss of civilian lives .
He was not really spot on when it comes to Guinea-Bissau. Are you familiar with the country?

He mentions in the text that life expectancy in Guinea-Bissau during the late years of Portuguese colonialism rose an unprecedented 0.73 extra years of life per year, while in the space of thirty years after independence, it rose up a mere 0.3 years of extra life per year. That's a myopic and decontextualized analysis.
Guinea-Bissau, and all other African Portuguese colonies at the time, experience exponential growth and rising of living standards among natives in the 60s and 70s because Portuguese colonial authorities were responding to the rising anti-colonial movements that was taking place in all of Portuguese Africa. Before the 1960s, the situation of natives under Portuguese colonial rule was one of the worst in the entire continent - just as worse as in the latter half of the 19th century - in fact, in some places in Africa, their living standards drop significantly during the first decades of European colonialism after the Berlin conference or when Europeans accelerated their slave trading networks in the 17th and 18th centuries. Only a few decades after, the colonizing authorities decided to rise subjects living standards, but the during the first decades of colonialism, we witnessed really awful humanitarian disasters like Congo under Leopold, India's famines or the Dutch Indies pacification period.

The overall premise of the article is not that bad. Yes, the decolonization period was a complete disaster; not all colonial institutions are evil and some are even beneficial; anti-colonialism has been misused by vile dictators (which ironically were eager to use the "evil" colonial institutions to coerce the population); and yeah, after colonialism there's always a period of crisis and complete destruction that might take a few years or it becomes chronic (depending to what the ruling elites do with those countries).

He didn't elaborate in depth his arguments, I would like him to use more quantitative data to support his thesis, though.
 

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
3,675
Slovenia
Because "building roads, railways, increasing trade", are ifs. You are assuming these wouldn't have been done in the absence of colonialism. We don't know that. What we do know is that even on trains the Indians were treated as second-class citizens.
If it was not done in centuries before there is no logical reason to assume that it would be done without Brits.

Poor Indians were also treated as a second class by rich Indians before British colonialism. You again superimpose a social construct- treatment of different stratas of people to a cold fact that trains were transporting goods and people.First there was a transportation because of a technological advance, second all other.

Third class with wooden seats was also in European trains and people using them treated as a second class by first classers. Please end your poor soul appeals.
 
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Belgarion

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Jul 2011
6,603
Australia
Saying it doesn't make it so. I just gave you the interview form the Sri Lankan president. Did he say he had no choice but to comply, or did he say that he leased it to the Chinese because he wanted investment with reduced liability? Did he say anything about Chinese borrowing was designed to be difficult to be paid back? Or is that just what the media of former colonizers claim? Is there a in depth cross comparison with quotes? Or just empty claims?

I have given interviews of four different presidents who accepted loans from China. None of them complained about how Chinese investment was designed to be difficult to pay back. None of them complained about how they were forced to do accept deals. It sounds like that's just what their former colonizers say, not what the receivers of the investments say. But the day of white man's burden is over. African leaders decide whether their potential loans are easy to pay back and react accordingly. Not their former colonizers.

Also, even if what you say is true, European colonialism is not 'getting African port leases because Africans couldn't pay loans'. It's a little worse than that. So here's the difference between buying land leases and actual colonialism.

Buying land leases: 'Victims' got $1 billion
Actual Colonialism: 'Victims' got their hands cut off.

Big difference.

By the time the Chinese intentions become clear the leaders of these countries are so far in the Chinese pocket they have no choice but to put the best spin on the situation they can. China preys on the financial ignorance and/or greed of the governments of these countries, so to say they are entering these arrangements of their own free will is disingenuous at best, Like the desperate man who can't get a normal loan having to go to the local loan shark.
 

Ighayere

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Jul 2012
2,544
Benin City, Nigeria
It is right for most of Africa back then. There were obviously states in some parts (mostly in Sahel and west Africa) but there were also tribal areas and some with human sacrifice and cannibalism. Pretty big areas.
There were states in some other parts of Africa as well, cannibalism was rare (and in any case, even most of these rare cases had their equivalents on other continents), and "human sacrifices" were mostly executions of people who had committed actual crimes (in those places where it was described as existing).
 
Likes: bodhi
Apr 2018
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Mythical land.
A good post. But can you also find literacy rate, life expectancy and number of population BEFORE British rule?

I have an idea that no number was higher before British rule.
We do know that urbanization was more in 16th century mughal india then 19th century british india, and we also know that on average asians were more productive than average europeans till the end of 18th century,by both of these india was surely better before brits then after them.
And also famines never reached the heights they reached in british india partially because many of famines in india were actually artificial in part and direct result of policies of british empire.
 
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