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

Apr 2017
676
Lemuria
I'll quote Garett's thoughts on this:

Garett Jones responds to my intelligence post

"I’d have one critique of your claim, one that is common to many supporters of freer low-skill immigration.

You claim that institutions are important, something I agree with. And you claim that low IQ populations tend to have bad institutions, partly because of the low IQ population, again something I agree with.

But from there you conclude that low-IQ immigrants should be allowed to come to countries with good institutions. That might be reasonable as a moral case but I’m no expert on morality so I’ll leave that to others.

I would emphasize a different conclusion: That the low-IQ immigrants will tend to worsen the institutions of the higher-IQ countries they move to. Low IQ immigrants will, to some degree, tend to make the country they move to more like the country they came from.

Partly this will be due to MRV and Caplan/Miller reasons: low IQ groups vote for bad policies. Partly it’s because they will tend to elect individuals from their constituencies, which will, on average, tend to lower the average IQ of the legislature. And partly it’s because the bureaucracy will tend to hire individuals from low-skill groups, which will lower government quality.

For these and other reasons, new low IQ citizens impose a tax on the nation’s institutions, and this institutional cost should be counted in a candid cost-benefit analysis.

*Shorter version: Good institutions are rare treasures, and institutions are endogenous with respect to (among other things) citizen IQ. *"

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Personally, I think that Garett is spot-on in regards to this. However, I would also like to point out that good institutions likely need a high level of human capital (as in, a population with a high average IQ) in order to achieve First World-level prosperity. Sure, Europeans could create great institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa if they so desired, but unless Sub-Saharan Africa's average IQ rises to First World levels (and everyone should strongly hope that it does because everyone will be much better off), Sub-Saharan Africa would be unlikely to achieve First World-level prosperity even with good institutions--unless perhaps it has a significant resource windfall and/or tourism windfall.
I've been proposing my horse and horseman hypothesis on how to govern a low average IQ but genetically diverse (non-inbred) population many times here but it has always been met with opposition. Someone finally posts something sensible on the matter.

A low average IQ but genetically diverse population can still thrive with the proper mode of governance (this automatically excludes a democracy and of course a dictatorship). What is destructive is inbreeding and low IQ. Africa for example has a lot of human potential despite low average IQ but Pakistan or the average Arab country, no. Once inbreeding is common, a population has no chance. It has to be isolated or re-seeded. All kind of recessive, degenerative mutations will persistently pollute their biological pool. I'll even posit a high average IQ but low genetics diversity population is worse than a low average IQ and high diversity population. As long as you have potential to shift the population normal curve to the right, there is hope. Letting people breed out of control is not the way to the future.

Anyway colonialism as practiced by Europeans was a form of social and economic parasitism. it doesn't have much merits.
 
Apr 2018
1,562
Mythical land.
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.
Great post but you should exclude doji bara(skull famine) from list because it didn't occur in british territory, it occured mostly in maratha territory also chalisa famine which were natural and under different rulers.
 
Apr 2018
1,562
Mythical land.
The famine myth has been debunked: famines regularly occured in India (and occurred long before British power there. Someone posted about it in another thread, I'll see if I can find it.
The difference as clarified even in that thread was that famines were not artificial or due to delibrate policy of rulers back then, and those who did cause famine by their policies are hated as much as colonial british are like aurangzeb.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,072
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...)
Yes, but the operative question actually is: Is that just?

People are actually justice-driven to a higher extent than often realized. It's why frankly ALL kinds of overlordship based on brute force and violent domination in history have been temporary, often quite brief — to have long term viability it needs to be credibly backed up by other things to justify a dominant position. Historically legitimate rule means providing justice. And "I've got the gun and I say so!", really only works so far.

Your gun might give you the opportunity, but it's what you then do with it that settles whether you will be able to hold on to it or not.

Otherwise all it means is that everyone just needs to get a bigger gun and its your turn to bow down to your "natural" lords and masters, whomever those might be. I know this kind of war-of-everyone-against-everyone-notion is popular with some. It has lousy functionality however. Do it consistently, and you're just then enemy of everyone, and get taken down.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,072
So are you really suggesting that western colonialism mostly consisted of "repossessing entire countries when they failed to pay loans" or something along those lines? Because of Egypt? Unless China actually does send warships to Sri Lanka to forcefully take over part of their country (if Sri Lanka reneges on their agreement) the way Britain sent warships to Egypt in the 19th century, I don't see how there's a real argument to be made likening the two situations.

I'm seriously not seeing what this connection is that you're trying to make between the "bad old days" and what you think China is doing. And when you say the British "bankrolled everyone" you aren't seriously suggesting that (outside of Egypt) they really "bankrolled" most of the other places they colonized are you?
The analogy, updated for modern times, holds. There are no perfect ones. This is close enough to require monitoring.

British finance in the 19th paid for the development of entire continents, and not just the bits that became the British empire. And the profits had a distinct tendency to trickle back to Britain.

China is now back in a position in the world economy and world politics it has not had for quite some time. It's going to have to discover that how it puts its weight about matters. The British empire was massively maligned by just about everyone back in its day. No one trusted the British. Took its money though, and paid for it through predatory arrangements in British favour.

Fx Brazil spent half of the 19th c. as a dumping ground for cheap British industrial products, quite unable to get any kind of domestic production of just about anything going, due to such arrangements.

I'm not suggesting this kind of debt was the main driver of the extension of the British empire, though profits of all kinds certainly were. The case of Egypt, picked up and forcibly put in British receivership, is at the far end of all kinds of financial arrangements Britain maintained, but which massively favoured the UK.

China certainly looks like set to repeat a few now that it has the opportunity. If it doesn't like it, the Chinese can always exercise a bit more caution about their activities. It shouldn't get a free pass just for not-being-western at least.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,072
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 pretty big areas where African states expanded on an ideology of the need to attack, and subjugate, they cannibalistic neighbours and dissuade them from their cannibal wats — something they curiously immediately accepted once included into the folds of the expanding state; viz. the Azande empire.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,551
Benin City, Nigeria
British finance in the 19th paid for the development of entire continents, and not just the bits that became the British empire. And the profits had a distinct tendency to trickle back to Britain.

China is now back in a position in the world economy and world politics it has not had for quite some time. It's going to have to discover that how it puts its weight about matters. The British empire was massively maligned by just about everyone back in its day. No one trusted the British. Took its money though, and paid for it through predatory arrangements in British favour.
Please elaborate on what you mean by all of this, with more examples and references.

You've given the example of Brazil, but was Brazil invaded and ruled by Britain? When was Brazil's territory "repossessed" by Britain, and for what defaulted loans?

Sorry if it seems like I'm repeating the same question, but I would prefer more detail about this because I am still not really making sense of the argument and the comparison being made and I would genuinely like to understand it.

Edit: Upon re-reading, I see that the example of Brazil is meant to show that Britain apparently financed the development of Brazil in the 19th century and that this was "paid for through predatory arrangements in British favour" (Brazil being a "dumping ground" for cheap British industrial products), but if that happened, that really was Brazil's government's choice, and that situation is not even comparable to the cases of actual British colonization of other areas anyway.
 
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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,072
Please elaborate on what you mean by all of this, with more examples and references.

You've given the example of Brazil, but was Brazil invaded and ruled by Britain? When was Brazil's territory "repossessed" by Britain, and for what defaulted loans?

Sorry if it seems like I'm repeating the same question, but I would prefer more detail about this because I am still not really making sense of the argument and the comparison being made and I would genuinely like to understand it.

Edit: Upon re-reading, I see that the example of Brazil is meant to show that Britain apparently financed the development of Brazil in the 19th century and that this was "paid for through predatory arrangements in British favour" (Brazil being a "dumping ground" for cheap British industrial products), but if that happened, that really was Brazil's government's choice, and that situation is not even comparable to the cases of actual British colonization of other areas anyway.
Well, there's things like this to check out:
British Policy, Trade, and Informal Empire in the Mid-Nineteenth Century - Oxford Scholarship

The operative concept is "informal empire". The volume of the British informal empire in the first half of 19th c.through banking and finance was larger than the formal empire. Essentially it was British industry and finance at its relative peak as a cut of the global GDP. There were massive profits from British industralisation that were invested globally. (Almost all railroads in South America were British-financed fx.) And yes, part of the drive to formal empire, when the pink bits really started to race away of the world map late in the 19th c., was due to the British informal empire finding new challenges from European rivals starting to catch up, and so the arrangements of dependency through banking and finance did in parts switch to direct, formal empire.

Which is where the possible analogies with China's return as one of the real movers and shakers of the world become pertinent. It's ain't JUST the formal empires that can do the job. Restraint and not getting too "creative" might be a good idea. Or not, since it's about profits anyway.
 

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
3,783
Slovenia
Yes, but the operative question actually is: Is that just?

People are actually justice-driven to a higher extent than often realized. It's why frankly ALL kinds of overlordship based on brute force and violent domination in history have been temporary, often quite brief — to have long term viability it needs to be credibly backed up by other things to justify a dominant position. Historically legitimate rule means providing justice. And "I've got the gun and I say so!", really only works so far.

Your gun might give you the opportunity, but it's what you then do with it that settles whether you will be able to hold on to it or not.

Otherwise all it means is that everyone just needs to get a bigger gun and its your turn to bow down to your "natural" lords and masters, whomever those might be. I know this kind of war-of-everyone-against-everyone-notion is popular with some. It has lousy functionality however. Do it consistently, and you're just then enemy of everyone, and get taken down.
Natural sciences are one primary level above human social constructs as justice. Or maybe more than one.

Everyone may be just dead or/and pacified because of bigger guns. It has happened quite many times in history.
 

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